23 December 2020
As you have said, we must take steps now to address the continuing high number of active COVID-19 cases we are seeing – especially with the emergence of a strain which appears to be more transmissible.
If we do not, we risk putting our healthcare services under increased pressure over the Christmas period and into the new year.
Despite lower daily cases over the past few days, we are still seeing a significant overall number of active cases, which peaked at 1019, on Monday.
As of last night, there were 31 patients across HCS sites, 4 of which are in the ITU.
And, sadly, we have recorded 3 COVID-related deaths, since Friday.
So, what form will the new measures take?
Firstly, from today we will be applying a rule of 10 to ALL gatherings.
So, that means you should only meet in a group of no more than 10 people, both indoors AND outdoors.
Exemptions will apply for places of worship, weddings or civil partnership celebrations booked before the order was amended today, as well as funerals and after-school clubs. Everyone you should double check the guidelines on gov.je before attending any gathering.
Secondly, we will be closing all non-essential shops from 6pm on Christmas Eve.
We will be reviewing the position in the first week of January but we anticipate that they will remain closed at least until the morning of Monday 11 January
Non-essential shops include clothes and furniture stores, jewellers, giftshops, bookshops, and bookmakers will be closed.
It also applies to all ‘close contact’ services, which applies to services such as spas and beauty salons, tattooists, and hairdressers.
Indoor recreation and cultural facilities must also close.
But essential services, including supermarkets, chemists, petrol stations, pet shops and banks WILL remain open.
A full list of all those businesses that are permitted to remain open is available on the gov.je website.
Finally, any international passengers arriving in the Island, who have transited through UK airports, will be regarded as having arrived from a Red Zone, and will have to isolate for the full 10 day period, undertaking tests on days 0, 5 and 10, in line with current public health guidance.