Restaurants and shops able to reopen Monday

RESTAURANTS and shops will reopen on Monday, under strict rules, as Guernsey moves to stage two of its exit from lockdown.

(Pictures by Sophie Rabey, 29298471)
(Pictures by Sophie Rabey, 29298471)

The Civil Contingencies Authority confirmed the decision yesterday. There were just 13 known active cases of Covid-19 as of yesterday lunchtime, and no new cases have been identified in the last four days.

It means that as well as schools reopening on Monday, non-essential retail can reopen, restaurants and hotels can open to serve food and people can meet in groups of up to 30 outdoors. Bubbles will also be increased to involve up to four households.

‘What we want to do is get through stage two as safely and as practicably as possible,’ CCA chairman Deputy Peter Ferbrache said.

‘The overwhelming consideration is safety.’

Only three new cases of Covid-19 have been found in the last week.

Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said they were testing about 1,000 samples every day.

‘We are in an incredibly encouraging situation,’ she said.

‘We are testing large numbers and not seeing any cases.’

She also revealed that testing has been carried out over the last few weeks to see what variant or variants of Covid-19 caused the latest outbreak.

‘We’ve tested a number of samples from each week and all of them have been the B117 – so the Kent variant of the virus,’ she said.

‘The logic for that is that we can define we are probably dealing with a single wave and not multiple introductions of different variants.’

She said knowing that helped them to plan their control measures.

The stage two guidelines have been published online and the CCA accepted that the rules were quite complex.

Deputy Ferbrache said they were putting their faith in the public to follow the rules.

‘We haven’t got 63,000 policemen to go round and walk behind everybody, but equally they will be enforced,’ he said.

He warned that anyone who breached rules should be looking over their shoulder, because they could be caught and face punishment.

It will be at least two weeks before Guernsey can move to stage three. Deputy Ferbrache said they were intending to move to the next stage as quickly as possible, but it would depend on what cases arise and in what circumstances.

‘The idea is we want to get from stage two next week to stage three as quickly as we can,’ he said.

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