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Indoor Gatherings Warning from Medics

18 December 2020

Following advice from STAC and effective immediately, Islanders are being warned against visiting other households in their homes or gardens unless they are delivering care or medical assistance.

Islanders are instead urged to meet up with people from other households in large public spaces (for example on the beach, in parks, or in lanes). 

On Christmas Day and Boxing Day, two gatherings of up to 10 people will be permitted by stricter Government guidance, with the Island’s Medical Director Mr Patrick Armstrong reminding families of the need to think very carefully about inviting any elderly or vulnerable people to come into their home on any day.

From midnight tonight, all cafes and other food premises that remain open, must close for everything other than takeaway service. 

Unless critical to the running of their business, Islanders are also being told they must work from home if they have the means to. 

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: “COVID-19 is increasingly spreading in gatherings indoors, both in workplaces, and in households. 

“Prolonged contact indoors allows the respiratory droplets that can spread COVID-19 more opportunities to disperse, and infect others. This is true whether a gathering is between friends in a café, or family in a private home; and whether the gathering is held on the 20 December, or on 25 December.

“I am therefore urging Islanders to consider their plans, minimise mixing between households where they can, and adhere to this guidance."

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “I understand that this guidance is less than welcome: many of us had hoped to have some semblance of a normal Christmas. 

“However, as a Government, we must continue to respond to the conditions we are experiencing, and follow the best medical advice. We know that COVID-19 cases have continued to rise. And we know that gathering indoors allow COVID-19 to spread more easily. We must, therefore, respond accordingly.

“Therefore, I am asking Islanders to reconsider their Christmas plans, exercise their best judgement, and help keep us all well and ready for the continued rollout of the vaccination programme.”
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