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Covid reopening delayed - but mask relaxations from Monday

Covid reopening delayed - but mask relaxations from Monday

Wednesday 09 June 2021

Covid reopening delayed - but mask relaxations from Monday

Wednesday 09 June 2021

Ministers have decided to delay the return of stand-up drinking and nightclubs - but mask requirements will be relaxed from Monday.

The decision to delay parts of the original reopening strategy follows 10 to 11 covid cases being linked to hospitality venues and private parties.

Following crunch meetings last night and today, the Government confirmed that the next steps in the reopening process would now be as follows:

From Monday 14 June: 

  • The legal requirement for masks will be removed, except on public transport, in the bus station and at the ports. Masks continue to be strongly recommended in healthcare settings and where physical distancing of more than 1 metre is difficult to achieve, for example in close contact services or while queuing.  
  • Any number of guests may attend a wedding or civil partnership in a private home or garden.

From Monday 21 June:

  • Standing drinking will be permitted at all locations, including pubs and bars. 
  • Nightclubs will be permitted to fully reopen, including for dancing. 
  • The limit of 20 people permitted at gatherings in private homes and gardens will be lifted.  

The Government said a delay in the reopening plan would allow contact tracers to catch up with tracking and testing, while reducing onward transmission in hospitality settings.

It said that delaying parts of the final stage of the reopening process will also allow more time for hospitality workforce screening to be completed and "hopefully avert the need to introduce more restrictive measures in the coming two months".

The current number of covid cases in Jersey is 17 - with three detected in the past 24 hours, two being direct contacts of other positive covid cases.

There are currently 271 people in isolation as direct contacts.

The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said he was "acutely aware" the announcement "will be a disappointment to islanders and businesses who had planned for full reconnection this coming Monday" and "particularly difficult for nightclubs who have long anticipated reopening after 15 months of closure", but said: "However, given ongoing contact tracing within hospitality settings, it is appropriate that we do not open nightclubs at this stage.”  

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf added: “It is absolutely critical that all travellers to Jersey remain vigilant and follow the latest public health guidance, including on isolation. 

“As we open vaccination appointments to younger islanders, it’s vital that people book for their vaccine when they become eligible. Our vaccination programme continues to make excellent progress, but it is essential we keep this momentum up. 

“It is also incumbent on those in the hospitality industry to continue taking accurate contact details from all of their patrons, to ensure that where cases emerge, contacts can be traced quickly and effectively. The requirement for relevant businesses to collect details for contact tracing purposes is still a requirement in law.”  

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