20 November 2020
Islanders are being reminded that new measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 have now been introduced.
Social gatherings indoors should now follow a ‘rule of 10’ which means no more than ten people (including children) can gather inside homes. Informal outdoor gatherings and events can accommodate 20 people, as being outside reduces the risk of airborne droplet transmission.
Anyone attending such events should maintain physical distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene, and any gathering that cannot follow these public health measures should not go ahead.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “We have introduced these new public health measures in response to the rise in Covid cases, as we want to avoid the need for another lockdown in Jersey.
“If you think an event you’re planning to attend will exceed the maximum numbers, please do not go. Keeping to smaller groups, no more than 10 indoors, or 20 outside, will reduce your risk of catching and spreading the virus. And please continue to adhere to the guidance on physical distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene. It’s important, both to protect ourselves and other people.”
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: “Social gatherings are a known catalyst for the spread of COVID-19. Infection is transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets and contact with contaminated surfaces. The risk of transmission appears to be proportionate to the closeness and frequency of the interaction between an infected individual and those who are not infected.
“The likelihood of coming into contact with an infected person increases as the size of the gathering increases. And the number of potential contacts is also greater, which creates the potential for a super spreading incident. It is thought that some 80% of all onward transmission occurs from some 20% of infected individuals.
“By limiting the total number of attendees and putting mitigation measures in place, many events can proceed. Any event or social gathering which cannot adhere to the rules on gathering size should not take place. This is in addition to all existing public health guidance including physical distancing and hygiene.”
To be defined as a controlled event a designated business or organisation must:
- ensure that they can follow the guidelines for controlled events on www.gov.je/gatherings
- name a lead organiser
- complete a risk assessment showing how the guidelines will be fully met
If a business or organisation can show that these strict controls are in place when holding an indoor event, 20 people may attend. An exception to this has been made for funeral services, which can accommodate a maximum of 40 people. This exception does not extend to wakes.
For an outdoor controlled event, the maximum is 40 people.
Next week the States Assembly is due to debate a set of Regulations which, if approved, will enable the Minister to make Orders to enforce these rules for gatherings and events.
A winter task force is being set up to provide advice on the type of events that can safely go ahead this winter. Further information on this task force will be published in due course.