About social distancing
Social distancing means limiting contact with people outside your household as far as you can.
On the advice of the Medical Officer of Health, the Government of Jersey has agreed that social distancing is formally extended to the whole population of Jersey from Friday 20 March.
Social distancing means everyone in Jersey should observe the following principles strictly:
- reduce contact with people outside your household
- keep a distance of at least 2 metres (6 feet) between you and other people when outside your own home
- avoid public gatherings and all venues and businesses where social distancing is not obviously possible or promoted by the venue
- stay home whenever possible, including working and studying from home whenever it is possible to do so
- reduce to essential travel only, and practice social distancing if you need to use public transport
Why extending social distancing is crucial
Social distancing is a crucial part of our strategy to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within Jersey, especially to older and
vulnerable people. Social distancing is the most effective way to reduce the rate of infection, and therefore the impact of the disease as well as demand on our health services.
Social distancing is one of several critical measures that contribute to the strategic goal to contain, delay and shield our island from COVID-19, alongside rigorous hygiene measures, self-isolation for symptomatic individuals, off-island travel restrictions, school closures and robust community testing.
The more people who adopt social distancing alongside the hygiene advice already available, the better our chances of flattening the curve, preventing the spread of coronavirus and protecting those who are vulnerable.
Social distancing and self-isolation
Social distancing and self-isolation are not the same. While you are practicing distancing, you can still go out, get fresh air, do your gardening, and walk your dog along a quiet lane.
Self-isolation or isolation however is quite different – it requires you to avoid any contact with others and to remain in a physically isolated space so that you cannot transmit infection to others.
Isolation for individuals and households
Vaping and the transmission of Covid-19
There is insufficient information on the evidence of transmission of Covid-19 specifically through vaping. Therefore the current advice should be to observe the minimum metre social distancing from anyone including those vaping.
What does social distancing mean for me?
Social distancing means we will all have to adapt to new ways of living. It may feel odd initially, but keeping your distance is the best way to show you care.
We will all need to adapt our normal routines and avoid certain activities outside our own households.
Social distancing frequently asked questions for individuals
Social distancing for businesses
Staying well while social distancing
Your wellbeing is important too. Social distancing means everyone must adapt – changing how much and how we interact with people outside our own households, how we work and how we exercise. But it doesn’t mean any of these activities should stop completely. We just need to adapt to new ways of doing these.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) health information and advice
Social distancing leaflet
Social distancing leaflet in English PDF
Social distancing leaflet in French PDF
Social distancing leaflet in Polish PDF
Social distancing leaflet in Portuguese PDF
Social distancing leaflet in Romanian PDF
Social distancing for individuals
Frequently asked questions
These FAQs accompany the important hygiene measures recommended by the Medical Officer of Health.
wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and frequently. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
keep surfaces and touch points clean
cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
As a general rule, ask yourself ‘is meeting other people essential?’ If not, please avoid social contact.
What is social distancing?
Social distancing means limiting contact with people outside your household unless absolutely essential. Whole population social distancing means everyone in Jersey should observe the following principles strictly:
keep a distance of 2 metres (6 feet) between you and other people when outside your own home
avoid public gatherings and all venues and businesses where social distancing is not obviously possible
stay home whenever possible, including working and studying from home whenever it is possible to do so
reduce to necessary travel only, and practice social distancing if you need to use public transport
Can I mix with the people who live in my house?
Yes. However, if someone else in the house is self-isolating you must stay away from them and they must stay away from you.
Can I go to work?
If you can work from home, you should do so. Your employer may put in place social distancing measures to enable you to continue to work from your usual workplace.
Discuss your options with your employer.
What does social distancing mean for on-island travel?
You should significantly limit your travel on Island, for example:
travel to essential work that cannot be postponed, and cannot be done from home
shopping for groceries and other essential items
travel for important family reasons, such as looking after children and the elderly
outings to get some exercise alone or in a very small group observing social distancing or take pets for a walk
all health-related appointments, including trips to the pharmacy
you can go for a drive in your car with other members of your household as long as you limit contact with anyone from outside of your household
If taking public transport, try to maintain a distance of at least 2 metres between yourself and other passengers. And pay using a card whenever possible - all Jersey buses and taxis accept contactless or card payments.
Following any type of travel, you should practice good hand hygiene to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
Can trades people come to my home if essential repairs are needed?
Yes, if they are not displaying any flu-like symptoms (a continuous cough and fever) and you keep at least 2 metres away from them while they are in your home.
Can I still go to my hairdresser’s appointment?
Due to the current advice on social distancing, it is highly recommended that you postpone your appointment.
Can I go to my parents’ house?
For anyone over 65, we are already advising limiting unnecessary contact.
If the visit is essential or your parents are under 65, then you can visit as long as they are not displaying flu-like symptoms and you keep at least 2 metres away from them. Be sure to maintain very regular contact with friends and family by phone, FaceTime and social media throughout this period.
Can I go to my parents’ or friends’ house and sit in the garden with them?
You can visit if none of you are displaying flu-like symptoms and you keep 2 metres away from each other while in the garden. Minimise time inside the house.
Be sure to keep in contact with friends and family by phone and social media throughout this period.
Can I take my dog for a walk?
Yes, if you keep at least 2 metres away from anyone else.
Can I drop off groceries to my elderly neighbour?
Yes - indeed this sort of community support is welcome. But keep at least 2 metres away from them. It is strongly advised that you leave the groceries at your neighbour’s door, if possible, and do not enter the property.
Can I pick up a takeaway?
Yes, but due to the current advice on social distancing, we recommend that you avoid queuing with other people. But where you can collect a takeaway while staying 2 metres or more apart from others you can do so.
Can I have a takeaway delivered to my home?
Yes, as long as you keep at least 2 metres away from the delivery person. It is recommended that you pre-pay for your delivery.
Can I buy food, household supplies, fuel and medicines?
Yes, you can pick up essential supplies and medicines but should keep at least 2 metres away from anyone else. Where you can, try and support a range of Jersey businesses through these difficult times.
Can I do other shopping?
You should avoid going into shops unless your purchase is important.
Can I go to the dentist?
Yes, you can visit your dentist for emergency treatment. Routine appointments to see a dentist or hygienist should be postponed.
Can I give blood?
Yes, appointments will continue to be sent out but phone the
donor service the day before the appointment to confirm.
Can I travel by bus and taxi?
If you need to use a bus or taxi, for example to buy essential food supplies, you should ensure that you keep at least 2 metres from anyone else. All Jersey busses and taxis accept contactless or card payments.
Can I look after my friend’s children?
Please refer to our existing
guidance for parents and carers, which is in line with current advice on social distancing.
Can I help others in my community?
Yes, Islanders are encouraged to help vulnerable members of our community. We want you to stay safe as you do so – so please follow social distancing principles.
If you undertake
voluntary work that helps support directly the health and wellbeing of vulnerable Islanders, it may be considered essential work and so please speak to your volunteer coordinator and refer to our
guidance for essential workers on gov.je.
Can I go for a walk / run / bike ride?
Yes, it’s important to stay active and well. Exercise wherever you can be confident you can stay 2 metres from anyone else.
Can I go swimming in the sea / an indoor pool?
Yes. If you choose to go for a swim in the sea or in a pool, you should ensure you can maintain a distance of 2 metres from anyone else. You should only visit indoor pools if arrangements have been put in place to guarantee distancing. Consider alternative forms of exercise.
Can I go to the beach, woods and countryside?
Yes. Getting outside on the beach or in our woods and countryside is a great way to exercise and stay well while practicing social distancing. You should ensure you stay 2 metres from others at all times.
Can I meet friends at their home?
Due to the current advice on social distancing, we advise you avoid entering other households. If you need to visit a friend, you must ensure that the occupants are not displaying any flu-like symptoms and maintain a distance of 2 metres from them and limit the duration of stay.
Can I collect parcels from the Post Office?
Due to the current advice on social distancing, you should only go to the Post Office if the collection is essential and you should ensure you can maintain a distance of 2 metres from anyone else.
Can I use public toilets when I am away from my home?
We advise to avoid publicly accessible toilets and bathrooms at this time. Try to remember to use the toilet before heading out for fresh air or essential supplies.
Can I go to the cinema or the bowling alley?
Due to the current advice on social distancing, it is advised that you stay away from places where you would be in close contact with others.
Can I go out on my boat?
Yes, but we advise you do not take any people outside of your household with you.
Can my child go on a playdate?
The safest way for children to play would be outdoors while maintaining social distancing. Please refer to our existing
guidance for parents and carers, which is in line with current advice on social distancing.
Playgrounds, slides and swings occupy a relatively small space and provide a huge number of touch points, so exercise away from playgrounds is much safer.
Can I go to a church service?
Due to the current advice on social distancing, it is advised that you stay away from places where you would expect to be in close contact with others.
If you develop symptoms of a new cough and/or fever, you should stop social distancing and start to isolate for a minimum of 7 days and
self-refer to the helpline.