More than 5,000 islanders and scores of politicians are calling for a total lockdown in Jersey after the UK Prime Minister announced police-enforced self-isolation for the whole nation last night.
Responding last night, Jersey's government ordered more business premises to close and strict social distancing to increase to two metres to delay covid-19's spread.
From today, the following premises will be closed:
The measure will not affect food retailers, supermarkets, takeaway or food delivery services or fuel or medicine providers.
Pictured: Food premises, such as supermarkets, will be allowed to remain open.
All islanders are still urged to practise social distancing – the most effective way of ‘flattening the curve’ – but the minimum distance between people has been increased from one metre to two metres (six feet).
Specific industry guidance is being produced to help essential shops comply with this rule.
The new measures were introduced overnight, coming just hours after UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered everyone to stay at home in a bid to save as many lives as possible.
Under the UK’s new rules, people must only leave their homes for “very limited purposes”, such as for essential food shopping or collecting medical supplies, or one type of exercise per day.
“You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say no. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home," Mr Johnson said.
Failure to follow the rules could see police dispersing gatherings and imposing fines.
Several politicians are now calling for Jersey to do the same.
The Economic Development Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, was among those to call for a local lockdown on Twitter.
Senator Kristina Moore replied to his tweet, describing the move as a "no brainer", while Deputy Kirsten Morel said: "We didn't have to wait for the UK to move first."
Deputy Kevin Pamplin tweeted: "After watching the UK PM tonight & reports of some blatant disregard for social distancing, Im calling for the Chief Minister & the emergency council following Dr Muscat's medical advice to being in a similar lockdown in #JerseyCI ASAP & help our health medics & us all fight back."
More than 5,000 islanders have signed a petition calling for a lockdown.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said that Jersey’s actions were based on its own modelling, and appropriate for the current time.
He said: “Based on our clinical modelling and where we are on our curve, we have extended the following measures. I want to assure Islanders that we are enacting the right measures, at the right time, for Jersey. At this stage, that means strengthening our compliance with strict social distancing measures.
“It is by no means an easy decision for Ministers to require that certain local businesses premises need to close, but it is in the best interests of Islanders’ health to do so and that remains our highest priority.
“Measures to support businesses have been discussed by the Council of Ministers, with some already announced last week. We will continue to implement help for those people whose jobs and businesses have been directly impacted.”
Pictured: The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré.
The Chief Minister will be providing an update on the situation at this morning’s States Assembly meeting at Fort Regent to debate emergency powers for the government to help curb the spread of covid-19 locally.
They will also vote on a package of measures aimed at supporting businesses potentially worth up to £180m.
The vote comes as calls are increasing for more financial help to keep businesses afloat throughout the crisis, with respected chef Mark Jordan speaking out over the weekend and a petition on the topic securing over 5,000 signatures.
The number of patients officially confirmed to have corona virus in Jersey stood at 16 as of yesterday afternoon. Two of those individuals are receiving medical treatment.
405 tests have returned a negative result so far, while the results of 78 tests are pending.
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