01 November 2020
Following an announcement by the Prime Minister that England will enter a month-long period of lockdown from Thursday 5 November, subject to a vote in the House of Commons, the Chief Minister has reassured Islanders that the same restrictions do not apply in Jersey.
The Chief Minister said:
“Jersey is in a very different position to the United Kingdom in terms of the lower prevalence of COVID-19 in our community. Thanks to the preventative measures we have already implemented to contain and limit the spread of the virus; our excellent test, track and trace regime; and the continued cooperation of all Islanders, there is no need to introduce such wide-reaching measures at this time.
“Our goal remains, above all, to protect the health and wellbeing of our whole community. We want to do this whilst avoiding blanket restrictions like lockdown, which impact disproportionately on Islanders mental health, job security and social interaction. This will require us all to continue acting responsibly, by following advice to always wear masks in indoor public spaces, ensuring good physical distancing and complying strictly with contact tracing rules when eating out.
“I also want to reassure those Islanders who may have children studying in schools and universities in the United Kingdom that they will be able to return to the Island for Christmas, and that officials will work with any family experiencing logistical difficulties. We will also ensure that Islanders who are due to travel for medical treatment in the UK can continue to do so.
“In a press conference tomorrow morning, led by the Minister for Health and Social Services, and Dr Ivan Muscat, we will announce the full details of our COVID-19 strategy update, to prepare the Island for the additional healthcare pressures that winter will bring. This update will set out how we intend to keep infection rates low, while balancing the impact of restrictions on Islanders life and work.
“We will also be setting out details of our enhanced testing programme, which will launch on Monday, and will include a particular focus on testing Islanders whose public facing roles put them at higher risk of infection, and those who are more likely to transmit the virus onto those who are at high risk.”
Islanders are encouraged to watch the press conference, which will take place at 9am on Monday 2 November, online via the Government of Jersey social media channels, or live via www.youtube.com/GovernmentofJersey.