25 June 2020
As Islanders will know, the vast majority of the Level 2 changes were brought in, in one step, on 12 June.
As a precautionary measure, 2-metre physical distancing was retained on the advice of the Deputy Medical Officer for Health.
At that time, it was considered to be a proportionate and necessary step to keep Islanders safe.
Today, on the advice of the Medical Officer for Health, and with the support of the Council of Ministers, I’ve taken the decision to suspend the Safe Distancing Regulations.
And from tomorrow, public health guidance will change from 2 metres safe distance to 1 metre, or more wherever practical.
Maintaining physical distance from others remains a key way to limit the spread of COVID-19. However we recognise that many people want or need physical contact with others as part of a reasonable quality of life, and their wellbeing may suffer without that contact.
While any increase in physical contact increases risk of exposure to COVID-19, research shows that when people limit physical contact to a small number of other people, the risk of contracting the virus is significantly reduced.
This may be a family having physical contact with grandparents, friends giving each other a hug, or a couple who live apart spending nights together.
The exact number you have physical contact with will depend on your personal circumstances, but it should be a much smaller group than those you socialise with.
And it’s important that the people you choose to have physical contact with remains consistent.
If you have a higher risk of illness from COVID-19, you are especially advised to keep the number of people you have physical contact with low.
You may prefer to avoid physical contact completely, with people you don’t live with.
If you are at higher risk, and choose to increase your physical contact, please remember this: the smaller and the more consistent the group, the lower the risk.
To further manage the risk, have a conversation together about the distancing and hygiene behaviours you expect of each other.
By having these conversations with loved ones and friends, you’ll ensure everyone understands your wishes, and you remain protected from the risk of COVID-19.