Guernsey States reveal lockdown exit plan

Credit: ITV Channel TV

Guernsey States has released its 'Exit from Lockdown' plan.

The government says the strategy is to "test, trace and quarantine" while easing restrictions.

Guernsey's Chief Minister says the framework for moving out oflockdown will be led by public health data and analysis.

Our first priority is absolutely protecting the health and lives of Islanders.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, Guernsey's Chief Minister

The Director of Public Health says although the number of cases is falling, "we cannot be complacent".

It’s quite possible we won’t see a straight line forward through the phases and instead we’ll need to move back into earlier phases at some point. The way the community has worked with us in observing the restrictions so far is a big reason why we’ve moved into phase two and we’ll need the community’s support and cooperation to keep moving forward through the phases.

Dr Nicola Brink, Guernsey's Director of Public Health

Guernsey is currently in phase two of the exit strategy, meaning full lockdown is in place. Some gardening, building and other trades are able to work under strict controls.

Limited recreational activity with social distancing measures is allowed.

How to progress to phase three

  • Stable or reducing cases of Covid-19 acquired through unexplained community transmission in a rolling consecutive four week period from the start of phase two

  • No new clusters of infections that pose a risk of onward transmission in the Bailiwick for a consecutive four week period from the start of phase two

  • Hospital admissions for Covid-19 stable or decreasing for a rolling consecutive four week period from the start of phase two

  • The continued availability of local testing for the virus that causes Covid-19

Phase three

Phase three will be a progression towards a more normal level of activity within the Bailiwick. More businesses will be able to function on a limited basis, recreational time is likely to be expanded and there will be the possibility of expanding the "household bubble".

What can we expect to see?

  • Takeaways may be able to reopen - with hotels, restaurants and bars staying closed

  • Libraries and museums may be able to reopen - recreation time to be expanded with more choice of recreational activities

  • Restrictions on work practices, gatherings and social distancing will remain in place

  • Places of worship to reopen for people to pray by themselves - congregation services not allowed

  • Consideration to extend social connectivity meaning a possible expansion of the household bubble

  • No non-essential travel and anyone returning to the Bailiwick to self-isolate for 14 days remains in place

How to progress to phase four

  • No new cases of Covid-19 from unexplained community transmission in the previous consecutive eight weeks

  • No new clusters of infections that pose an ongoing threat to the Bailiwick

  • Hospital admissions for Covid-19 are stable or declining

  • The continued availability of local testing for the virus that causes Covid-19

Phase four

Phase four represents a further progression towards a more "normal level ofactivity" within Guernsey.

What can we expect to see?

  • Retail, hospitality, hairdressers, beauticians and gyms to reopen with some restrictions in place

  • Recreational time and range of activities increased

  • Further expansion to the household bubble, possibly with gatherings allowed - providing social distancing and hygiene measures are sustained

  • Businesses that have not yet been able to reopen (excluding bars and nightclubs) can operate under increased hygiene requirements

  • No non-essential travel and anyone returning to the Bailiwick to self-isolate for 14 days

How to progress to phase five

  • No cases of Covid-19 from unexplained community transmission in the previous eight consecutive weeks with no weeks carried over from phase three

  • No new clusters of infections that pose a risk of inward transmission

  • Hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the last month stable or declining

  • The continued availability of local testing for the virus that causes Covid-19

Phase five

It is expected that islanders will return to "a normal level of activity" in phase five - however islanders will live in a "Bailiwick bubble" as travel restrictions outside of the Bailiwick will remain in place.

Anyone returning to the Bailiwick will still be expected to self-isolate for 14 days.

What can we expect to see?

  • Bars and nightclubs are likely to be able to reopen

  • Contact team sport to resume

  • Children's playgrounds may reopen

  • A lightening of restrictions on public gatherings

How to progress to phase six

  • No cases of Covid-19 from unexplained community transmission in the previous four weeks

  • No new clusters of infections

  • No new hospital admissions for Covid-19 in the last month

  • Vaccine available and good evidence that neighbouring jurisdictions have adequate control of the virus

  • The continued availability of local testing for the virus

Phase six

Phase six is the final stage of the "exit plan" and is likely to only occur when there is a vaccine available or the public health risk assessment indicates that Covid-19 no longer poses a significant threat to the health andwell-being of islanders.

If in a four week period the number of cases passed through the community exceeds ten, or clusters emerge, it would mean moving back to the previous phase - with increased lock down restrictions brought back in.

The President of the Health & Social Care Committee said: "Since this pandemic began we have shared as much of the information that wehave used to make our decisions as possible with Islanders, so they could understand why we were making them."

We need to do the same over the coming weeks and months. As we move through the various ‘phases’ and restrictions are lifted we’ll be asking Islanders to do slightly different things each time in both their work and personal life. They’ve been superb and I’m still incredibly grateful for how the whole community has supported our strategy so far. But if we want people to keep working with us, they need to know why they’re being asked to make each of these adjustments. That is why publishing this framework is so important. >

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care

Further information on the exit from lockdown for educational and early years settings (nurseries, child minders) is expected in due course.

The "Exit from Lockdown" Framework is considered a "live" document and will be updated by the States of Guernsey as the situation changes or as their understanding of the coronavirus improves.

The States say this framework is not the same as the "Recovery Plan" although there are elements which overlap.

  • WATCH the briefing here...