New measures to ‘test the water’ on way to stage three

STAGE TWO of leaving lockdown is due to start on Monday when various freedoms will return, such as unlimited time outdoors.

Clockwise from top left:  States chief executive Paul Whitfield, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Deputy Heidi Soulsby and Dr Nicola Brink. (29298095)
Clockwise from top left: States chief executive Paul Whitfield, Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Deputy Heidi Soulsby and Dr Nicola Brink. (29298095)

Up to 30 people can gather outdoors and up to 20 people can gather inside a venue, for example for weddings or birthday parties, but social distancing and face coverings must be enforced with those not part of the same bubble arrangement.

Gatherings cannot be held in homes or gardens with people who are outside your household bubble.

Civil Contingencies Authority member Deputy Heidi Soulsby said limits were put on gatherings to ensure control over Covid should it still be in the community and are proportionate to the low numbers of cases identified in recent days.

Bubbles can extend to four households, which must remain exclusive and consistent with any pairings made in Stage 1.

Households are considered high-risk environments compared with the controlled environments of outdoor or public spaces and businesses, evidenced from high rates of spread within domestic settings.

Excluding nightclubs, public-facing businesses and non-essential retailers can resume trade subject to Public Health guidance, such as submitting a clear method statement and keeping records

of attendance.

All business owners and managers were reminded to read through the business guidance carefully by States of Guernsey chief executive Paul Whitfield.

Restaurants, pubs, hotels and other food establishments can open for table service only and any alcohol sold on licensed premises must be served with food.

‘When dealing with the first wave we got into an awful mess trying to decide what constituted a meal,’ Mr Whitfield said.

‘This time we’ve been broader in terms of describing that, so we’re not going to specify what people actually eat other than that they purchase food.’

Up to 10 people per table can go for meals together, regardless of bubbles, and face masks must be worn when not eating or drinking.

Businesses must produce a full list of contacts immediately, should a positive case be identified linked to that premises, to help the contact tracing team.

Working from home is strongly encouraged where possible.

Mr Whitfield said nearly 1,700 businesses have notified the States of their intention to operate in stage two, with around

125 new notifications since Monday.

Staycations for within the Bailiwick are expected to return in stage three, as well as businesses involving entry into households.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said these measures are to test the waters as a stepping stone to move toward stage three, which will hopefully begin soon, and to make sure that no superspreading events occur.

CCA chairman Deputy Peter Ferbrache reminded islanders that these decisions were made with safety as the paramount consideration and that nobody has to do anything they feel uncomfortable with even if they are now allowed to.

Older school pupils taking GCSEs and A-levels who cannot form classroom bubbles will undergo voluntary self-swab PCR testing.

Public singing is not permitted in stage two, nor is public playing of woodwind or brass instruments.

Unless any new and uncontrollable sources of infection are identified, and the public adhere to stage one regulations, stage two will go ahead as scheduled on Monday.

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