Seven positive cases in cluster and Isle of Man air bridge temporarily suspended

There are now seven confirmed cases of Covid-19 in a cluster in the Bailiwick, and one presumptive case.

'There is no reason to panic', the island's new chief minister told islanders during his first Covid-19 live-streamed press briefing as he announced the air bridge with the Isle of Man is being suspended.

It was the first Covid-19 press briefing held since the general election and the election of States committees. The briefing was brought about by the outbreak of four identified cases, all linked, but where the source is still undetermined.

Now there are seven definite cases and one presumptive case. Five are linked to a specific venue, one is a family member and one is a colleague.

The former chief minister and chairman of the CCA Gavin St Pier was replaced by Deputy Peter Ferbrache who has newly stepped into the role following the Policy & Resources Presidential election last week.

He paid tribute to his predecessor's efforts, but was pleased to be joined with some familiar faces; director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink, States of Guernsey CEO Paul Whitfield, and former head of Health & Social Care Deputy Heidi Soulsby who is now the vice-president of Policy & Resources.

Covid-19 press briefing. Left to right: New president of Health & Social Care Deputy Al Brouard, States CEO Paul Whitfield, P&R vice-president Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Chief Minister Deputy Peter Ferbrache and director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink. (28832676)

'Everything going forward will be as it is now,' he said.

'There's going to be no opening of our borders, there's no going to be no relaxation of our controls, we are dealing with the situation which has cropped up in the last few days in the usual efficient manner that Dr Brink and her colleagues have dealt with.'

Although the air bridge is being temporarily suspended, islanders currently in the Isle of Man will be able to return under the same circumstances as before - no need for a test and no need to self-isolate.

He acknowledged that social media speculation had run rife, but said there was no need for anybody to be concerned.

'There has been an outbreak, and the Isle of Man is suspending the air bridge at the moment.

'We're moving into Phase 5c, which will now happen next Wednesday, and that will progress [albeit two days later than initially planned] in the way that was previously envisaged.'

Deputy Ferbrache stressed that the community will be kept up-to-date with the latest developments efficiently, and repeated again that there was no need to panic.

There are no other new measures being introduced at this stage, and will not be for the foreseeable future.

Read more in tomorrow's Guernsey Press.

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