COVID-19 isolation exemption regulations (FOI)
COVID-19 isolation exemption regulations (FOI)Produced by the Freedom of Information office
Authored by Government of Jersey and published on 16 July 2021.
Prepared internally, no external costs.
With vaccines only opening up to age 18 to 25 this past month, please explain how the double vaccine isolation exemption when travelling into the Island does not meet the definition of age discrimination as per the Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 and the 2016 amendments to this.
Anyone aged 30 or under, that is not a medical worker or in a vulnerable group, has not yet been offered the double vaccine due to the prioritisation of the elderly. Whilst not applicable to 10 and under, anyone 11 or over that has not yet been offered their first and second vaccine is not being provided with the same opportunities as their more elderly counterparts.
I would like to see Governmental justification as to why this does not classify as age discrimination.
The requirement for inbound travellers to isolate at the border is provided for in the Covid-19 (Screening, assessment and isolation) (Jersey) Regulations 2020. These regulations provide that a person must self-isolate unless given written permission not to do so. The person will be given permission not to self-isolate where it is determined that the risk posed to public health does not require self-isolation. The Minister, having consulted the Medical Officer for Health, has determined the reduced risk posed by double vaccinated people is such that they should not be required to self-isolate. This does not apply to adults who are not double vaccinated and who are still deemed to pose a potential public health risk.
Covid-19 (Screening, Assessment and Isolation) (Jersey) Regulations 2020
This impacts all adults who are not double vaccinated, the majority of whom are younger adults. As such, this constitutes indirect discrimination as opposed to direct discrimination. The younger adult is not being treated differently from older adult on the basis for their age (direct age discrimination) but on the basis of their vaccination status (indirect age discrimination as most younger adults are not vaccinated).
The Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013 sets out a person should not be discriminated against based on their age (ie that age discrimination is prohibited) but also provides exceptions including where it is Ministerial policy that access to a service (ie vaccination) is based on a person’s age.
The decision to exempt double vaccinated people from self-isolation at the border is, therefore, lawful.
Discrimination (Jersey) Law 2013