At Stage 7 there will be a thorough review of all COVID-19 guidance and legislation, to ensure it remains proportionate to the risk. Some essential guidance may continue, to ensure Islanders remain safe and to prevent any resurgence of COVID.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “Public health officials and STAC have spent the last two weeks developing proposals for a detailed reconnection plan, based on our vaccination and active case figures. We want this cautious return to normality to be a one-way route to regaining our freedoms. We do not want to reimpose restrictions, so it’s important that we leave enough time in between each stage of reconnection for STAC to be content that it is safe and appropriate to move forward.
“The threat from COVID-19, despite our world leading vaccination programme, has not gone away. But Islanders should congratulate themselves on getting us to such a good position and protecting our most vulnerable from the physical harms of the virus. The end is in sight, but we cannot ignore the guidance that is still in place. We are moving away from these restrictions gradually and carefully, and I would like to urge Islanders to remain careful so we can continue to make good progress.”
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “I am sure Islanders will welcome these plans to reopen our community. I want us to be able to reconnect and resume normal life as soon as possible, but it is critical that we follow the clear stages set out in these plans.
While the risk from household mixing remains high, we recognise the wellbeing needs of Islanders. When mixing with others in homes and gardens it is safer to meet the same small group of people, rather than many different people. We will be assessing the impact of vaccination and the number of positive cases as we approach each new date on the roadmap.
“Our vaccination rollout is moving ahead at pace, and we have now delivered a first dose to more than thirty thousand Islanders. These figures represent a comprehensive rollout to some of our Island’s most vulnerable people and I want to thank everyone in the vaccination programme for their determined effort bringing us to this point.
“We are now reviewing the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation’s recommendations for vaccinating people under 50 years old, to help inform the next stage of Jersey’s vaccine roll out. We will be announcing our plans for this next stage in the coming weeks.”
Minister for Economic Development, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “I am pleased that we can continue our return to normality by announcing these further relaxations of our existing restrictions. But these dates are a guide. They will be subject to constant review by the medics and, if we are still finding few or no cases with a high rate of testing, we will consider bringing things forward. Conversely, if our situation deteriorates due to clusters or outbreaks, we will delay things.
“So it is clear that we must continue to adhere to the guidelines as we move through the reconnection stages, or we risk moving backwards. It is critical that everyone maintains the compliance that has been evident as we reopened hospitality. This is the only way to ensure the success of our vaccination programme, and a permanent return to normality.”
Plans for reconnecting the Island through the Safer Travel Policy, and the reintroduction of a traffic light system for travellers arriving in Jersey, are due to be considered by the Council of Ministers. An update on the border policy will be announced in the coming weeks.