30 March 2020
Yesterday, the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, signed an Order which legally requires Islanders to ‘stay home’ to slow down the spread of Coronavirus.
The COVID-19 (Restricted Movement) (Jersey) Order 2020 makes it an offence for Islanders to go to – or remain in – public places. The Order will initially last for 14 days, but will be extended on the advice of Dr Ivan Muscat, Medical Officer for Health, as required.
The Order means that everyone should stay at home, unless they:
- Are a police officer or authorised officer carrying out their duties
- Need to be out in public to do work which cannot be done from home. This includes essential workers and volunteers as listed on the Government of Jersey website
- Need to be in public to fulfil a legal obligation: for example, if they have been ordered by the Court to be somewhere
- Have a reasonable excuse for not staying at home. A reasonable excuse may include leaving their home to buy essential supplies, daily exercise, or for necessary medical reasons.
Under the Order, anyone who should stay at home but chooses not to do so will be committing an offence. Initially, it is expected that police officers will issue advice to individuals. However, they are empowered to deal more firmly with blatant or persistent behaviour, including returning someone to their home if they are found in public. Anyone ignoring the Order can also be fined up to £1000.
The ‘stay home’ Order is in addition to the new legal powers approved by the States Assembly on Friday 27 March. These powers make it an offence for a person to refuse:
- To be tested for COVID-19
- To stay at home or at a place of care for 14 days if they have COVID-19, or if health officers believe they may have COVID-19 (some people may be required to stay at home for 28 days)
- To self-isolate with every member of their household for 14 days if they returned to Jersey on, or after, 20 March.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “I have signed this Order in line with the latest medical advice. It is necessary to ensure we slow the spread of the virus, protect our health services, and save lives.”
“I am closely monitoring the situation and will continue to take advice from Dr Ivan Muscat to determine whether this Order should be extended.
“To be clear: all Islanders will still be able to leave their homes for a maximum of two hours a day to buy essential supplies such as food and medicine, and for daily exercise. However, they should not leave their home unless it is for one of these reasons, or unless they are a critical or essential worker.”