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Advice for Islanders during the COVID-19 Winter Strategy

Advice for Islanders

The following information explains the COVID-19 Winter Strategy, it sets out the ongoing and universal public health messages and provides, at a glance guidance relating to many aspects of Island life.

Advice for business during the COVID-19 Winter Strategy

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:

  1. increasing on-Island testing
  2. continually updating our classifications of countries and regions
  3. introducing mask policies for indoor public spaces
  4. adopting shielding programmes to keep people at high risk safe but connected
  5. vaccinating for flu and when possible, for COVID-19
  6. making sure all of Government is prepared, especially in supporting care, health and economic interventions
  7. being ready to escalate if needed, but using the 'least overall harm' principle
  8. 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. 

Flexible escalation

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 the 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.

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

Avoiding lockdown

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.

Extended Circuit Breaker

Updated Thursday 21 January

Following the announcement of a cautious and phased approach of opening whilst COVID-19 case numbers in the Island continue to reduce to lower levels, non-essential retail, markets, betting agencies and auction houses as well as outdoor and indoor visitor attractions (except for where any part of the indoor workplace must remain closed) will reopen from Wednesday 27 January if there are no changes in the current situation.

Unless critical to for the running of your business all Islanders should work from home.

Certain services and workplaces need to remain closed under the Covid-19 (Workplace Restrictions) (Jersey) Order 2020.

Everyone should follow this guidance, to help control the spread of COVID-19 and continue to protect lives. If people disregard this guidance, more restrictive measures may need to be re-introduced.

Permitted services Not permitted services
  1. take away food and refreshments
  2. supermarkets, corner stores, off-licences and markets
  3. banks
  4. pharmacy and chemists
  5. pet shops, feed supply, farriers
  6. dry cleaners
  7. garden centres, DIY, hardware and building supplies
  8. post offices, newsagents
  9. fuel stations
  10. bike sales, repair
  11. car, boat and agricultural machines sales, service, repair and parts
  12. mobile phones
  13. office, computer, IT sales, service, repair
  14. non-essential retail, markets, betting agencies and auction houses
  15. art galleries, museums and libraries
  16. indoor and outdoor visitor attractions, except for where any part of the indoor workplace should remain closed, for example indoor play

  1. wellbeing, beauty and cosmetic services including:
    • hairdressers
    • barbers
    • beauty and nail salons
    • piercing and tattoo
    • acupuncture and massage
    • laser and cosmetic clinics delivering non-essential cosmetic treatments
  2. indoor sports and exercise including swimming pools, jacuzzi, saunas and steam rooms, changing and showering facilities used in connection with outdoor sport or exercise

  3. licensed premises (except for takeaway)
  4. cafes and places of refreshment (except for takeaway)
  5. hotels and commercial accommodation (except for isolation or essential workers)
  6. driving instruction
  7. concert halls, theatres and cinemas
  8. amusement centres


Key changes from 00.01 Saturday 19 December 2020

In addition to the changes that were issued on the 4 December, the following came into force on 00.01 Saturday 19 December 2020:

  • closure of all unlicensed cafes or places of refreshment. Whilst this measure is in place you will not be able to visit any café other than for the purposes of a takeaway service. Physical distancing of at least 2 metres will be required when queuing for a takeaway service

Key changes from 00.01 on Friday 4 December

In addition to the work from home instruction that was issued on 30 November and the legislation to wear masks in indoor public spaces, which came in on 1 December, the following are in place from 00.01 Friday 4 December 2020: 

  1. Closure of all premises holding a Liquor Licence in Categories 1 to 5 or 7 under the Liquor Licensing (Jersey) Law 1974. This allows those holding Category 6 Off-sales licences to continue trading. While this measure is in place, you will not be able to visit pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes or any other premises holding a liquor licence. Takeaways and delivery services can continue operating
  2. Physical distancing will be increased to a minimum of 2 metres. Where this is not possible within workplaces and schools, additional mitigation measures must be in place
  3. Businesses, clubs and associations that operate indoor sport and exercise services must close. The exception for this is sport and exercise in schools

Containing the spread of COVID-19

Our contain – test, trace, and isolate – is our first response capacity when possible new cases of COVID-19 are identified. We have invested significant resources to ensure our contain capacity can be pro-active and agile, to find people that are infectious and ensure they isolate quickly, and so keep the level of cases to a very low level. We are now testing thousands of people every day, and our expanded contact tracing team is responding in detail to every positive case.

We will continue to focus on: 

  • testing, contact tracing, and isolating confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19
  • preventing individual cases becoming clusters – particularly in institutional settings such as care homes, and 
  • responding quickly to stop any early clusters from becoming outbreaks.

COVID-19 Strategy and on the testing and tracing

Safer together: enforcement 

All Islanders must adapt their ways of living and working and continue to adhere to the underpinning public health guidance, so that we can live safely with the virus. Doing so is a critical complement to our ‘contain’ capacity. The Government will use its powers to enforce public health measures if it proves necessary to do so.

  • if you are required to self-isolate on arrival into Jersey, or you are instructed to remain in self-isolation because you have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19 and fail to do so without reasonable excuse, you may be arrested and fined up to £1,000. You may also be taken to a screening facility and required to take a COVID-19 test, and you may be kept there until the results are known. The penalty for refusing to go to the screening facility or failing to provide medical samples or information without reasonable excuse in that situation is a fine of up to £10,000. We hope this power never needs to be used.
  • businesses and organisations must comply with all relevant guidelines and regulations and should always err on the side of caution. Spot checks will take place to ensure businesses and organisations apply public health guidelines appropriately, providing constructive advice in the first instance.

If you have concerns about non-compliance with any public health measures, email workplacecovid@gov.je.

Protecting yourself and others

We must not forget that anyone can catch COVID-19 and anyone can spread it.

We can all reduce the risk of this by remembering we can be safer by everybody knowing what is required, following the guidance, taking responsibility and acting on these universal public health messages:

  • safer hygiene 
  • safer at a distance 
  • safer in smaller groups
  • safer outside 
  • safer when you can be contacted

Safer hygiene

Everyone is strongly encouraged to continue to follow these simple steps: 

  • wash your hands or use sanitising gel 
  • avoid touching your face
  • catch your cough or sneeze in a tissue, bin it and wash your hands
  • clean surfaces and shared toilets regularly
  • cloth masks are mandatory in enclosed public spaces such as shops and on public transport

If you have flu-like symptoms, stay or go home immediately and call the Helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566 for guidance on testing and, as needed, medical care and isolation.

Safer at a distance 

Maintaining physical distance from others remains a key way to limit the spread COVID-19. Islanders should keep a minimum of 2 metres physical distance, and more wherever practical, from people they don’t live with.

Children are not required to physically distance when at school as it is recognised that keeping children from close contact is difficult to achieve and other mitigation measures, such as class or year group bubbles are in place.

When not in school or nursery, children should also keep a minimum of 2 metres physical distance from people they don’t live with.  Acknowledging that this will be challenging for very young children, parents are advised to keep their children’s play and social groups small and consistent.

Safer in small groups

While COVID-19 is still with us, you should continue keeping a smaller social circle than usual. 

Social gatherings, especially those in private settings, such as parties, barbecues or informal get-togethers should be limited to a maximum of 10 people indoors and 20 people outdoors. These gatherings should only occur if you are confident everyone will maintain physical distancing with those they don’t live with. If you are holding a small social gathering, you should keep a guestlist of attendees, including table plans. This will be critical to support contact tracing if it is later discovered that one of the attendees had COVID-19. You should also be particularly careful to adhere to all relevant public health guidance if your attendees include people who may be at higher risk of illness from COVID-19.

More controlled events that are formally organised by businesses or organisations are subject to the maximum number limits and guidelines.

More information on gatherings

Limit your physical contact too. Islanders are advised that some physical contact, limited to a few others you don’t live with, is proportionately safe. This may be a family having physical contact with grandparents, or it may be a couple who live apart spending nights together. The exact number will depend on your personal circumstances but should be a much smaller group than those you socialise with at a safe physical distance (also still limited to a smaller network than usual).

The people you choose to have physical contact with should remain consistent.

People at higher risk of illness from COVID-19 are especially advised to keep the number of people they have physical contact with low or may prefer to avoid physical contact with people they don’t live with completely. If you choose to increase your physical contact, the smaller and more consistent the group, the lower the risk.  

Safer outside

The risk of transmitting COVID-19 is greater indoors and especially over longer periods of time. There is also more room to physically distance outside. So, if you meet people or organise a gathering or an event, you should do it outdoors where possible.

Generally, it remains better to limit the number of people visiting inside your own home, and limit visiting others’ homes.

Safer when you can be contacted

While COVID-19 is still with us, we can all live more safely together if contact tracing is as effective as it can possibly be. Our contact tracing team has been up and running since the very start of the pandemic and is providing a vital service. We need to help them work as quickly as possible to identify who might be at risk when new cases arise.

For Islanders, this means providing your contact details when requested by a business for the purpose of contact tracing (such as in a restaurant, pub or by the hairdresser), so that if it turns out someone else who was near you in the same place has COVID-19, you can be reached quickly to assess whether you were at risk or not, and to offer you support if needed.

For businesses, you must collect people’s contact details for the purpose of contact tracing, in accordance with the Data Protection (Jersey) Law 2018.

Safer wearing a face mask

As of Tuesday 1 December  Mouth and nose coverings are now mandatory in several indoor public settings including public transport.

Masks are now strongly recommended in all indoor settings outside your own home (including adults and children in secondary school), when queuing outside and when ride sharing inside a private vehicle which includes people from different households.

People at higher risk of illness from COVID-19 

Full guidance for Islanders at higher risk can be found on Guidance for those at higher risk regarding coronavirusThis lists the conditions identified in the categories of 'high risk' (those who have received a letter from their GP identifying them), and 'moderate risk'.

As of 1 December, people over the age of 70 were added to the group of Islanders considered to be at high risk. Those at high risk 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 are in the high risk category 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. 

Further resources and support for Islanders at high risk, and those at moderate risk, can be found at: Shielding those at higher risk from coronavirus

Children and young people at higher risk

Children and young people who are at higher risk of illness from COVID-19 are encouraged to attend school.

Children and parents who feel that it is not safe to return to school, owing to a child or young person’s particular circumstances or medical condition, are advised to contact their child's specialist doctor to discuss their situation where they have not yet done so. If it's decided, following discussion between the doctor, child and parents or guardian, that the risk of returning to school outweighs the benefits, then the child is not expected to return.

Higher risk children should be cautious to follow physical distancing and other public health guidance and advice while they are at school, where they are able to understand and follow this.

Coping with the current situation

For some this is a concerning time. There is a huge amount of support available, provided by volunteers, charities, our Parishes, and specialist professionals. We warmly encourage you to access it. Call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566, or find more information on Connect Me.

At home and your household

People can work within your home as long as strict sector-specific guidelines are followed by the person undertaking the work and they have no symptoms. Examples might include: 

  • tradespeople carrying out repairs, maintenance and enhancements in your home 
  • the provision of close-contact personal services like mobile hairdressers
  • cleaners, nannies and child minders
  • dog walkers
  • others like estate and rentals agents 

However, you should ideally be absent from the property or stay in a separate room whilst a tradesperson is in your property. The physical distancing and hygiene measures must be strictly observed.

No work should be carried out in any household that is isolating or where an individual is high-risk (severely vulnerable) to COVID-19, unless it is to remedy a direct risk to the safety of the household, such as emergency plumbing or repairs, and where the tradesperson is willing to do so. The isolated person should occupy a different room whilst unavoidable work is being carried out.

Hosting a visitor who needs to self-isolate

If you are providing accommodation for a visitor who is required to self-isolate, it is important that all members of your household and the visitor(s) staying with you are aware of isolation guidance

Accommodation

Licensed hotels, hostels, B&Bs, campsites, boarding houses, lodging houses and self-catering vacation accommodation are now closed. Existing residents can continue their stay until the end of their original booking. Accommodation is permitted for purposes of self-isolation, those requiring emergency accommodation, or under exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis.

Dental practices

You can see a dentist or a dental hygienist. The dental practice will have a range of measures in place, to keep everybody safe, which they should clearly communicate to you before your appointment and reinforce when you're there. In particular, there will be measures in place to support physical distancing between everyone on the premises.

As surgeries will be employing stringent hygiene and cleaning requirements, they will be operating at a reduced capacity.

Education and childcare

Schools and other childcare settings are open with specific public health measures in place.

Information regarding the measures being taken to keep children, teachers and other staff safe:

The Government's aim is for all children and young people to continue their full-time education. Updates to the guidance will be published on gov.je and schools will also keep families updated as required.

Children and young people who need to move between the care of different guardians or separated parents can do so.

Food and drink

Restaurants, nightclubs, pubs, bars, cafes and other places of refreshment are now closed. This includes those within hotels, member's clubs, and other establishments.

Take-away food services and take-away alcohol services where the business licence allows can remain open.

Masks are now strongly recommended in all indoor spaces but can be removed when eating or drinking.

As explained above (under 'safer when you can be contacted') you will be asked to provide your contact details so that if it turns out someone else who was near you in the same place has COVID-19, you can be reached quickly to assess whether you were at risk or not, and to offer you support if needed. 

Government and Parish services

Government and Parish services are open, many have new operating procedures in place, for example the household recycling centre, Parish Hall attendance, etc. You're reminded to check with the service provider or on gov.je ahead of time to see if there are any changes you should account for.

Health

Islanders in need of emergency treatment are advised to go to the Emergency Department. For primary care conditions you are advised to see your General Practitioner.

Those entering the hospital will be screened for potential COVID-19 symptoms. This will be done by taking your temperature, where necessary, and asking you a series of questions to find out if you are showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Patients are asked to attend hospital outpatient clinic appointments and planned procedures, but to come alone – with the exception of children or vulnerable adults who can be accompanied by one other person wearing appropriate PPE.

Visitors are generally not permitted within hospitals at this time, although there are some exceptions. 

If you're permitted to visit a patient at the hospital you will need to book in advance with the ward, only one visitor is allowed at a time per patient. You will be expected to wear Personal Protective Equipment, which will be provided by the ward. You can see a Registered and Allied Health Professional (specifically a chiropractor, osteopath, physiotherapist, podiatrist, optometrist, orthoptist, clinical psychologist, speech and language therapist, chiropodist, dietician, occupational therapist, radiographer and acupuncturist.) All of these services are open provided they can ensure the highest level of protective measures for both patients and staff.

Indoor activity - sport and recreation 

Currently closed.

Indoor leisure

Currently closed.

Outdoor activity - sport and recreation

Sport, leisure and recreation is vital for physical and mental wellbeing. The risk of virus transmission is far lower outdoors, so you're encouraged to take part in outdoor activity. Outdoor gatherings are limited to a maximum of 10.

Children’s playgrounds and public gym equipment is now open. You should make sure you and your children sanitise their hands (with hand sanitiser with 60%-70% alcohol content) after using these facilities to reduce COVID-19 risk as others will also be touching them.

Outdoor swimming pools are permitted to be open. The risk of virus transmission is lower in well maintained chlorinated water.

Public transport

The wearing of masks is mandatory on public transport. Public buses will be operating at full seated capacity. The latest version of the timetable is available on the LibertyBus website. When a service is full the driver will request further buses for that route. However, there may still be capacity issues for the bus service.

Therefore, in order to free up space on the network for people who can only use the bus, you're encouraged to only make essential journeys by bus. Walk and cycle or use your car if you can.

If you use the bus, the potential increased risk of more people travelling closer together will be managed by:

  • sitting as far away from other people as possible
  • using the hand sanitiser (with 60% to 70% alcohol content) provided
  • using a mask – exemptions are for young children and those with a disability that means they could not independently remove their own mask in an emergency

You must not ride share in private vehicles with people you don’t live with. But, you may do so , for example, if the journey is for in an emergency, for provision of medical attention, legal obligation, attending a covid test or taking someone to health appointments.

You can use a taxi provided the driver maintains a strict regime of hand hygiene and disinfects key touch points within the taxi. It is also advisable that payment is contactless, not cash, to minimise the risk of infection and masks are mandatory.

If you have any symptoms and therefore required to isolate, you must not use taxis or public transport.

Retail

Only certain permitted retail can be open.

Extended Hospitality Circuit Breaker

Singing and live music

Singing and the use of wind and brass instruments present a high COVID-19 risk because infectious respiratory droplets can be sprayed or propelled further. Accordingly, across all business, social and community contexts, singing, in addition to woodwind and brass instrument playing, is very strongly discouraged both outdoors and indoors. This is particularly important in indoor settings and around members of the public who may be at higher risk of illness from COVID-19.

One-to-one singing, woodwind and brass lessons should also not happen in person at this time, with video-conferencing encouraged as an alternative. The only exception to this is as part of children’s education.

Venues are advised to only play low volume ambient background music on their premises to avoid people leaning into each other when talking. 

Travel to and from Jersey

Outbound travel

Travel off-Island is possible but will be limited to those countries which are welcoming travellers from Jersey, this is subject to change and each country will have particular restrictions and requirements in place for those arriving from elsewhere. You're advised to check for up-to-date country specific information prior to booking/travelling.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travel corridors on gov.uk website

Foreign travel advice on gov.uk website 

Inbound passengers

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission into Jersey and to manage the risk of community transmission on the island all arriving passengers are required to:

  1. complete an online registration form before departure
  2. self-isolate for 14 days on arrival or
  3. take part in the Safer Travel Programme

Safer travel guidance

Weddings, funerals and worship

Marriage and civil partnership ceremonies

Marriages and civil partnership ceremonies remain subject to a number of restrictions such as an attendance limit of 20 and the requirement that all guests physically distance at all times.

Guidance on getting married or a civil partnership during COVID-19

Funerals

Funerals will continue to be held but with an attendance limit of 20, this includes services at the crematorium. The maximum attendance numbers may be impacted by the size of the building and as such may be lower than the maximum permitted.

Places of worship

Places of worship can remain open should they wish to do so with attendance limit of 20, providing the relevant guidance can be followed. Each faith group will make its own decisions about how it opens, based upon the risk assessments that cover its buildings, staff and premises. Faith leaders have been working together to ensure a collective approach is taken where possible.

Wellbeing, beauty and cosmetics services

Wellbeing, beauty and cosmetics services remain closed at this time.

Working inside, outdoors and in vehicles

Indoor working

Working from home is the default.

Outdoor work

You can use outdoor services such as gardening or window cleaning, on the condition that while undertaking the activity, workers continue to physically distance.

Working in vehicles

The risk of transmitting COVID-19 is highest when spending prolonged periods of time in enclosed spaces with limited air circulation. If you work in a vehicle, you're strongly encouraged to strictly follow the published public health guidelines, which include ensuring good ventilation, wearing a mask, and regular cleaning of all major touch points.

Driving instruction is not currently available.

Youth and community centres

The value and importance to the health and social wellbeing of Islanders in resuming community activities, services and support is very well recognised. Accordingly, community settings and venues are able to remain open, provided they can follow the youth and community group guidance. Therefore, if you're planning to use any community centre you might want to check beforehand to see what activities and support are available at this time.

Ventilation

It is recognised that it will not be practical to have windows and doors open over the winter months. Where possible households should consider opening windows and doors for short periods of time to aid air exchange. For example, at the end of each day when people are not present and before cleaning commences. Fan circulation may assist with air exchange.

Business ventilation guidance

Vaping

Vapes (e-cigarettes) can help be helpful in aiding people to stop smoking. Evidence to date suggests whilst not risk free, they are less harmful than smoking. It is important to avoid returning to smoking.

Currently it is unknown whether vaping makes an individual more susceptible to severe disease if infected with coronavirus. COVID-19 affects the respiratory system and the hand-to-mouth action of vaping may increase the risk of infection by providing more opportunity for the virus to enter the body. To reduce the risk of contact with the virus, it is important to:

  • wash hands more frequently than usual, for 20 seconds, with soap and water (or use hand sanitiser if soap is not available)
  • clean e-cigarette regularly
  • avoid sharing of vaping devices.

There is currently no evidence the virus can be caught from passive exposure to vapour which occurs during vaping.  It is recommended that vapers avoid exhaling clouds of vapour in the presence of others, either indoors or outdoors, for example whilst queuing to get into a supermarket. People should be conscious that others who are not vaping might feel worried about being exposed to the exhalations.

Ongoing restrictions

 The key ongoing restrictions are: 

  • certain retail premises are not permitted to open 
  • venues and activities where maintaining public health measures, especially 2 metres or more physical distance, is likely to be impossible must be avoided
  • closure of all pubs, bars, restaurants, cafes or any other places of refreshment. Takeaways and delivery services can continue operating
  • businesses, clubs and associations that operate indoor sport and exercise services must close. The exception to this is sport and exercise in schools and clubs for under 17 year olds. Shared use children's indoor soft play facilities must remain closed. Shared use jacuzzis, plunge pools, steam rooms, saunas, Turkish baths must remain closed
  • singing and the use of wind and brass instruments present a high COVID-19 risk because infectious respiratory droplets can be sprayed or propelled further. Accordingly, across all business, social and community contexts, singing, in addition to woodwind and brass music, is very strongly discouraged both outdoors and indoors. This is particularly important in indoor settings and around members of the public who may be at higher risk of illness from COVID-19. One-to-one singing, woodwind and brass lessons should also not happen in person at this time, with video-conferencing encouraged as an alternative. The exception to this is for children's education
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