12 February 2021
I understand and completely agree with your message about the impact the pandemic is having on Islanders mental health, and the stress it places on families and individuals.
I am pleased that we can take the steps we are announcing today, to allow a greater degree of personal interaction. And I know that many Islanders will welcome the opportunity to, once again, enjoy meals with their friends and family.
Government officers are working closely with the Jersey Hospitality Association, the Chamber of Commerce and members of that industry to ensure that they have all the support and information needed to reopen safely on the 22nd February.
I’d like to thank the JHA and Chamber for their ongoing engagement and guidance.
I know that the leaders and members of the hospitality industry equally place a huge importance on the responsibility they have to keep us all safe.
I am hugely grateful for their ongoing cooperation.
I want to set out some of the mitigations that will be in place to ensure the safety of Islanders, and the staff of these businesses, as they reopen.
Before reopening, food and drink hospitality premises will be offered COVID Safe Reviews to be conducted by the Test and Trace team, and they will also be issued with firmer COVID sanitation guidance.
Contact details must be supplied when you arrive at a restaurant or cafe, and we will be strengthening our monitoring and enforcement of this requirement. You will also have your temperature checked.
Masks must be worn in hospitality premises, apart from when sitting down to eat and drink. Please respect this when entering a restaurant and respect the staff who ask you to do so. It is for your safety, for their safety and for the Island’s safety.
There must be at least two metres distance between separate tables when you are dining. This will reduce the risk of direct contact between tables.
And finally, you will only be able to stay for a maximum of two and a half hours to enjoy your meal.
These steps, in how you enjoy your meal, provide the necessary controls to keep the experience safe.
Lateral Flow Devices in the hospitality sector can provide a further layer of protection for staff and customers and help identify potential cases early. As a result, we will be working with the industry to identify pilot businesses to take part in a LFD scheme.
All hospitality workers in food and drink services will also be encouraged to seek PCR tests as part of the Workforce Testing Programme before they return to work in the coming weeks.
If you are one of those workers, I would strongly encourage you to phone the Helpline as soon as you can over this weekend, on our new freephone number 0800 735 5566 to book your test.
Helpline workers are standing by to take those calls and arrange PCR appointments, as soon as they are available.
I know that all of these measures will place an extra burden on the hospitality industry, but I know they have the commitment, the skill, and the willingness to open and to do so while keeping us safe.
Hospitality, alongside all Island industries has been severely impacted by the pandemic and have suffered significant financial hardship.
Earlier this week we launched the Fixed Costs Support Scheme to provide additional critical support for those businesses.
As of Midday today, 146 businesses, across Island industries, have applied for support.
I’m glad this scheme will add an additional £9.5 million to the support already available through the Co-funded Payroll Scheme, Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme, Visitor Accommodation Support Scheme, and Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme.
I remain committed to continue protecting businesses, lives and livelihoods in Jersey throughout the duration of the pandemic.
I hope that this funding provides the additional helpful support to enable those businesses most impacted by public health measures to weather the winter period and to move ahead with more confidence into 2021.