Ministers urgently met last night to discuss whether more needs to be done to curb the spread of covid, following the decision to make mask-wearing mandatory in public places again.
A statement on behalf of Competent Authority Ministers, who are legally responsible for emergency decision-making, said: "Competent Authority Ministers are continuing to consider potential measures to mitigate the increasing numbers of active covid cases, as part of their management of this third wave of the pandemic.
"At a meeting last night (Monday 19) they discussed a range of options, taking a balance of factors into account.
“They will reconvene this week to continue their discussions, ensuring that any new measures are proportionate to the current risk.”
The group is made up of the Chief Minister, Health Minister, Economic Development Minister, External Relations Minister and Infrastructure Minister.
The reintroduction of mask legislation, which comes into force for most public locations tomorrow, follows “strong advice” for islanders to wear the facial coverings issued last week and further advice to work from home.
Pictured: Masks will be required by law in public places from tomorrow (Wednesday 21 July).
It came as the island’s covid case numbers topped 2,800 – equivalent to one in 38 islanders - more than double the case peak in the second wave. It's expected that the number of individuals recorded as having the illness will top 3,000 today.
13,000 people are direct contacts - none of whom have to isolate unless they test positive for covid.
12 people were in hospital with the illness last night, and 10 care home residents were also recorded as having the illness. Meanwhile, one 47-year-old islander who was not classified as clinically vulnerable passed away over the weekend.
In November, the Government imposed what many dubbed as ‘lockdown lite’ to curb rapidly rising covid numbers.
Islanders were not required to stay at home by law, like during the first wave of the pandemic, but hospitality venues and retail premises were closed, and restrictions were placed on private gatherings indoors.
Pictured: The latest covid stats. (GoJ)
Jersey is, however, in a very different position to then - more than half of the island's population is fully vaccinated, and more than 90% of those aged 55 and above. Hospitalisation rates are also significantly lower compared to the second wave.
During a grilling in the States Assembly yesterday, Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said the Government's key consideration was the number of individuals becoming severely ill with the virus, and ending up in hospital. He once again reiterated that Ministers were aiming to strike a "balance of harms".
In a video statement issued last night, Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré hinted at other restrictions making a return in light of the high numbers of covid cases, saying: "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."
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
While Ministers are yet to decide what further measures, if any, will be imposed, they did decide against changing travel requirements for individuals arriving in the island from France following the UK's decision to impose 10 days' quarantine on travellers from the jurisdiction due to the presence of the Beta variant, which was first discovered in South Africa and is believed to evade the vaccine, in the population.
Jersey's test regime sees anyone arriving in the island who is double jabbed undergo a test on arrival, without isolation until the result. Those who are not fully vaccinated must isolate until their negative result. Regardless of vaccine status, individuals only need one test.
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Pictured top - from left: Deputy Chief Minister/Economic Development Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham, Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré, Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf - all of whom are Competent Authority Ministers.
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