25 June 2020
From tomorrow, and as part of Level 2 of our Safe Exit Framework, we’re going to be making further changes to the Island’s COVID-19 restrictions.
The aim of the Safe Exit Framework is to ease restrictions as quickly as possible, while balancing against overall harms. In Level 2, the aim is to progress further in a safe, managed way towards a ‘new normal’ for business.
Given the position we are in, with such low levels of COVID-19 in the Island, we can now formally confirm the reduction of the 2-metre physical distancing, which has become such a significant part of our daily lives, to 1 metre minimum.
This is the distance that will keep us all safe, but will also enable us to return to a more normal way of life and allow more businesses to open and function.
We’ve also recognised that people want physical contact with others, and limiting this has had a negative effect on their quality of life.
This might be grandparents who want to hug their grandchildren, someone living alone who wants to be close to their friends again, or a couple in a relationship, wanting to spend time together.
As a result, we’ll also be updating guidance on physical contact. This will be allowed - but should be limited to a handful of others who you don’t live with.
This means that, from tomorrow, you will be able to hug, and have physical contact with, people from outside your own household.
This is a critical step towards returning to normal life, and is only possible because of the way that Islanders have followed the published health guidance, and continue to act as a responsible community.
I would ask that everyone please respect the new changes and follow them carefully. There are still people in our community at high risk of COVID-19 and we must protect them. This is a return to life not quite as usual. But by continuing to do some things differently, we can make sure as many people as possible enjoy the benefits.
By keeping to the guidance, you’ll ensure that we are all able to take the next steps on our Safe Exit Framework sooner.
We have made excellent progress and now find ourselves in a very good position, thanks to the cooperation of the public.
Whilst we should not become complacent, we should equally be very proud of the position Jersey now finds itself in and the hard work it has taken to get us here. We flat-lined the curve, protected the health service from being overwhelmed, put measures in place to support Islanders and businesses, and continue to support the most high-risk with specialist guidance.
This could not have been done without the contribution from each of you.
And I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone in our Island community for being responsible, patient, and ensuring we could safely navigate our way through this crisis.