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New legal powers to protect Islanders

20 March 2020

Prevent coronavirus by social distancing

A series of legislative changes, giving Ministers additional powers to protect Islanders and manage the developing situation, will be lodged by the Government today, for debate in the States Assembly next week.

The proposed new measures include:

  • powers allowing the Minister for Treasury and Resources to make withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in emergency circumstances brought on by the pandemic;
  • Triennial Regulations which will allow the Bailiff to withdraw or add conditions to public events that have already been granted permission;
  • powers allowing the Minister for Environment to shut down any public gathering determined to be prejudicial to health;
  • changes to the legal requirements under the Cremations (Jersey) Law for a second examination of a deceased body, and
  • amendments giving care providers and the Care Commission the necessary flexibility to continue serving vulnerable Islanders with a reduced workforce.

In addition, Ministers will be introducing a series of further measures next week that will:

  • allow Health and Community Services to employ retired doctors;
  • allow self-employed individuals to defer payment of social security contributions without it affecting their benefits and entitlements;
  • give the Minister for Health and Social Services the power to issue a serious shortage protocol in respect of prescription medicine or to issue a direction for the purpose of preventing or controlling the outbreak of a pandemic disease in Jersey;
  • powers to impose requirements on people to be screened or assessed for coronavirus, and
  • the power to require people to self-isolate, using reasonable force, if required.

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, explained: “During these unprecedented times, it’s essential that we’re able to act quickly in order to keep Islanders as safe as possible.”

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