Coronavirus: Guernsey's Chief Minister urges people to take social distancing seriously and not be 'so selfish'

Guernsey's Chief Minister is urging islanders to take social distancing seriously and only buy goods that are needed.

Deputy Gavin St Pier says those who are buying more than necessary need to "get a grip and not be so selfish".

States Members say they have been working closely with retailers to implement changes to help social distancing but need community support.

Shoppers must give each other space and are asked to be patient when retailers put measures in place such as opening fewer tills. The island has no current issues with the supply of essential goods. Retailers have confirmed they have access to product lines and supply lines are being maintained.

Guernsey States

Despite Condor having increased its freight capacity, shoppers are experiencing empty shelves which have been brought on by the current demand outweighing the supply.

Deputy Gavin St Pier says there is "absolutely no need to buy more than you need".

Our current supply lines are strong, they are secure, and retailers have reassured us that they can access the goods the island needs. A freight delivery was late today (21 March) but that’s an occurrence we have all seen hundreds of times. The biggest cause of temporary shortages of supplies at this stage is our own collective behaviour. Everyone buying more than necessary, needs to just get a grip and not be so selfish.

Deputy Gavin St Pier

We are all in this for some weeks yet so it is foolish to think panic buying now is going to meet all your needs over that extended period of indeterminate length. If you are worried about what happens if you self-isolate. Don’t. If friends or family are not in a position to help you then, the community will rally around. We’ve seen plenty of groups setting up for just this type of problem.

Deputy Gavin St Pier
Credit: ITV Channel TV

Debbie Duport is one of many people in Guernsey offering support to those who are vulnerable and self-isolating.

The States are encouraging people to remain disciplined and considerate towards each other.

Everyone must take social distancing seriously given the clear advice from the Director of Public Health about its benefits as mitigation against the community spread of coronavirus. We are in regular dialogue with retailers who are trying to help but all of us as their customers must play our part too.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority