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“Grandparents can once again hug their grandchildren”

“Grandparents can once again hug their grandchildren”

Thursday 25 June 2020

“Grandparents can once again hug their grandchildren”


The Health Minister has announced that limited physical contact with those you don’t live with is now permitted, allowing grandparents to hug their grandchildren once again.

As part of updated guidance, announced today at a government media briefing, islanders are now permitted to have limited, physical contact with a few people they don’t live with as distancing rules are reduced to one metre, and hospitality and construction restrictions are eased.

Government say that islanders can begin limited, physical contact with a small number of people from outside their household, but it’s advised – to reduce the risk of the virus spreading – that people only do so with a handful of people and whilst maintaining good hygiene. 

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said this development signals “the next step in our move towards a ‘new normal’” as he elaborated on the new advice for limited physical contact between islanders that don’t live together.

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Pictured: Good hygiene is still emphasised as part of this new guidance. 

“By allowing limited physical contact, grandparents can once again hug their grandchildren, and couples who live separately can reunite. High-risk islanders should remain mindful of how many people they choose to have physical contact with.”

Taking effect from tomorrow (26 June) the new ‘one-metre minimum’ will apply across the board in workplaces, hospitality venues and public spaces.

The announcement follows the leak of a confidential letter from the Economic Development Minister which pre-warned the hospitality industry about most of this updated guidance

Alcohol-only seated service will also be able to resume from next week (01 July), but nightclubs are not yet permitted to reopen. 

Normal licencing regulations will resume, meaning that all hospitality businesses permitted to open can resume their regular closing times.

Based on medical advice and given the continued low rate of known cases on-island, the Government have deemed it ‘safe’ for the minimum physical distance to be reduced. 

In terms of the effect this will have on hospitality venues, businesses which provide a seated food service: 

  • can now serve people from different households at the same table, provided diners keep one-metre apart;
  • will no longer be required to close at 22:45.

The change to the distancing guidance also means that construction sites no longer need to apply for special permits to continue work, as workers will be able to maintain this reduced physical distance more easily. 

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Pictured: Construction work can continue provided physical distancing is observed and the relevant risk assessment and plans are in place.

However, the requirement for risk assessment and plans to minimise transmission will continue to be monitored as part of Jersey’s Health and Safety protocol. 

Commenting on the update, Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull, said: “I congratulate our Government, my colleagues and all fellow islanders for the collective efforts that have brought us to our current very favourable position: we now have an extremely low level of covid-19 infection on the island.

“This, together with the knowledge that respiratory viruses do not spread easily in summer conditions, gives confidence that the time is right to relax the two-metre restriction. 

“Our covid-19 strategy has always aimed for ‘least overall harm’ and my advice to Government has always focused on the interests of islanders’ overall health and wellbeing. Reducing to a minimum of one-metre physical distancing will allow islanders to have more social engagements while staying safe.”

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