The reconnection roadmap, agreed by ministers yesterday, sets out the next four stages of progress and how we will return our community to normality as we finally beat the pandemic and head safely towards the summer.
I am going to run through the dates and reconnection activities, but before I do I want to be clear that these are the indicative dates for our reconnection.
They will be subject to constant review by our scientific and technical advisors and we will consider bringing things forward should our situation stay as good as it is now, with high levels of testing finding few or no cases week in and week out.
The opposite is also true – if our situation deteriorates due to clusters or outbreaks, this could delay the reconnection. However, I am more than optimistic that these dates will hold and potentially improve but we need to stick to the rules through the final stages of the pandemic.
I know many of you are wanting to travel freely again to and from Jersey and we are carefully considering plans for reconnecting our Island internationally through our Safer Travel Policy, and the reintroduction of our traffic light system for travellers arriving in Jersey.
These plans are still under careful consideration by the Council of Ministers and subsequently will not feature in the plan I will be setting out today.
Our borders are our key defence against the spread of the virus so it is important that we take the time to ensure we make the very best decision and, to that end, we will be providing an update on our safer travel and border policy next week or the early in the week after.
Moving now to our on-island reconnection plans;
On Monday 15th March we will move to Stage 4 of our roadmap.
From that date gyms will be allowed to reopen and indoor sporting activities including changing rooms and swimming can also resume.
This will be under guidance which we will share in advance with relevant sporting sectors.
Islanders will once again be able to meet in each other’s homes, up to a maximum of ten people at any one time.
Soft play facilities will open for groups of up to ten children.
And singing and playing woodwind and brass instruments in groups of ten indoors will also be permitted.
We will enter Stage 5 on Monday 12th April
From that date islanders will be able to return to workplaces with some mitigations and physical distancing still in place.
The outdoor gatherings limit will be raised to 20 with up to 40 for outdoor sports spectators.
Close contact sports, including martial arts and rugby, can resume indoors and outdoors.
And the drinks-only table service can resume in hospitality settings.
Stage 6 of reconnection will commence on Monday 10th May.
From that date physical distancing will reduce to one meter and the physical distancing order will be discontinued and replaced with guidance.
Working from home guidance will be lifted altogether.
Islanders will be able to meet, indoors or outdoors, in groups of up to 20.
The limit on indoor singing, and the playing of brass and woodwind instruments, will be raised to 20, with an audience of up to 20.
Wedding and wedding receptions of up to 40 people can take place.
Wakes will also be permitted for up to 40 people.
Finally, we will enter Stage 7 of our reconnection plan from Monday 14th June.
At this stage, physical distancing will end, and large events will be allowed.
Places of worship will be able to welcome back their full congregations, and theatres, auditoriums and cinemas can be fully reopened
Nightclubs will reopen for the first time in over a year, and live music and dancing will be permitted, alongside standing drinks service and
Theatres, auditoriums and cinemas can be fully reopened
At this stage we will also undertake a thorough review of all COVID-19 guidance and legislation.
I would like to take this opportunity to highlight the business support packages currently in place, these include:
The Co-Funded Payroll scheme
The Visitor Accommodation Support Scheme
The Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme
The Fixed Costs Support Scheme.
The Business Disruption Loan Guarantee scheme and
Social Security and GST deferrals
All these support packages are under constant review and will remain in place to protect jobs and businesses through the transition period and I will be providing regular business support updates as we progress through the reconnection roadmap.
I have absolute confidence that we can meet the key dates set out today.
This is because our community has shown fortitude and commitment throughout the pandemic and I know we all want to return to normality just as soon as it is safe to do so.
Before I hand over to the Health Minister, I want to pay tribute to all those who have been part of our excellent vaccination programme.
Not just the frontline workers who are diligently and efficiently delivering the vaccinations but also to all of you who are participating in the programme to protect yourselves and others.
Without the vaccination programme we would not be able to return to normality within the timescale and framework presented to you today.