Jersey cracks down to stop the spread of coronavirus

The government of Jersey introduced new, tougher measures to prevent movement around the island in its fight against the spread of Covid-19.

Previously only those aged 65 and over, with underlying health conditions, had to stay at home. Now it is the whole population.

Part of the difficulty in Jersey is that tests for the virus have to be sent to the UK, as there are no facilities on the island. Last week this meant a 5-day delay before they were returned to the island. It has therefore been difficult to monitor the spread of the disease.

There have now been two deaths in the island, both of whom had long-term, underlying conditions and at the weekend the government released its most recent testing figures. Positive cases had increased over the week from 32 to 63 but there are still 101 results pending.

Under the new measures announced by the island's chief minister via radio and social media on Sunday evening all residents must now stay at home for the next 30 day except those in essential service jobs. Shops other than those providing food and essential services, such as pharmacies and hardware stores, must close.

People are only allowed out of their homes for two hours a day for the following reasons:

To shop for essentials such as food and medicines but only infrequently. Only one member of the household may shop, unless it is impossible to leave children at home.

For medical reasons.

For daily exercise as long as physical distancing is practised.

The list of essential work is long.

It includes public transport, social and health services, postal services, farming, critical banking and financial services, delivery services, emergency medical work such as dentists, fuel stations, vets and pet shops, vehicle rental services, repair services to motor vehicles, boats and bicycles, car parks, public toilets, garden centres, office supplies, electrical and IT retailers and maintenance services. Everyone must have physical distancing measures in place. 

Construction sites must close as of 4 April unless they have permission from the government. Emergency repairs in a house, such as electrical and plumbing emergencies can be carried out under very strict regulations regarding both the tradesperson and the occupants of the household.

Financial and legal services come under specific regulations. See details here under the business and employment pages. 

Delivery services across the island are flourishing and a new website called fetch.je  has come online for island companies and delivery services to publicise their products. Customers will be able to buy a selection of products from Jersey businesses all in one “basket”, for local delivery or collection. 

The initiative is a co-operation between DWE Digital, a local digital consultancy company which specialised in digital business development, and 365Tickets, a ticketing and events company, which has been operating in the tourism sector for many years. The local newspaper Jersey Evening Post is also advertising delivery services in the island, which are growing by the day in the food sector. 

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