05 June 2020
Earlier this week, the Government updated our COVID-19 Strategy for the continued suppression of the virus in Jersey.
We will continue to publish further updates to the strategy as we navigate the easing of the lockdown measures.
We entered lockdown to save Islander’s lives. This was our focus for the weeks during our initial pandemic response. We supressed the virus in the Island and are now moving through our Safe Exit Framework.
Having, to date, achieved our objectives to protect the health of the Island, we are now focusing on safeguarding Islander’s livelihoods.
As part of that process, the States Assembly, this week, debated the future of Jersey’s economy from their perspective.
States Members offered a number of interesting suggestions and approaches and I look forward to working with Members in the months ahead as we begin our economic recovery and renewal.
A new Political Oversight Group for Economic Recovery has been convened and an Economic Council is being formed to utilise the local expertise within our Island. These two groups will help to inform the Government’s efforts as we support jobs and local businesses in the weeks and months ahead. And, don’t forget, it is not solely about the economy, we will also be looking at the challenges which have arisen within our society, our environment and community as a result of COVID-19.
Elsewhere, we have begun new measures at the Airport this week, with a pilot scheme to test incoming passengers on the Blue Islands ‘lifeline’ flights, who will be given the option to take part in the trial.
Part of saving livelihoods is coming out of lockdown as quickly as possible, while avoiding a sudden and rapid increase in infections and minimising other indirect health, social and economic ramifications. All of which impact upon Islanders wellbeing.
At the press conference on Monday, the Minister for Economic Development announced our intention to move to Level 2 of our Safe Exit Framework, next Friday 12 June.
Level 2 is about being safer together as we move towards a ‘new normal’ of living with COVID-19. We can move to the next level thanks in large part to everyone who has adhered to the health guidelines and acted responsibly.
Thanks to your efforts we have bought time to build up our PPE stocks, to construct our Nightingale facility, to increase our testing capacity and roll out antibody tests, to deliver the legislative changes necessary and to mobilise the largest support package for both individuals and businesses in the history of our Island.
But we mustn’t become complacent.
We have three active cases, found through a combination of proactive testing and screening, as well as self-referral.
Our testing capacity has continued to improve. To date, a total of 8,465 PCR tests have been conducted - to check for the presence of Covid-19.
5,728 antibody tests have been completed on essential workers – to check whether people have been in contact with Covid-19.
The second round of community antibody testing has also been completed and the latest results of the study are due to be published next week.
This means the virus is still out there. It is still present in our Island. The current data tells us that the number is low, very low. But it remains vitally important that we all continue to do our part, to protect our community and keep this virus in check.
Continue to physically distance.
Continue to maintain good hand hygiene.
And continue to follow government guidelines.
This is how we will suppress the spread of the virus, and continue the gradual and safe, deliberate return to normality.
It must be stressed that our move into Level 2 next week is dependent on the data we will receive next week, and the feedback we receive regarding how people adhere to the measures over the weekend.
Can I just reiterate, we are in a very good position and that is because of the decisions we have taken and thanks to the cooperation and support of Islanders.