Life returns thanks to our community
AFTER weeks of caution in an effort to bring Covid-19 under control, life is about to change dramatically.
It has been more than a month since any unexplained community transmission and there are now only two active cases. That is down to the response of islanders to unprecedented restrictions on their freedoms, compliance that showed how strong we are together.
The trends have led to the island moving through the phased exit strategy much faster than anyone anticipated. From 30 May we will see most businesses opening up, people will be able to attend weddings and funerals, museums and libraries, restaurants and cafes.
Non-essential travel off island is also now allowed, subject to two weeks in quarantine on returning. All States-run schools will also be back in action from 8 June, jumping ahead of the plans announced only recently to limit it to primaries in broken waves.
We can all, if we want, emerge from our household bubble, but the need to socially distance and follow good hygiene remains stronger than ever.
This is going to be a real test as people once again mix and mingle to a much greater degree.
Conversation is also turning to how we reopen our borders more widely and when. We cannot remain shielded in a Bailiwick bubble indefinitely, for social as well as economic reasons, watching on idly as other countries decide that a controlled low level of Covid-19 is acceptable until there is a vaccine.
There will be some high levels of anxiety about the return to a nearly normal life, that is understandable after the messaging of the past two months, and more than ever we all need to be conscious of our actions.
The States debate on the general election, deciding it cannot be held in September because of health concerns, was a reflection of society at large – some more comfortable with the figures before them than others.
More clarity is still needed – on the schools and how they will operate, for example – but Guernsey is well set up to respond should there be any signs of a return of unexplained cases.