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Jersey begins move to Level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework

07 August 2020

The Government of Jersey will start to move into Level 1 of the Safe Exit Framework from midnight tonight. Level 1 is about living safely with the virus, and Ministers’ priority is to ensure that Islanders and businesses are following public health guidelines while the virus is still spreading around the world. 

Level 1 advice for Islanders

Level 1 advice for business

Level 1 Policy Statement

Today’s decision to start the move has been informed by updated medical advice from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC). 

The key Level 1 measures announced today are a significant step up in the enforcement of public health guidelines, and a parallel increase in communications and engagement on how to stay safe. Enforcement activity has already started, with Health and Safety inspectors taking action on construction sites, and checking venues for capacity, physical distancing, and intoxication. A campaign on contact-recording by venues is planned for the coming days.

A small number of changes to the guidelines will also allow Islanders to take part in activities which have been limited until now.

Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “We are taking a cautious approach so we can maintain low levels of infection and protect the position that Islanders have worked so hard to maintain. So from tomorrow, working from home will no longer be the recommended default option for businesses. Employers must ensure that physical distancing rules can be followed by their staff, which may mean that some businesses continue to encourage staff to work from home.

“All close personal contact services and treatments are now permitted, as long as hygiene and sanitising guidelines are strictly followed. This includes work on or around the face. And we will be allowing up to 80 people to attend funeral services, where physical distancing can be observed. However, wakes and other social gatherings remain limited to 20 attendees; and, as before, the limit for more controlled events is 40, with guidelines.

“Ministers will continue to seek advice on ways to allow more people to attend larger private and public events, and we will discuss options before the end of this month. We will work closely with the events industry throughout this period.”

International evidence suggests that large gatherings and events have been a significant catalyst for transmission of COVID-19, with a surge in cases connected with the night-time economy. 

The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “We are taking small steps into Level 1 as our priority is to ensure that Islanders and businesses protect themselves, and others, by following the public health guidelines that will help to protect us while the virus is still spreading around the world. 

“The action we have taken has kept on-Island cases of Coronavirus low, but there is still significant risk from the global spread of the virus. The UK, mainland Spain, and Brittany have all seen an increase in their infection rates, and we have seen lockdowns return to areas of the UK. We must proceed with caution to protect ourselves and reduce the risk to vulnerable Islanders.

“Preparations are under way to manage the vaccination of the Island population as soon as a viable vaccine becomes available. But there is no certainty yet as to when an effective vaccine will be produced, so it is critical that Islanders and businesses continue to comply with all public health guidelines.”

Further relaxation of public health measures cannot be guaranteed, as any changes depend on the number of COVID-19 cases remaining low on-island and STAC continuing to advise that conditions are safe.  

Ministers will be stepping up the enforcement of the public health guidelines and are reminding Islanders of the penalties for failing to comply with them. Anyone required to self-isolate who does not do so without reasonable excuse could be arrested and fined up to £1,000. Anyone who refuses to go to a screening facility when asked, or who fails to provide medical samples or information without reasonable excuse, could be fined up to £10,000. 

Summary of changes:

  • working from home is no longer the recommended default option for businesses
  • Advice to Islanders at high risk on returning to work is not changing: personal judgment should be used, with support available. Islanders at moderate risk are already encouraged to return to work, with discussion of mitigations.
  • all close personal contact services and treatments are now permitted, where hygiene and sanitising guidelines are strictly followed – including close work on or around the face
  • Up to 80 people can now attend funeral services, as long as physical distancing can be observed. Up to 40 people can attend controlled events, with guidance. However, wakes and other family events remain limited to 20 attendees.
  • Changing rooms and showers can reopen
  • Estate agents – open houses permitted, within guidelines
  • Performing arts venues, sporting venues and events – planning for piloting a safe opening approach in the Autumn with individual organisations (e.g., JAC, Opera House, Cineworld; Jersey Reds, Bulls – in partnership with Jersey Sport)

Measures originally listed as Level 1, which were introduced during Level 2:

  • Seated drinks-only service
  • Physical distancing reduced to 1 metre

Still not permitted:

  • public events above limits for uncontrolled gatherings (20 people) and controlled gatherings (40 people)
  • Live music, singing and wind instruments remain strongly discouraged
  • Nightclubs
  • Children’s soft play
  • Larger ‘controlled’ events
  • High intensity physical activity inside
  • Jacuzzis, plunge pools, steam rooms, saunas, Turkish baths
  • Flying tuition & skydiving
  • Live music, singing and wind instruments
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