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Jersey's COVID-19 Winter Strategy

On Monday 2 November 2020, the Government published an update to the main COVID-19 Strategy, which was published on 3 June 2020.

COVID-19 Winter strategy update

COVID-19 Strategy June 2020

COVID-19 Winter Strategy

Protecting Jersey and Islanders from the direct and indirect effects of COVID-19 continues to be the most significant immediate challenge the Government faces. Winter brings new challenges, including seasonal diseases like flu. People also will naturally make more use of indoor spaces which could increase transmission and the virus itself may increase in its severity. Combined with higher infection rates in neighbouring countries, we must be 'winter ready'.

Our objective, to keep COVID-19 rates low whilst minimising impact on life and work, is paramount in the design of our response.

The key principle which acts to achieve this objective is to maximise targeted action. This means that the Government will attempt to counter threats on a targeted basis, before putting in place significant island wide, or universal restrictions. Decisions about when to apply targeted or more universal measures are based on the specific infection patterns observed. The judgement of clinical and public health experts will be paramount in determining the action taken.

Winter Escalation Framework

Winter strategy flexible escalation diagram image

General public health measures

Everyone is strongly encouraged to follow these simple steps:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19, stay or go home immediately and call the Helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 to arrange a test and get advice on isolating
  • If you have been identified as a direct contact of a confirmed case strictly adhere to the advice on isolation
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use a sanitiser gel throughout the day - especially when outside your home (for example, when shopping or at work), and if your hands have touched any hard surface (for example, door handles). Do not touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth unless you have washed hands or used sanitiser.
  • Catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue, bin it and wash your hands. If you don't have a tissue, cough into your elbow and avoid touching your face.
  • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces, especially toilet facilities and frequent touch points. Assume all surfaces are potentially infectious unless you are certain they have just been disinfected.
  • Wear a mask in enclosed spaces while outside of your house
  • Only socialise with small and consistent groups from outside your household and ensure you maintain physical distancing
  • Ensure that you provide your contact details should you attend a business premises for refreshments or an appointment and keep a record of who you are socialising with outside of your household so that you can provide it to contact tracing should it be required

You should also maintain a physical distance of 2 metres from anyone you don't live with. It's important everyone is able to enjoy social interaction, but while maintaining a 2 metre physical distance, to limit spread and to protect more vulnerable Islanders. Anyone can catch COVID-19 and anyone can spread it.

Where a physical distance of 2 metres is not possible

Workplaces are required to undertake a documented risk assessment and should adhere to physical distancing wherever possible. 

In some business and sectors there may be some situations where 2 metres will not always be possible or practical either between co-workers or between staff and their clients. For example, those working in kitchens, those operating heavy equipment or carrying out manual labour, those that are required to travel in the same vehicle as co-workers, or those undertaking work that involves close contact with customers, such as healthcare professionals or beauticians / hairdressers.

In these instances, the 2 metre physical distancing guide should be used as best practice. Every effort must be made where possible to observe the distance during work, and when travelling to and from work but this might not always be possible.

Such workers must have in place additional mitigation measures, such as the wearing of masks or shields or working behind Perspex screens where appropriate. They must strictly follow rigorous hygiene procedures, especially when returning home for the day. It is particularly important that employees working in this way must not come to work if they develop any of the COVID-19 symptoms and must ensure that their clients do not either.

For those that need to work with colleagues at a distance of less than 2 metres consistent work teams must be created so that the number of people you have close contact with is limited.

Guidance for people at higher risk regarding coronavirus

For people with certain medical conditions, and people of older ages, the risk of severe illness is greater if infected with COVID-19.

As of 1 December, people over the age of 70 were added to the group of Islanders considered to be at high risk. This group are now advised to avoid spending time indoors with anyone outside their household, other than a small, consistent number of close family or friends.

If you have received a letter from your GP identifying you as being at high risk, you are still encouraged to undertake outdoor leisure or recreational activities where you can physically distance from those you do not live with, and carefully follow the key public health messages. You should continue to undertake work from home where this is possible but going out to work is currently not recommended, unless for example, you work alone and do not need to take public transport to travel to your workplace. 

Full guidance, and further resources and support for Islanders at high risk, as well as those at moderate risk, can be found at: Shielding those at higher risk from coronavirus. This page also lists the conditions or factors that mean someone is either at high or moderate risk.

Social gatherings

Further details on events and gatherings

Education and childcare

Nurseries, schools, further and higher education and childcare remain open.

Wherever possible, children and young people should follow the public health measures set out in this policy.

While children should not normally be moving between households, we recognise that this may be necessary when children who are under 18 need to move between the care of separated parents.

Schools are required to undertake a documented risk assessment and should adhere to physical distancing wherever possible. Where 2 metre physical distancing is not practical they must have alternative mitigating arrangements in place to keep people safe, such as class bubbles or year group bubbles.

Guidance for education and childcare: coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coping with the current situation

This is a concerning time and the pandemic, and the public health measures in place, may trigger or exacerbate emotional and practical issues.

There is both practical and emotional support available to Islanders. This includes for example, shopping delivery services; support around mental and emotional wellbeing; support for concerns around family or finances; and ideas on how to stay active and connected. You can access support via the 'Connect Me' service through the below options. Connect Me staff are trained to direct you to the right support, which is provided by partner voluntary organisations, our Parishes, and specialist professionals:

  • see Connect Me for further information and complete the online form with any question or requests you have
  • phone the coronavirus helpline on +44 (0) 134 445566 and ask for 'Connect Me'
  • call your Parish Hall and ask about 'Connect Me'

Day-to-day, the advice continues to be not to panic, to follow the public health guidance, and if anyone you live with develops symptoms, call the helpline and follow the published isolation advice.

On-Island Travel

All forms of on-island transport (buses and taxis) are permitted. Public Transport is a sector that will be exempt from 2 metres Physical Distancing. Travellers must now wear masks on buses and in taxis unless they are exempt. Passengers should use hand sanitiser before and after using public transport. Those ride sharing in private vehicles with people that they don't live with are strongly encouraged to wear face masks.

Travelling to and from Jersey

Borders remain open.

All passengers arriving in Jersey aged 11 and over must complete a Safer Travel registration in the 48 hours prior to arrival in Jersey. The registration includes:

  • contact information
  • travel details and dates
  • address(es) they will be staying at throughout their stay in Jersey
  • details of travel within the 14 days before arrival in Jersey
  • declaration of health
  • the option to take part in the Safer Travel Testing programme

The Safer Travel Testing Programme offers COVID-19 testing to all passengers arriving in Jersey free of charge. Depending on their travel history, passengers who take part in the programme may be granted permission to leave isolation earlier than the 14 day period. 

Working from home

Businesses should enable working from home as the default operating model wherever it is possible. Exceptions may include when unable to do so due to nature of work or personal circumstances of individual staff.

Businesses should consider whether or not it is essential to the business functioning for employees to work from the workplace. Staff should only remain in the workplace in cases where it is considered essential to the business functioning. In circumstances where some staff must remain then staffing levels should be kept to an absolute minimum and relevant public health guidelines followed including keeping a safe physical distance of two metres.

Enforcement

The Government has put in place additional powers that can be used – as a last resort – to enforce the measures set out in this public health policy, and protect our community.

Workplace Restrictions Order that covers:

  • Mandatory masks
  • Obligation to collect contact details
  • Requirement to ensure physical distancing in shops
  • Restriction on indoor sport and exercise services
  • Closure of licensed premises

Safe Distancing Regulations that cover 2 metre physical distancing outside.

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