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Jersey prepares for virus boost

Jersey prepares for virus boost

Thursday 25 June 2020

Jersey prepares for virus boost

Thursday 25 June 2020


Ministers are set to announce another big step in Jersey's release from the virus restrictions today, by halving the physical distancing rules from 2m to 1m.

The move was leaked yesterday in the form of a letter from the Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, to the hospitality industry - who have been lobbying hard for the change.

In the letter, Senator Farnham also signalled that pubs will be allowed to reopen selling alcohol without the need to buy food too, from next week. The letter says:

"Assuming the low rate of cases continues, it is then proposed that licensed venues including pubs may open to provide a seated alcohol-only service from 1st July. This will continue to exclude nightclubs, which are anticipated to remain closed until Level 1."

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Pictured: Senator Farnham's letter came out ahead of today's official announcement of the changes.

There is a media briefing on the changes at 15:00 this afternoon, which will be streamed live on the government's Facebook page. 

Today is the deadline for the Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ivan Muscat (pictured top), to produce his fortnightly report on the status of corona virus in Jersey, and his recommendations for the next steps. Two weeks ago, he signalled that he hoped to be able to recommend today the change from 2m to 1m for physical distancing, subject to case numbers not growing. 

Yesterday, the government confirmed that testing had picked up just one more case, bringing the total of active cases to six, none of whom has symptoms. 

In his previous report Dr Muscat commented said that today he envisaged: "...public health advice being amended to recommend a minimum 1 metres safe distancing, with 2 metres where possible, in light of recent scientific evidence, as reviewed by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC). That evidence shows that 1 metres does provide protection against risk of transmission albeit the evidence also shows some further protection at 2 metres compared to 1 metre. 1 metre better enables day to day activities, such as shopping, schooling and outdoor socialising, plus there is sufficient observational evidence to suggest that members of the public are not observing/finding it difficult to observe 2 metre distancing."

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Pictured: Dr Ivan Muscat, whose next corona report is due today.

Also this week,  Condor confirmed that it was in talks with the government to resume sailings between St. Malo, Poole and Jersey at the beginning of next month, with face masks and a cap of 250 passengers likely to be part of the ‘new normal’.

As trial sailings are due to start in Guernsey, Express has learned that talks are currently underway between the ferry company and Jersey’s Government to re-start local sailings to France and the UK around the same time.

A spokesperson for Condor told Express that it’s hoped St. Malo and Poole sailings will resume around the first weekend in July. 

They said: “We are talking separately to the States of Jersey with regard to resuming passenger services to the island and hope to restart on Friday 03 July from St Malo and from Poole on Saturday 04 July.”

This morning, the government issued new guidance to 'at risk' islanders to help them to make suitable decisions, when considering visiting friends and family and spending time outdoors.

High risk covid corona

Dr Ivan Muscat said, “As lockdown measures ease, the new Activity Risk Guide will empower high risk Islanders to make their own choices about the activities they wish to take part in. It will provide support on how they can prioritise their physical and mental wellbeing. 

“Advice for high risk Islanders is constantly under review, but it currently reflects the very low levels of Covid-19 in the Island. It is crucial that individuals who are high risk from the virus should strictly avoid contact with anyone who has symptoms and if you start experiencing symptoms you should call the helpline immediately.

“I would like to reassure Islanders that the risk of infection in healthcare settings is very low. It is important that everyone attends their medical appointments and seek medical advice, whether this is Covid-19 related or not. If you are high risk and would like help with groceries or other essentials, please seek support from Connect Me by phoning the helpline.”

Follow Express for updates this afternoon...

 

 

 

 

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