17 September 2020
The States of Jersey Police are currently investigating two large parties under Covid-19 legislation.
Officers from the Health and Safety Inspectorate have also engaged with a number of establishments and individuals in the past four weeks resulting in events being significantly changed to comply with the rules, or, in some cases cancelled.
Public Health has set strict guidelines around the hosting of events in a bid to prevent the spread of Covid-19 within the community. The experiences of other jurisdictions, now seeing rapid increases in transmission, show that large gatherings present a high risk of clusters of infection forming because there is close contact between a lot of people.
Under the current public health guidance, up to 20 people can meet for informal gatherings, such as meeting friends for dinner in a restaurant or having a BBQ in a back garden. Everyone attending informal gatherings should follow general public health measures, including keeping one-metre distance from those outside their household.
Events that can demonstrate adherence to the published Guidance on Gatherings and Events, can have more than 20 people, up to a maximum number of 40 attendees. The guidance sets out what organisers must do if they are hosting any event or gathering of more than 20 people, be it a private house party or a booking for more than 20 people in a restaurant or bar.
Key aspects of the rules include designating a lead organiser, completing a risk assessment in advance, ensuring adherence to physical distancing and public health measures and establishing a robust contact tracing process.
Anyone who is due to host an event and is unsure of the rules can seek advice by emailing email@example.com. Likewise, anyone concerned that an event is not complying with the Covid-19 rules can report it to the same email address.
Tammy Fage, Director of Health and Safety, said: "It cannot be stressed strongly enough that the reasons behind the guidance is to protect against potential Covid-19 infections. Please seek advice if you are unsure how the guidance fits with your event. The Government wants to do everything it can to support individuals and businesses to put on their events - we would much prefer to provide you with advice to ensure that your party runs safely rather than forcing you to stop your party."
Dr Susan Turnbull, Jersey’s Medical Officer of Health, added: "Although people quite naturally would want to be able to hold celebrations and events, they must consider the consequences of what could happen, particularly if safety advice is not followed.
"People attending any gatherings should also bear in mind that if they are a close contact of an infected person (within 2 metres for 15 minutes or more), they will be required to self-isolate for 14 days."