20 July 2023
The Government has announced the last phase of its COVID-19 de-escalation, as part of its pandemic response, aligning Jersey with other jurisdictions.
The final changes, which will come into effect from Tuesday 1 August, include:
- Ending the central government supply of free LFT kits
- Updates to stay at home advice
- Pre-admission screening for COVID-19 in healthcare settings will end
Since January 2022, the Government has used a phased de-escalation approach in its response to the pandemic. This has included the ending of Government provided PCR testing, the removal of mandatory isolation periods, and removing mask wearing policy. The last phase of de-escalation came into effect from April 2023.
Lateral flow testing:
Free LFT kits have been available since January 2021 and were first introduced in
schools. From 1 August, Islanders will no longer be able to order free LFT kits from the Government, however, LFTs are readily available to purchase online, in pharmacies and most supermarkets. Those who are immunocompromised or eligible for antiviral treatment are encouraged to order extra kits before the offer comes to an end.
Stay home guidance:
Islanders will no longer be specifically advised to stay home for five days if they have COVID-19. If anyone experiences symptoms of COVID-19, or is unwell, they should stay home until they feel better. As with all other illnesses, Islanders should seek medical advice and contact their GPs if they have concerns or if symptoms persist.
Pre-admission COVID-19 screening:
In April, the pre-admission screening approach for the hospital and other care settings changed from PCR to LFT. From August, Islanders will no longer be required to have an LFT when being admitted to hospital or other care settings.
Director of Public Health, Professor Peter Bradley, said: “The changes we’re announcing today signifies that, although the pandemic isn’t over, we are in a very fortunate position to be able to scale back what we are doing and mark the end of our emergency response. These changes are proportionate to the level of risk the virus poses to the Island. We have continued this de-escalation since February 2022, and I am pleased that we are at this stage where we can somewhat return to normality.
“How the virus will develop in the future and over time remains uncertain, so I urge Islanders to continue following the guidance by staying home if you feel unwell, and if you’re eligible for vaccination, please book an appointment to give yourself the best level of protection.”
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Karen Wilson, said: “I am pleased we are now able to signify the end of our emergency response to COVID-19. The last few years have been very different for all of us, and I would like to thank everyone who has worked hard to keep the Island running and keep Islanders protected. I would also like to thank Islanders for their resilience and support during what has been a difficult three years.”