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Masks and working from home return today

Masks and working from home return today

Tuesday 04 January 2022

Masks and working from home return today

Tuesday 04 January 2022

Masks are once again mandatory from today, while workers are being encouraged to work from home where possible as part of a set of measures aimed at fighting a "large" expected wave in the omicron variant of covid.

The measures were announced in mid-December by the Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, who defended the timing of their introduction as being in the interest of “the wellbeing of the community”.

The measures coming into force today are:

  • Working from home: islanders should work from home where possible from Tuesday 4 January. This is not mandatory, but employers are being advised to encourage home-working when it is practical to do so.

  • Masks: it will be a legal requirement to wear a mask in all indoor public places. This does not include activities where masks can’t be worn, such as exercising, eating, drinking and singing.

  • 'Fully vaccinated' definition: the definition of ‘Fully Vaccinated’ – which has a bearing on whether people are PCR tested at the Airport or Harbour – is changing from two jabs + two weeks, to three jabs + two weeks from Tuesday 4 January. After that time, arrivals who aren’t fully vaccinated by this new definition will have to isolate until they have a negative result.
  • Travel: The ‘recently recovered’ rule – whereby arrivals did not need to be tested if they could prove they had had covid within 11 to 90 days of travelling to Jersey – will be suspended from 4 January.

Last week, the Government announced a reduction in the quarantine requirements for islanders who have received their covid booster at least two weeks ago, as well as those under 12. Under the new rules, they are able to leave isolation after seven days rather than 10 - as long as they haven’t had any symptoms for 48 hours, and have registered two negative lateral flow tests.

Health and Social Care workers who are released from isolation on Day 7 will have to carry out daily Lateral Flow Tests from Day 8 to Day 10.

Ministers have also approved the removal of the requirement for a PCR test for direct contacts. Since Saturday 1 January, Direct Contacts are no longer required to take a PCR test followed by 10 days of Lateral Flow Tests. Instead, they are only required to undertake 10 days of Lateral Flow Tests.

Islanders who are identified as a Direct Contact will continue to be notified by the COVID Safe team by text message or email. 

Any islander who tests positive on an LFT will need to attend for a confirmatory PCR test by booking online or calling the Coronavirus helpline, whilst symptomatic islanders should continue to book PCR tests online.

Based on the current position, Ministers decided that schools should reopen as planned today, with Children, Young People, Education and Skills (CYPES) and Public Health continue to monitor the situation. 

As an additional precaution, staff in schools and childcare/early years settings were offered a PCR test on the 1, 2 or 3 January, before they returned to nurseries, schools and colleges. 

Meanwhile, walk-in appointments have been available at Fort Regent since New Year's Eve. This is because the team has recruited more staff to accommodate vaccination for as many islanders as possible.

Islanders are being encouraged to come forward for a booster as well as a first or second dose if they have not received it.  

A dedicated lane will be created to maintain appointment times for islanders who have pre-booked a scheduled slot online. Walk-in vaccinations will be given on a first come, first served basis.

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