31 July 2020
Jersey’s medical and scientific experts are reviewing the Covid rates in Manchester and other affected regions, following the UK’s decision to impose tighter restrictions there. Members of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) are considering the possibility of adjusting on-island controls, like PCR-tests and self-isolation, to deal with regional variations in infection rates.
The recent increase in coronavirus cases in St Malo, and the surrounding areas of Ille et Vilaine, has already prompted the Government to discourage Islanders from visiting and staying there this weekend. This is on the advice of the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, and the Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat.
Dr Muscat said: “We are asking islanders to bear in mind the recent rise in cases in St Malo and other towns in the surrounding area. We estimate that the figures are currently about 23.3 per 100,000 over the last 14 days, which is getting close to our amber classification. We felt it was appropriate to inform Islanders about the rise in cases, so they can make an informed decision about whether or not to travel to St Malo, and to minimise the time they spend there on the way to their final destination.
“We’re constantly monitoring the situation in all countries and will keep Islanders updated as the rates of Covid-19 infection change. As we refine our approach to regional fluctuations in Covid rates we will aim to provide Islanders planning to travel to regional travel hubs with informed and targeted advice.”
Anyone who intends to travel to areas with increased COVID activity can reduce their risk by:
- avoiding or minimising time spent in towns and cities
- avoiding crowds and gatherings
- avoiding or minimising time in indoor public areas, including public transport
- avoiding or reducing the time spent with people from outside their household
- wearing masks, especially in indoor public areas, and ensuring adequate respiratory hand and surface hygiene
France, overall, is still categorised as green in Jersey’s risk assessment, at both at national and regional levels, and the new advice on Brittany does not affect those driving through the St Malo area to other parts of France.
The Government of Jersey has also updated its Covid-19 risk assessments for four countries. The changes announced today mean that from 00:01 on Saturday 1 August, Monaco will move from green to amber; the Maldives, Palestine and Suriname will move from amber to red.
Countries are risk-assessed using a range of measures. These include the most recent 14-day case notification rate published by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), recent trends in case notification, in-country testing rates, the frequency of travel between Jersey and the country of origin, and Jersey’s testing, tracing and health service capacity. Jersey then categorises jurisdictions as either green, amber or red and applies different requirements for self-isolation and testing depending on their risk.
The Countries Risk Assessment classification forms part of the Safer Travel Policy, which saw the Island’s borders open for non-essential travel on Friday 3 July.
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