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Physical distancing advice for coronavirus (COVID-19)

About physical distancing

Physical 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 physical distancing is formally extended to the whole population of Jersey from Friday 20 March.

Physical 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 physical 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
  • practice physical distancing if you need to use public transport

Physical distancing and social distancing

On 1 May the decision was taken to switch to using the term physical distancing instead of social distancing. This is in line with the World Health Organisation’s guidance. The change has been made to clarify that we want people to be able to enjoy social interaction but while maintaining the 2-metre physical distance.

Why extending physical distancing is crucial

Physical distancing is a crucial part of our strategy to prevent COVID-19 from spreading within Jersey, especially to older and vulnerable people. Physical 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.

Physical 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, isolation for symptomatic individuals, off-island travel restrictions, school closures and robust community testing.

The more people who adopt physical distancing alongside the hygiene advice, the better our chances of keeping a flattened curve, preventing the spread of coronavirus and protecting our most vulnerable Islanders.

Physical distancing and self-isolation

Physical distancing and self-isolation are not the same. While you are practicing distancing, you can still go outside according to the Government’s guidance on time outside your home.

Self-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 2-metre physical distancing from anyone including those vaping.

What does physical distancing mean for me?

Physical 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 when we can’t guarantee the 2-metre distance from others.

Physical distancing for businesses

Staying well while physical distancing 

Your wellbeing is important too. Physical 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
Guidance on wearing a cloth mask

Physical distancing leaflet

The new physical distancing leaflets will be available in due course.


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