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Statement from the Chief Minister

13 October 2020

Coronavirus Update

Statement from the Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré:

I would like to reassure Islanders, following an increase in positive Covid test results on Monday.

Every Monday, we release results from Friday, Saturday and Sunday – that is 43% of our weekly results released in one day. This week, 30 new cases were found from 3,588 swabs, which is a positivity rate of 0.84%. This means 99.16% of people coming into Jersey tested negative.

From today, everyone who arrives in Jersey must isolate until they get a negative test result, and they will then be retested at Day 5. If they test positive then, contact-tracing will ensure all their direct contacts are also tested.

Since airline schedules resumed on July 3rd, around two-thirds of positive results have been from returning Islanders. And over this weekend, seventeen of the twenty-five arrivals were residents and eight were visitors.

We do not isolate arriving passengers for a longer period because the risk is so low (below 1%), and to isolate 99% of people needlessly is against the advice of our Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, due to its lack of proportionality.

We do not want to prevent Islanders from leaving Jersey to visit friends and family or to take children to University. Behind each number there is a family story and I hope people will remember that there are real people behind these statistics.

We need a proportionate and balanced response that is right for Jersey. While we follow what is happening in our neighbours carefully, we do not blindly follow the measures they are taking. We have our own medical and economic advisers and they have kept us in a great position to date.

Today, we are updating our country and regional classifications and will implement those changes this week, before half term. We are also intending to require more mitigations in the Island, like the wearing of masks in indoor public spaces.

Keeping your distance and washing your hands regularly is the best way to prevent catching the virus. Shops should be encouraging mask-wearing and hand sanitiser use and Islanders need to play their part by leaving their contact details when visiting leisure and hospitality venues.

If we all stick to these rules, we can keep each other safe.  

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