Jersey's Ministers have this morning taken the first significant step towards lifting lockdown, by allowing cafés and restaurants to be able to serve food outside, and for more shops to re-open, as long as their customers stay two metres apart.
The move is part of the next stage in the island's release from the 'lockdown' which has been in place since the end of March, as the island battles the covid-19 pandemic. It comes as the UK announces its plan to exit lockdown, and with the number of officially confirmed virus cases in Jersey having slowed to a trickle.
Yesterday afternoon (Sunday), the Government announced that 'Level 3' would begin, with the different measures forming part of that level being introduced gradually.
Pictured: Health Minister, Deputy Richard Renouf, has signed the orders moving Jersey into the next lockdown level.
From today, islanders will be able to spend up to six hours outside, and meet up to five people who are not from their households. More shops will be allowed to open, as long as they have physical distancing rules in place. Customers are still being advised to wear cloth masks.
However, the general 'stay at home' rule remains in place, and there is no relaxation in the guidance for office workers. That also means islanders are still not allowed to visit other people's homes, unless they are providing care.
Detailed guidance has been published for businesses, and is available here.
Importantly, those over 65 years old are not being classed as 'vulnerable' because of their age, but those who have underlying medical conditions, and are therefore described as 'extremely vulnerable', are still being advised to 'shield' themselves, under the guidance of their GPs.
Pictured: cafés and restaurants will now have to decide if it is economical for them to open, with reduced, outdoor-only, service.
Some café owners have expressed concerns that it might be more expensive for them to open on a reduced basis, as they will only be able to serve a small amount of customers in order to stay within physical distancing rules.
Ministers will decide when to enter each level, and the measures to introduce at each stage, depending on the number of cases, and the pressure on the health service. They accept that exiting lockdown is likely to see the number of covid-19 patients rise.
Jersey will begin to move through Level 3 of its Safe Exit Framework from tomorrow (Mon, 11 May). Read more here: https://t.co/TypiVC4xY0— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) May 10, 2020
Chief Minister @John_Le_Fondre will lead a press conference tomorrow at 9.30am. Listen on local radio or watch on Gov social media channels. pic.twitter.com/Fa39xp6u4t
Currently, the number of positive test results stands at 294, while 226 islanders are deemed to have recovered from the illness.
Over the weekend, the results of official antibody testing were released, suggesting there are around 3,300 cases of the virus in Jersey.
After being contacted via letter, 438 households totalling 855 individuals - below the desired figure of 500 households - chose to take part. They will now undergo testing every four weeks.
The results suggested that around 3.1% of the population (plus or minus 1.3%) has been infected with covid-19.
WATCH: Antibody tests suggest around 3,300 cases of corona virus in Jersey.
Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf commented: “This weekend has shown us the best of Jersey and I call on islanders to continue to protect our Liberation generation by following the advice and staying home.
“I have signed updated Orders to begin the phased and measured exit from Level 4. Islanders’ adherence to the lockdown has been a great expression of Jersey’s character and we will not rush into moves that could endanger the health of our most vulnerable.
“From last week’s antibody study, we know that only a small proportion of the population has been infected at this time. This shows our success in limiting the spread of the virus so far, but also tells us that we must be careful when lifting restrictions, to make sure that we avoid a sudden or rapid outbreak of new cases."
The latest update, as of Sunday, 10 May at 2.45pm:— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) May 10, 2020
3,240 confirmed negative
294 confirmed positive
There have sadly been 25 deaths related to COVID-19.
For the full list of today's statistics, please visit: https://t.co/U6zIl40p8X pic.twitter.com/7uavVDWWKz
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