Ministers will be announcing the next steps in their covid strategy – and how they will be dealing with the threat of the Omicron variant – this afternoon.
The Chief Minister, Health Minister, Economic Development Minister and Deputy Medical Officer of Heatlh, Dr Ivan Muscat, will all be appearing at a livestreamed press conference scheduled for 12:30.
It follows a crunch meeting yesterday evening in which Competent Authority Ministers – those legally responsible for emergency decision-making - met to decide whether further restrictions should be imposed in light of the newly discovered Omicron variant.
Omicron (B.1.1.529) has been described as the most heavily mutated variant of covid yet, and it’s feared that it may be more transmissible and resistant to the vaccine.
In a video update published last night, the Chief Minister reassured that it had not been discovered in Jersey, which he said had a “good” system for detecting the presence of new variants in place. He also emphasised existing advice to islanders to take a lateral flow test in advance of Christmas parties.
Video: The Chief Minister providing an update last night.
As of last night, 1,249 people in Jersey were officially recorded as having covid – eight of whom are in hospital, and five in care homes.
Another covid-linked death, which occurred at the General Hospital earlier in the month, was also entered into the statistics.
Hundreds of current cases are linked to schools, with more than 350 picked up between 15 and 19 November alone.
The total for last week is yet to be published, though figures made public yesterday also showed that there were 39 cases of covid reported in schools on Friday alone – four of which were staff across four schools.
Today’s figures include the registered death of an Islander who died on 15th November 2021 in the General Hospital. Our condolences and thoughts are with family and friends.— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) November 29, 2021
For more COVID-19 figures, visit our website: https://t.co/Maitmwkwf2
Since Friday, teaching staff have been calling for urgent action from the Education Minister to curb covid spread, asking that masks are made compulsory, PCR tests for direct contacts are reintroduced, and non-essential activities like assemblies and extra-curricular clubs are stopped until cases come down.
NASUWT and the NEU have written directly to Deputy Scott Wickenden on behalf of their hundreds of members to express their anger and frustration at the current situation, which they warn is damaging staff wellbeing.
In response to gradually rising cases and concerns about the Omicron variant, Guernsey announced a string of new measures last night.
Pictured: Teaching unions are demanding that the Education Minister takes rapid action.
From today (Tuesday 30 November), students and staff in secondary and post-16 education settings in Guernsey, and staff in primary schools, were told they must wear face coverings in communal areas and from tomorrow (Wednesday 1 December), face masks are to become mandatory in most public settings.
Travellers arriving in Guernsey who have been to a non-Common Travel Area (CTA) country within the past 10 days will also now be asked to complete a PCR test on arrival at a cost of £25 and isolate until they receive a negative result.
All CTA arrivals into Guernsey from will still have to purchase a £25 pack of lateral flow tests.
The CCA has agreed new requirements for travel and for the use of face coverings in certain settings in response to uncertainty around Omicron variant. These will come into effect from Wednesday 1 December 2021.— States of Guernsey (@Govgg) November 29, 2021
Read more at: https://t.co/N0EBYWuusE pic.twitter.com/E7ixbqnghq
In Jersey, wearing masks in shops and public spaces currently remains “strongly recommended”.
Border testing is not required for double-vaccinated arrivals to the island, unless they have come from a red-listed jurisdiction. Anyone who has recently travelled is, however, recommended to take a lateral flow test at home.
Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that Jersey would be following UK vaccine experts' latest advice, and extending the option of a third dose of the covid vaccine to 18 to 39-year-olds.
The island will also be offering a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to all 12 to 15-year-olds no sooner than 12 weeks after their first dose, and a fourth dose to all severely immunosuppressed individuals no sooner than three months after their third dose, in line with advice issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) today.
Express will have the latest updates on Jersey’s covid strategy from 12:30...
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