Guernsey's government places island into lockdown

Guernsey's government has told islanders to stay in their homes to contain the spread of coronavirus.

As of midnight on 24 March 2020, all gatherings of two or more people will be stopped and non-essential shops and community spaces will be closed.

It comes as the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Guernsey rose to 23 - including the first case of person-to-person transmission on the island.

Islanders will only be allowed to leave their homes for the following reasons:

  • Shopping for essentials, such as food and medicine - this must be as infrequent as possible.

  • Exercise such as walking, cycling, running or sea swimming. This must be done alone or with other members from the household and is limited to two hours per day.

  • Any medical need if instructed to do so by a healthcare worker or required to do so having called 999, or

  • To provide care or to help a vulnerable person.

  • Travelling to and from work, but only if work absolutely cannot be done from home.

While taking part in these activities, people must maintain a distance of two metres from anyone outside the household.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Chief Minister, says the decision to introduce these measures has not been taken lightly.

These measures introduce the most far reaching deprivation of personal liberties since the Second World War. These are not decisions that we have taken lightly. The impact of these decisions are far reaching but I am absolutely certain that it is the right thing to do to protect our community. Stay in regular touch by ‘phone or video call with friends and family. We will continue to update so that you have reliable source of facts. This decision does not change my other advice from yesterday: don’t panic; keep calm; stay strong; and maintain good personal hygiene amongst your household. Rest assured that the whole of government is mobilised to continue to do everything we can to protect you, your families, as well as ours. We will never compromise or risk that overriding objective.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Chief Minister

The Police will be able to enforce the measures through fines and dispersing gatherings.

The restrictions will be in place for the next two weeks, after which they will be reviewed.

  • WATCH: Guernsey health professionals urge people to stay at home...