Sark remains free from Covid-19 and has not had a case. But the island continues to follow the same lockdown restrictions in place as the rest of the Bailiwick – mask wearing, social distancing and only two hours of outdoor exercise or activity allowed.
Restrictions were put in place to ensure that the virus did not enter the island, with Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink stating this was down to the size and age demographic of its community – more than half are over 60 – and its reliance on a single GP.
In addition, since 25 January residents and anyone setting foot on Sark from any destination, including Guernsey, has to isolate for 14 days.
Seigneur Christopher Beaumont said for now his family was coping well, but it was difficult to gauge the feeling of the island when there were fewer opportunities to bump into someone.
‘Most people have got more space in Sark than elsewhere, so I doubt anyone feels particularly trapped and though I haven’t seen many people out and about because of lockdown, when I do it is from a distance,’ he said.
‘We’re not going to the shops or the pubs, they’re not open. We’re getting our deliveries by cart, which was tried and tested during the first lockdown. We had the tractor carting system anyway though and it works very well.
‘My household is seven or eight big so we’re not short of anyone to talk to, but there will be others who will feel more isolated and I can’t speak for them.’
He added that, as with Guernsey residents, the restrictions in place were being ‘put up with’ and he was thankful that, as a result of precautions, the island had no cases.
Despite no apparent cases from 51 tests in Sark, Conseiller Amanda de Carteret said that the island’s representative was in talks with Guernsey about the current situation, but as yet nothing had changed.
‘We are dependent on Guernsey for hospital services and are in close contact with the Civil Contingencies Authority,’ she said.
‘It is too early to say if Sark will be able to apply for any exemptions. Our representative on the CCA, Conseiller John Guille, updates the CCA at their meetings and makes the appropriate representations on Sark’s behalf.’
So far those aged over 80, over 75, carers, front line health and social care workers have had their first dose of the vaccination at the Island Hall and four of these, who are frontline and health care workers, have had a second dose in Guernsey.
More second-dose vaccinations are due to take place shortly as the next batch of vaccines arrive from Guernsey in the coming days.
It will see the island move on to vaccinating the over 70 and 65 age groups.
Conseiller de Carteret added that Sark continued to closely monitor the situation and the effects of lockdown.
‘There are no passenger ferries running at present, just the cargo boat on Tuesdays and Thursdays,’ she said.
‘We have an excellent support system in place and residents are able to access this as needed. We also check on all our elderly and vulnerable residents regularly.’
Sark has a food bank operated by the Rev. David Stolton and a hardship fund, for which the procureur, Stephanie Guille, is responsible, is available.