28 January 2022
As the Chief Minister has set out, we are only in this strong position because of the high uptake of vaccination. All Islanders who have been vaccinated have played a significant part in restoring these freedoms for our Island.
It is important to remember that COVID-19 has not gone away, we are not at the end of the pandemic, but in Jersey we are at a good stage to change how the virus is managed.
On Monday 7th of February, Government-led contact-tracing will cease. This will be replaced by guidance, asking Islanders who test positive to notify those that they have been in contact with, and to advise their direct contacts to start ten days of lateral flow testing.
This new guidance aligns with our shift towards enabling Islanders to manage their own health and will speed up the notification of direct contacts.
On Thursday 31st of March, the mandatory isolation requirement for Islanders who test positive will also end. This, too, will be replaced by public health guidance.
Detailed guidance will be published in due course, but until 31March, I would like to stress that the legal requirement to isolate after a positive test will remain in place, with the guidance on leaving isolation remaining unchanged. It is important that Islanders continue to isolate if they receive a positive test result.
I understand that some Islanders might be concerned about the plans for de-escalation, particularly those who are elderly, vulnerable, or at risk. And I would like to reassure Islanders that the risk of disease and severe illness in Jersey is now much less than we have known previously.
Additionally, in the coming weeks we will be rolling out the use of Molnupiravir which is an anti-viral drug, designed to treat COVID during the onset of symptoms, and will ensure that our most vulnerable Islanders are able to access and receive treatment for COVID-19 if required.
Our management of positive cases is largely dependent on Islanders regularly testing themselves with lateral flow tests. It is important that all Islanders continue to test themselves and their family at home. From the 7th of February, the guidance to report a negative LFT result will cease, except where necessary to release early from isolation. From this time, it is vital that if you receive a positive lateral flow test you isolate, book a PCR test, and inform your direct contacts if your PCR test result is positive.
Lateral flow tests are a brilliant tool in identifying positive cases, particularly in those who are asymptomatic. All Islanders can sign up to the home testing programme on covidsafe.gov.je to receive a free kit of lateral flow tests.
If you are already registered, you are now able to order another kit through a new re-ordering portal which can also be accessed through covidsafe.gov.je. I strongly encourage any Islanders who are not already registered to the programme to sign up today, as this, alongside vaccination, will help maintain the position we are at now.