I know many local businesses have been keen to see a relaxation in our lockdown procedures and a return to normal service.
I’m pleased that, in line with expert medical advice, the Council of Ministers have now approved a further easing of measures to allow businesses and consumers greater flexibility.
From tomorrow, all businesses can operate to the one metre rule.
Industry sector guidelines are being amended accordingly and businesses should continue to work closely with the Government moving forward.
Restaurants and cafés will be allowed to serve people from multiple households at a single table; allowing a welcome return for families and friends to socialise again.
The curfew on closing time for restaurants and cafés of 10:45pm will also be lifted, and normal licencing hours can resume.
If our low rate of cases continues then licensed venues, including pubs, will be able to reopen from next Wednesday, 1st July. This will be for a seated alcohol-only table service.
At the same time there will no longer be a requirement for alcohol to only be served with food in all licensed premises.
At this stage, nightclubs will unfortunately not be able to reopen. That will come as we move into Level 1 of our Safe Exit Framework, from early July.
The reduction in distance also means that construction sites will no longer need to apply for the ‘COVID-19 Construction Work Order’, as workers will be able to maintain a reduced physical distance more easily.
While the industry will no longer need permits to operate, the existing measures requiring a risk assessment, with plans to minimise transmission, will continue to be monitored as part the Health and Safety at work Law.
I know many have been eager to see these steps for some time, and I’d like to extend my thanks to all of our business sectors for their patience and their compliance.
I’d also like to thank Islanders, for following the guidance to date and securing the good position we now find ourselves in which has led to this very welcome relaxing of measures.
We continue to move safely and steadily forward but we must all continue to respect the guidelines if we want to avoid a return to stricter measures.
We must also be most mindful of those at High-Risk who will require the space to stay safe while accessing these facilities.
By keeping your distance, by showing patience in the queue, by limiting your physical contacts, you are helping make sure that everyone can enjoy these new measures with confidence and that we can all keep moving forward together.
I will now hand back to the Chief Minister who will invite questions from the Media.