Jersey starts to ease the covid-19 lockdown

The Jersey government has announced its safe exit strategy, a four-point plan to ease the lockdown put in place on 30 March to stop the spread of covid-19.

All stages may be reversed on any indication that the virus has started to spread again. As of 2 May 24 people had died in the island, and there are 286 confirmed cases. There had been no new cases for in the island for two days.

The first stage of easing the lockdown started on 2 May when islanders were able to spend four instead of two hours outside their homes for outdoors activity, essential shopping and medical requirements and could also meet with two people not of the same household outside their homes, provided the two-metre distance was still kept.

In stage three (called soft lockdown) the strict stay-at-home order will be lifted. Five people outside the family will be able to gather outside with the usual physical distancing measures and there will be no limit on time that can be spent away from home.

However people will still be encouraged to work at home. Some retail facilities may start opening with the necessary hygiene and physical distancing measures in place and restaurants and cafes may open their outdoor facilities provided they have adequate health safety measures.

There will still be no travel in and out of the island and schools will remain closed at least until until 22 May. It is hoped parts of this stage will start on 12 May. 

Stage two (called soft opening) will see more businesses re-opening and community services starting up again. All retail outlets will be allowed to open.

Gatherings of up to 10 people outside, but not inside homes, will be permitted. Travel may be possible, depending on what airlines will be able to service the island, but it is expected that people coming into the island will have to self isolate for 14 days.

There will be a detailed plan for opening schools, colleges and nurseries.

Stage one (called physical distancing) will see near normal activity (or what is called the “new” normal), with people able to gather again in their homes but with strict physical distancing in place. Businesses can start working again in offices and all retail shops may open again.

Travel will be permitted but there may still be some form of self-isolation in place, depending on which country passengers come from.

It is advised that masks should always be worn in enclosed public spaces and it will only be in the final stage that physical distancing will be reduced to one metre.

The plan is based on the increased capacity to test for the virus, to trace contacts and for home isolation in the case of confirmed cases. More detailed guidelines for each stage will be released in due course.

For details of the safe exit strategy see www.gov.je.

Ph: Ersilia Boi / Shutterstock.com

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