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Most Gov emergency covid powers to expire in October

Most Gov emergency covid powers to expire in October

Friday 13 August 2021

Most Gov emergency covid powers to expire in October

Friday 13 August 2021

Jersey's politicians will be asked to decide if all the emergency powers given to Ministers to bring in covid restrictions should expire at the end of October, or if any need to be extended.

If follows this week's announcement that most restrictions will end on Thursday, 26 August. Currently, ministers emergency covid powers are due to end on October 31.

The legislation was first introduced in March 2020, and was due to be in place until 30 April 2021. Then the Covid-19 (Amendments - extension and suspension) Regulations extended the end dates until 31 October to ensure the powers could still be used if required.

The range of covid legislation aimed to help the control the spread of the virus – for example, the Workplace Regulations provided powers to close workplaces to help prevent transmission – included changes to Marriage and Civil Status law which allowed the Superintendent Register to check people’s documents online rather than in-person.

Other emergency measures voted in in March 2020 also  included extending the spending and borrowing powers of the Treasury.

Covid travel airport mask.jpg

Pictured: The regulation that states masks are required in ports and public transports remains in place.

Those Regulations will remain after 26 August as, despite most of the restrictions due to be lifted, two will remain.

This includes the Workplace Order which requires contact details to be taken for track and trace purposes, as well masks in ports and public transport and the Screening, Assessment and Isolation Regulations, which provide the powers to require people to be tested at the border and to self-isolate if they have covid.

Ministers announced on Wednesday that from Thursday 26 August:

  • people can be served alcoholic drinks from the bar;
  • the 20-person limit on gatherings in homes and gardens is lifted;
  • nightclubs can fully reopen, with dancing allowed;
  • large events can be held, subject to risk assessments;
  • the legal requirement to wear a mask in indoor public places ends, except in ports and on public transport;
  • the recommendation that islanders work from home if they can, ceases.

Before 31 October, the States Assembly will be asked whether all the covid legislation should expire or whether any of this legislation should be further extended to allow for ongoing controls such as the requirement to isolate or the possibility to bring back some restrictions should a vaccine-resistant variant emerge.

Meanwhile, new laws are being drawn up to bolster Ministers' emergency powers to react to future public health crises.

Responding to a report from a panel of politicians tasked with reviewing the Government's pandemic response, Senator John Le Fondré and Deputy Susie Pinel confirmed in May that work on a new 'Civil Contingencies Law' was underway and had reached the briefing stage.

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Posted by Robert Gabriel on
I can understand why the regulations requiring people to wear masks at the ports will remain in place after the 26th August. However, I can’t see why masks will still be needed on public transport? If the government are suggesting that people sitting next to one another on a bus are still at risk of catching Covid-19 then that must also apply to a wide variety of other situations where the public are in close proximity to one another. Suggesting that the risk of catching Covid-19 on a bus is any greater than catching it in a crowded pub or restaurant is absurd!
Posted by Scott Mills on
Oh they'll be crying when they have to let go of all the control. They'll delay it and delay it and delay it. People just get on with your lives, and start lviing again. Enjoy your gardens with friends and our lovey beaches.
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