Q&A: Everything you need to know about ‘lockdown’
As Jersey declares a “national emergency” to slow the spread of covid-19 in Jersey, the government has laid down a series of strict rules which all islanders must now follow.
The instruction “stay at home” may appear simple, but it will have a considerable impact on many islanders’ lives. So, what exactly does it mean and what will this 'new normal' look like for the people of Jersey?
Addressing the island, Senator John Le Fondré, together with the Minister for Health Richard Renouf, have informed the public that everyone who isn’t an essential worker must now “stay at home".
Here’s everything you need to know about that order and how it will affect you...
Who has to stay at home?
Everyone who isn’t an essential worker must stay at home for the next month. Essential workers must observe the 'stay home' guidelines when they are not on duty.
Why do we have to stay at home?
This “lockdown” is the next stage in Jersey’s response to the outbreak of corona virus in order to reduce the spread of the infection in the island. This has been prompted by the latest rise in the number of islanders with a positive diagnosis, the fact that Jersey has now suffered two deaths connected with covid-19 and the most recent medical advice and projections – led by Medical Officer of Health Dr Ivan Muscat.
Can I leave my house at all?
If you are not an essential worker, or you’re an essential worker off-duty, you can leave your house for no more than two hours per day and only for the following three purposes:
- to shop for food, medicine and other basic necessities either for yourself or to help someone else to stay at home – this should be done “as infrequently as possible” and online shopping is favourable;
- for daily exercise, including walking, cycling, running, exercising or caring for animals (provided you practice social distancing from anyone not in your household);
- for medical reasons if you are advised to do so by a health worker or required to do so having called 999.
How do I know if I am an essential worker?
The Chief Minister said that specific guidance has already been issued for those doing essential work and they will know already if their work is deemed ‘essential’. However, if you are unsure, you should contact your employer for advice or check the Government website gov.je (CLICK HERE).
Essential work has now been designated as:
- Health and care services – both in the hospital and in the community (covering emergency/necessary medical and dental work; pharmacies; opticians, audiologists; residential and nursing homes; mental health care; management of the deceased);
- Paid and voluntary work to care for vulnerable and elderly people in their homes, for example home care providers, caretakers, the Community Taskforce and Parish volunteers;
- Transportation, production and retail of food, beverages, household supplies, fuel, medicines and medical supplies;
- Transportation and retail of construction supplies; hardware products necessary for home and business maintenance, sanitation; farm equipment and supplies, pet and livestock feed; gardening tools and supplies;
- Maintenance of Jersey’s ports, air and sea links;
- Public transport and regulated taxis;
- Food delivery and takeaway services;
- Public sector staff and contractors, including Parish staff, who form part of the formal emergency response structure;
- Public protection, emergency services and justice system (police, Honorary Police, ambulance, fire, coastguard, lifeboats, customs and immigration; courts, law officers, Viscount, probation, prison);
- Social work, and residential childcare work;
- Teaching, school support, and youth work where engaged in schools, as well as nursery and child-minding provision, for critical workers (at minimum levels);
- Maintenance of critical island infrastructure, utilities, postal and telecommunications networks, Met Office;
- Waste management and recycling services;
- Postal and parcel delivery services;
- Cleaning services for working environments, where that can be undertaken while adhering to social distancing guidelines;
- Essential emergency home and building repair and maintenance services;
- Essential vehicle, boat and bicycle repair and maintenance services;
- Fishing, farming and farm work, while adhering to social distancing guidelines;
- Care of livestock and animals in captivity, necessary veterinary and pest control work;
- Critical branch-based banking services to enable cash and other financial transactions, maintenance of ATMs, call referral systems, credit application systems and payment systems;
- General financial services – critical firm management and maintenance of core on-site services such as IT systems, banking and mail collection and delivery;
- Advocates essential to ongoing court matters, limited staff critical to legal firms’ management and maintenance of core on-site services such as IT systems, banking and mail collection and delivery;
- Essential government regulatory roles, including those related to financial stability and banking supervision;
- Public service broadcasters and other mainstream news media;
- Ministers, States Members, and staff enabling the functioning of the democratic system.
Does that mean essential workers can go out whenever they want?
No. Essential workers are permitted to leave their houses to carry out their duties, but this does not give them a ‘free pass’ to go outdoors whenever they please. When essential workers are not on duty they must adhere to the same rules as everybody else.
As the Chief Minister said: “Everybody must play their part in limiting their exposure to other people.”
How long are the new measures going to be in place?
The 'stay home' measures will be in place from 08:00 tomorrow morning (Monday 30 March) until the end of April – that's the next 30 days.
What happens if I don’t follow these rules?
The Government has made clear that “this is not advice: this is an instruction which will be backed by powers of enforcement.”
The Police are now entitled “to disperse gatherings and impose fines on those who flout the restrictions.”
What if I or someone else in my household develops flu-like symptoms?
The Government have issued new advice if you or someone else in your household develops symptoms of the virus on their website (CLICK HERE).
What businesses are going to be closed?
All shops that are deemed to be ‘non-essential’ shops and community spaces must now close if they haven’t already done so. This applies to the following.
- Restaurants and pubs, wine bars and other drinking establishments, and other food and drink establishments, including within hotels and members’ clubs (except for takeaways and deliveries);
- Cafes and canteens (except for food services at the hospital, care homes or schools, prison and services providing food or drink to the homeless. Measures should be taken to minimise the number of people in a canteen/break space at any given time, for example by using a rota);
- Hairdressers, barbers, beauty and nail salons, including piercing and tattoo parlours, laser and cosmetic clinics delivering non-essential cosmetic treatments;
- Non-essential shops (the shops which can stay open will be published on gov.je – CLICK HERE);
- Outdoor and indoor markets (except market stalls which offer essential retail, such as grocery and food);
- Auction houses;
- Schools (except those open to care for vulnerable children and the children of critical workers);
- Hotels, hostels, bed and breakfasts, campsites and boarding houses for commercial use (excluding permanent residents; people who live in them while their primary residence is unavailable; key workers; non-UK residents who are unable to travel to their country of residence; and people who are unable to move into a new home);
- Caravan parks and camping sites;
- Community centres, youth clubs and similar (except to host essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks, homeless services and blood donor sessions);
- Places of worship (except for funerals or to host essential voluntary or public services, such as food banks, homeless services and blood donor sessions);
- Museums and galleries;
- Cinemas, theatres and concert venues;
- Betting shops;
- Spas and massage parlours;
- Fort Regent (except for Government purposes relating to corona virus);
- Fitness studios, gyms, swimming pools or other indoor leisure facilities, including changing rooms;
- Arcades, bowling alleys, soft play centres and similar;
- Playgrounds, paddling pools, sports courts and pitches, mini-golf courses and outdoor gyms or similar;
- From 4 April, all construction site/service operators must close unless they have received written confirmation from the Government of Jersey that they conform to new operating procedures required to ensure strict social distancing while not compromising health and safety requirements.
Can I meet up with other people during my two hours out of the house?
No. All public gatherings of more than two people who don’t live in the same household will be banned. Only those from the same household can spend their two hours out of the house together. Parents and guardians have also been warned that they should only take their children food shopping with them if “there is absolutely no option to leave them at home.”
Can others visit my home?
No. You mustn’t have guests in your home. The only people who are allowed in your house are those you normally live with.
What about if I still have to go to work?
If your work is essential, you should still be practicing strict social distancing – keeping at least two metres from others – in your place of work and gatherings of co-workers should be kept to a minimum.
Will children be going back to school during this time?
The majority of schools will stay closed until further guidance is issued to parents and guardians. Schools that have remained open to care for the children of critical workers will stay open and the Government will issue more guidance on this in the coming days.
Whilst the ‘stay home’ guidelines are in place, parents and carers are responsible for ensure children and young people in their household comply with the restrictions. This is because there is evidence that young people are “super-spreaders” of the contagion and could be putting other, older people’s lives at risk if they don’t stay home.
How will this affect family events like funerals?
Funerals should only be attended by the immediate family and people within that category who live in different households must observe social distancing.
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