Jersey eases lockdown restrictions a little more

JERSEY is continuing to loosen its tight Covid-19 restrictions, which have been in place for some time.

Health Minister Richard Renouf. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (29245875)
Health Minister Richard Renouf. Picture: JON GUEGAN. (29245875)

Non-essential shops and businesses which offer close contact services, such as hairdressers, tattooists, and massage and sports massage therapists, are now allowed to open.

From 22 February, there are plans to reopen hospitality venues that serve food.

Places such as restaurants will be able to cater for a maximum of 10 people at tables, with alcohol only available with food, a two-metre gap between tables and a two-and-a-half hour limit for bookings.

Hotels may also be allowed to reopen, for local customers only, with a final decision expected this week.

So far in Guernsey, only businesses who can utilise lone workers are able to return to work, with any further easing of restrictions not coming into force until Thursday at the earliest.

Jersey is also allowing outdoor team sports for under-18s from Wednesday, but adults must wait until at least 8 March.

Faith worship for up to 40 people will be allowed from Wednesday.

Many restrictions are set to stay in place until at least 15 March. This includes gyms and pubs that are mainly for drinks, the household mixing ban and guidance around working from home.

Health minister Richard Renouf, said: ‘We are pleased to resume our gradual and considered reopening of lower-risk activities.

‘Waiting until 22 February to reopen hospitality will give the businesses time to prepare for the public health requirements they will have to meet and will give us time to discuss their concerns and support them as they prepare to reopen.’

This will feature PCR workforce testing before reopening, and lateral flow tests once venues are open.

Enhanced protocols will also cover cleaning and the wearing of masks.

‘While the relaxation of public health measures creates some risk, there are significant wellbeing benefits to reconnecting some of the activities we have all been missing,’ added Deputy Renouf.

‘Officer advice on the balance of harms has convinced us that the reconnection we are announcing today is the best way forward for our community.’

Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre provided more details on their progress.

‘To date, the reconnection policy has proceeded without spikes in case rates or positivity,’ he said.

‘The 14-day rate is now below 50, and test positivity for all age groups is below 1%, low enough to proceed with reconnection more quickly.

‘Risks remain though, which is why we are not opening up too quickly and we are not yet relaxing our travel arrivals policy.’

  • As of yesterday, Jersey had 47 active cases, having suffered 35 deaths in the second wave.

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