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100 days Covid-19 free but ‘we can’t be complacent’

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GUERNSEY has had no new cases of Covid-19 for 100 days as of today, but Civil Contingencies Authority chairman Gavin St Pier has warned that the island must not get complacent.

St Peter Port High Street. (Picture by Peter Frankland, 28560530)

His comments accompanied a tweet from a resident of the Faroe Islands, which had not seen a case of the virus since April.

The message on Thursday said that the first case had been reported two days before.

That grew to 14 cases on Wednesday and 38 on Thursday, all apparently coming from one person.

‘This is a reminder of what we’re dealing with; this is a reminder of why we can’t be complacent; this is a reminder of challenge in preserving normal life whilst allowing travel to resume safely,’ said Deputy St Pier. ‘If it was easy, we would have done it by now. We’re here for the difficult decisions.’

Commenting to the Guernsey Press, Deputy St Pier said the milestone was an opportunity to take stock of what has happened so far.

‘I am proud of our community and how, in the spirit of “Guernsey Together”, we have responded so effectively to the danger presented by Covid-19, but we still face major challenges and a lot of uncertainty.’

While life in the island was unlike almost anywhere else, with all businesses open and trading without restrictions and no limit on the size of public gatherings, the travel restrictions meant that some people still felt cut off from friends and family overseas and the tourism sector was being hit by the lack of holidaymakers.

‘So we have difficult decisions ahead, but I’m confident our island will continue to maintain its togetherness which has been so important in our response to Covid-19 so far.’

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Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink echoed Deputy St Pier’s message about not being complacent.

‘The prevalence of the virus in areas of our neighbouring jurisdictions is still cause for concern and the community needs to be ever-vigilant to the symptoms of the virus,’ she said.

‘That being said, our community should be rightly proud of the response to the virus so far.

‘Please continue to act responsibly, please ensure if you are travelling into the Bailiwick you take the self-isolation requirements seriously and do not hesitate to report any symptoms and get tested.’

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Heath & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby said reaching 100 days with no cases was ‘a remarkable achievement, and certainly not something we were expecting 100 days ago.

‘And I think it’s been even more remarkable that for half of that time we’ve been in phase five, without any restrictions in the island.

‘But I think people should not be frightened of us having a new case.

‘We have testing, tracking and tracing regime in place, more kit should be arriving soon and also we are looking at making sure we have all our ducks in a row for a vaccination programme.’

HSC is due to go to the States at its next meeting to seek approval for legal changes to ensure that when a vaccine becomes available, the island has the necessary laws in place to enable it to be used.

Vaccine preparations Page 4

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