Islanders must NOT hold indoor gatherings apart from on Christmas or Boxing Day, according to new festive rules ushered in as 136 new cases and more deaths from the second wave of covid were confirmed.
In a press conference called at short notice this afternoon, Senator John Le Fondré confirmed that previous festive guidance was being superseded.
He said that there had been “casual compliance” with covid restrictions and confirmed that 136 new covid cases had been identified in the past 24 hours.
Video: Tonight's press conference.
He said that there were 548 symptomatic people, and 399 without symptoms, making 947.
Dr Ivan Muscat told islanders: “I cannot overemphasise this: We are in a serious position, and without concerted action by us all, it will become more serious as we enter the Christmas period.
“The most pressing issue is gathering indoors – whether at home or at work.
“From now on, pending further information, mixing between households indoors and in private gardens must stop. If you must mix with another household, you should do so outside in a large space like on the beach, in a park, or in country lanes and maintain 2 metres of physical distance at all times.”
He said visits for caring purposes can continue, but that families “need to think very carefully about seeing elderly or vulnerable people indoors for a prolonged period of time.”
He said that islanders of different households should only meet on the “special occasions” of Christmas Day and Boxing Day - a new, tighter approach to previous festive advice.
Pictured: Islanders should only gather indoors on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, if at all.
“…You should be limiting any visits to these days only, and should only be doing two gatherings, one on each day, with a maximum of ten people.
"However, I need to be clear. Christmas and New Year pose a significant risk to the health of our entire Island, and especially those who are most vulnerable.”
The Chief Minister went on to state that, “unless critical” all islanders must work from home for Monday.
He also confirmed that the hospitality circuit breaker would continue until at least 4 January and that, from midnight tonight, all cafes and other food premises that remain open must “close for everything other than takeaway service.”
Pictured: All cafés and food premises - licensed or not - must close from midnight.
“Law officers are drafting an order to back this up and so this will be backed with enforcement as soon as possible.”
He also confirmed that more than one death had been reported by the Superintendent Registrar over the last 48 hours.
“Losing a loved one is a tragedy and I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of these individuals at this sad time.
“This is a sombre moment for Jersey, and it should stand as a reminder that the threat from this virus is very real.”
Following a question from Express, Dr Muscat confirmed that two or three people had died directly as a result of covid, but confirmed that they had "severe underlying medical conditions."
One of the deaths was announced last night, said to be a "very elderly" islander in a care home, who had underlying health issues.
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