01 July 2021
Following recommendations from the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC), and in consultation with Public Health, Ministers have agreed a further short delay to moving to the remaining stage of Jersey’s Reconnection Roadmap.
This step has been taken to allow more time for Jersey’s vaccine rollout and to keep the risk of transmission low to help schools safely stay open and complete the summer term. At the same time, an extension has been agreed for some sectors to claim economic support.
Stage 7 Reconnection Roadmap
Ministers have agreed that while vaccination coverage continues to grow and if the risk of severe illness remains low, the remaining restrictions to Stage 7 Reconnection Roadmap will be lifted on Thursday 15 July:
- standing drinking will be permitted at all locations, including pubs and bars
- nightclubs will be permitted to fully reopen, including for dancing
- the limit of 20 people at gatherings in private homes, gardens and outdoor spaces will be lifted.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “The decision to agree a further short delay has been taken to allow more time for the Island’s vaccination programme to provide first and second doses of the vaccine to more Islanders. An additional two weeks will allow for most of our 18 to 24 year olds to be offered a first dose of the vaccine. It will allow for schools to safely remain open and complete the summer term whilst keeping the risk of COVID cases in education settings low.
“Ministers acknowledge that cases of COVID are rising and will continue to rise as we manage the Delta variant on Island. However, the number of COVID cases on Island will not be used as the measure to determine the final stages of our reconnection. We have extremely good vaccination coverage, which is increasing week on week, with 93% of those aged over 50 having received their second doses and 60% of Islanders over 18 now fully vaccinated.
“Within the context of vaccination coverage, we need to reshape our thinking and approach, and look to the excellent level of vaccination protection that has been afforded to Islanders. Vaccination protection against COVID means that our most vulnerable Islanders are protected, which has been one of the key objectives that our vaccination programme set out to achieve. A high vaccination uptake also means the severity of illness and hospitalisation will decrease, with pressures on our healthcare services lessened.
“Ministers agree that, if we continue to see increased vaccination coverage and the risk of severe illness and hospitalisation remains low, the final components of Stage 7 will be going ahead on Thursday 15 July. This means nightclubs will reopen in full, stand-up drinking will recommence and there will be no limit on the number of people allowed in homes and gardens.”
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “It remains prudent that we take an additional two weeks to offer vaccination to more Islanders and to not rush the final stages of our reconnection.
“Vaccination remains our best intervention to overcome the virus and enable the Island to fully reopen. If Islanders book a first dose of the vaccine by Sunday 11 July, they will receive a second dose in mid-August. I urge all Islanders who are eligible and who haven’t attended for their vaccine to please book now.”
Extension to economic support schemes
Ministers have also agreed to extend support provided under the economic support schemes, which had been due to end on 30 June.
The Visitor Attractions and Events Scheme (VAES), Visitor Accommodation Support Scheme (VASS), and the Fixed Cost Subsidy Scheme (FCSS) will all be extended under current terms to the end of August 2021. The Co-Funded Payroll Scheme will be extended until the end of August 2021 for those businesses eligible to claim under VAES, VASS and FCSS. The Business Disruption Loan Guarantee Scheme has also been extended to the end of September 2021.
Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “The extension of these schemes reflects the impact that the delay in moving to Stage 7, as well as the border controls, continues to have on certain sectors of our economy.
“Some business sectors are returning to a relatively normal trading environment, but others will continue to struggle while they have continuing fixed costs to pay but significantly reduced income. We recognise the challenges many businesses face and will continue to support them throughout the pandemic.”
The Minister for Treasury and Resources, Deputy Susie Pinel, said: “We’ve been committed to protecting lives and livelihoods since the start of the pandemic and the extension of our support schemes will help those most affected by this short delay to the full opening of all businesses and activities."