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Stricter guidance advises 'high-risk' islanders to keep small social group

Stricter guidance advises 'high-risk' islanders to keep small social group

Wednesday 02 December 2020

Stricter guidance advises 'high-risk' islanders to keep small social group


Avoiding indoor activities outside of the home and maintaining a small social group are among the new, stricter measures islanders at high risk of becoming seriously ill from covid are now being asked to follow.

The updated guidance published by the Government this afternoon lists those now under the classification of ‘high risk’ as including:

  • Over-70s
  • People with Down’s Syndrome
  • People with stage 5 kidney disease or are undergoing kidney dialysis
  • People with severe respiratory conditions
  • People with certain types of cancers
  • Those who have received a solid organ transplant

The advice urges islanders in the high-risk category to work from home wherever possible and to avoid indoor activities that take place outside their home.

It also recommends that they should choose a “small number of family or friends” from outside their household that they do not have to maintain a 2m physical distance with. In addition, it asks them to avoid visits to other people’s homes, and limit visitors to their own home unless it is for delivering care or essential services, or within their small group.

However, the advice does state that high-risk islanders can still attend outdoor social activities, but added they should maintain a 2m distance if it is with anyone who is not part of their small, chosen group. It also makes an exception on the home-working guidance if a high-risk islander already works alone and does not have to take public transport to go into work.

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Pictured: The advice recommends parents consult their specialist if their child is high-risk and they are not sure if they should send them to school.

In terms of children, the advice states that parents of ‘high-risk’ children should consult their specialist doctor as tow whether their child can attend school, noting that the risks for children are likely to be lower.

The full list of conditions classified as high-risk and the full guidance are available on the Government’s website. They have also recommended that anyone financially hit by the new guidance visit their Connect Me service for support.

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Since we confirmed the first case of covid-19 back in March this year, our priority has always been to protect the most vulnerable people in the island.

“This new guidance will protect islanders at high-risk if followed but may impact their daily routine. However, it is not advising this group to isolate or go into full ‘shielding.’

“We are encouraging these islanders to enjoy outdoor activities with a small group of close friends and/or family, and to stay connected, but to also avoid indoor activities wherever possible.”

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Pictured: Dr Ivan Muscat said that the older someone is, the more at risk they are.

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, also commented: “We are introducing these measures in response to the way the virus is moving through the island, and how it is being transmitted.

“There are certain conditions which will make an individual more likely to develop severe illness if infected with covid-19. And the older you are, the higher the risk also, which is why we have added those over the age of 70 to the high-risk category.”

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