Islanders will be required by law to wear masks again from Wednesday - and the Chief Minister has hinted that further restrictions could be on their way.
Anyone over the age of 12 will have to wear them in indoor public spaces. These include:
Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf is shortly due to sign an order to make the change, which follows the sharp rise in covid cases on the island.
In a video statement issued this evening, Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré hinted that other restrictions may also make a return in light of the number of cases on the island.
"We are taking this trend very seriously and I will be making a further announcement later this week to update you on any further changes to our policy... We will not hesitate to step up our measures if we feel it necessary," he said.
There has sadly been 1 death of a patient in hospital over the weekend. This death will appear in the statistics once the death registration has been completed. pic.twitter.com/My7Gmn2Ils— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) July 19, 2021
There are currently 2,813 people with covid-19 in Jersey - the equivalent of one in 38 members of the island's population - and 13,332 direct contacts. The latter group are not required to isolate unless they test positive.
There are 12 patients in the hospital with the illness. As of yesterday, there were two people were in the Intensive Care Unit.
It was also confirmed yesterday that one islander with the illness, who was under the age of 50 and not “clinically vulnerable”, had died in hospital.
In care homes, there are currently 10 cases - one more than on Friday.
Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf was grilled over the move in this afternoon’s States Assembly meeting.
He said that STAC had asked Ministers to consider introducing mask-wearing last week, which led to the announcement that islanders were “strongly advised” to wear them on Tuesday.
He said that he and other Competent Authority Ministers – those responsible by law for covid decision-making – had wished to seek advice on the “proportionality” of re-introducing a legal requirement, saying that imposing criminal sanctions was “not something that anyone should lightly do.”
Deputy Renouf said CAM eventually agreed on the measure “in view of the growing surge of illness in our community” and consensus that mask-wearing was an “effective” preventative measure. However, he described
Senator Sam Mézec asked whether the Minister regretted the delay in reintroducing mandatory mask-wearing.
I asked the Health Minister in the Assembly whether he regretted taking so long to make this decision, given the exponential rise in cases and the fact this was obviously going to happen as "strongly recommending" mask wearing was not working.— Senator Sam Mézec (@SamMezecJsy) July 19, 2021
He did not say yes. https://t.co/1GNfNW8raf
He did not answer the question directly, but emphasised that the Government was less focused on covid case numbers, but more the “severity of disease we are seeing”.
He said that the severity in the third wave was “far far less” than the second, but nonetheless extended his “sincere condolences” to the family of the islander under the age of 50 who passed away in hospital with the illness over the weekend.
Deputy Renouf went on to highlight Jersey’s vaccination take-up, describing the vaccine as the island’s “principal mitigation.”
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