The Government is pursuing a strategy to suppress the spread of coronavirus, contain it where cases occur, and to shield those at higher risk from it.
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
Our strategy throughout the winter is to limit the harms caused by the pandemic and the aim is to keep Islanders secure, safe and well, while minimising the impact on life and work.
Depending on the degree of risk, urgent and difficult decisions are sometimes needed, but the principle of 'least overall harm' will guide Ministers and the Government in all its work.
Our aim is to contain how and where the virus is being transmitted and, if possible, not to quarantine the Island as a whole.
There are eight main actions being taken over the winter to keep Islanders secure, safe and well:
- increasing on-Island testing
- continually updating our classifications of countries and regions
- introducing mask policies for indoor public spaces
- adopting shielding programmes to keep people at high risk safe but connected
- vaccinating for flu and when possible, for COVID-19
- making sure all of Government is prepared, especially in supporting care, health and economic interventions
- being ready to escalate if needed, but using the 'least overall harm' principle
- communicating about sensible behaviour, underpinned by guidance and backed with enforcement
Timely and targeted escalation
The judgement of clinical and public health experts will be paramount in determining the actions taken. Our objective to keep COVID-19 rates low whilst minimising impact on life and work is paramount.
The key principle which seeks 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.
To date, our strategy has been informed by the establishment of levels of risk, notably in the Safe Exit Framework, which carefully managed the process of Jersey stepping down from lockdown arrangements.
Over winter there will need to be greater flexibility, should re-escalation be needed. This is because the nature of specific threats will require different responses, but also because our learning about how to respond to such threats has increased significantly since March.
Winter strategy flexible escalation diagram image
Decisions about when to apply targeted or more universal measures are based on the
specific infection patterns observed. The level of risk will be judged by:
- early warning signs in the patterns of cases, which may include increases in unlinked cases and in the number of clusters and their sizes
- whether the cases and associated clusters can be effectively contained to prevent spread
monitoring indicators, such as calls to the COVID-19 helpline, demands for tests based on symptoms, fluctuations in the case rate (even where cases are contained) and hospital admissions
Locking down normal life, the economy and travel will be the last resort of the Government. Our plans are to contain the virus by targeting our responses firmly and quickly where we see specific threats. A major increase in on-Island workforce testing over winter will identify any COVID-19 being transmitted where symptoms are mild or absent.
Early warning phase
On Monday 16 November, the Government announcement signified that we have now entered an ‘Early Warning’ Phase, where additional action to target the virus and to implement stronger universal measures is needed. Jersey is no longer in Safe Exit Framework Level 1 and the following new escalation measures have been agreed to prevent the continued spread of the virus.
All arrivals from Green, Amber and Red countries will have a PCR test on Days 0, 5 and 10
Those arriving from a Green region must isolate until they receive a negative result from their day 0 test. Those arriving from an Amber region their day 5 test, and those arriving from a Red region their day 10 test.
Increase testing in care homes and visitors to care homes
In addition to current care home and visitor guidance, extra PCR testing will be made available for named visitors of each care home resident and regular testing will also be introduced for residents of all care homes.
Face coverings in schools for Years 11, 12 and 13
From Wednesday 18 November older school pupils in Years 11, 12 and 13 will be required to wear face coverings in the areas of their schools where mixing and social distancing is more difficult to manage. In addition, we will also be introducing regular testing of all pupils in Years 11, 12, and 13.
A universal closing time will be introduced across all licensed premises, including off-licenses
Service will finish at 10pm and patrons must leave the premises by 10.30pm.
Reduce the number of people allowed to attend indoor gatherings
The maximum number of people able to attend informal gatherings inside - such as those in a private home – will be reduced from 20 to 10 people. Controlled events organised by a business or organisation will be reduced from 40 to 20 people. The restrictions on numbers attending outdoor events have not changed.
Provide economic incentives to support the public health measures
Continue to support high risk Islanders
Recruit additional staff to maximise PCR testing and contact tracing capacity
Revised public health guidance
The detailed revised public health guidance will be published on Wednesday 18 November.
On Wednesday 18 November the revised policy for wearing face coverings for older secondary school pupils will begin.
On Friday 20 November at 2am the remaining measures will begin.