18 December 2020
Over the past weeks, we have seen an increasing number of new COVID-19 cases emerging, on a daily basis, across our Island community.
Of particular concern is the fact that we have seen an increase in cases among older Islanders, especially in those aged over 40.
This morning 136 new cases were recorded as a result of our ongoing testing regime. 548 were symptomatic and 399 asymptomatic.
And we are still getting reports of casual compliance.
So, I am going to pass over to Dr Muscat now, as I want Islanders to hear this advice from a scientist, from someone who knows the health service, and who knows how the virus is spreading.
I hope this sharpens minds and encourages more people to change their behaviour and keep all of us safe for Christmas.
The STAC advice is clear – we need to keep mixing between households to as little and as infrequently as possible.
This means that you may need to change your weekend plans, and this means you may need to have a smaller Christmas than you planned.
But by stopping the mixing indoors, doing so immediately, and reducing the size and scope of your Christmas and Boxing Day we are doing what we need to do to keep our most vulnerable safe.
All staff across Health and Community Services are working to keep patients and themselves safe. Help them go to work, by staying home from yours.
Over the last 48 hours, the Superintendent Registrar has reported our first deaths of the second wave.
Losing a loved one is a tragedy and I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of these individuals at this sad time.
This is a sombre moment for Jersey, and it should stand as a reminder that the threat from this virus is very real.
We all have an important role to play to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to protect those in our community who may be more vulnerable than ourselves.
I can therefore confirm that the Hospitality Circuit Breaker will continue until at least the 4th January.
From midnight tonight, I am instructing all cafes and other food premises that remain open, to close for everything other than takeaway service. Law officers are drafting an order to back this up and so this will be backed with enforcement as soon as possible.
And from Monday, unless critical, you must work from home. You must limit the time spent indoors with people from other households, and this includes keeping your distance from colleagues unless your services are required to help keep the Island going.
We recognise that these measures will have economic consequences not only on businesses but also on people’s livelihoods. We will be putting further support measures in place. These are being finalised today and I will be giving a further update at a press conference early next week.
In the meantime, please continue to follow the guidelines and stay safe.
Like much of the World, we face a Christmas which is going to be very different to what we are normally used to, however we have almost finished vaccinating care home residents, and the next stage begins tomorrow.
Therefore, whilst still a challenging time, I hope Islanders can take heart that we believe that we can see an end to this very long journey.
We all need to look out for one another, over this Christmas period.
In particular, please make sure you reach out and connect as family and friends, especially to those who may be more vulnerable or more lonely during this time.
Whether this is virtually or by picking up the phone, or by going for a walk please make that extra effort over this Christmas time.
Jersey’s strength lies in its unique community spirit and we need that to shine over the next few weeks.