People in Jersey could be fined up to £1,000 for failing to wear face covering in certain settings

If plans are approved, it will enable the Minister to make mask-wearing compulsory for customers in certain workplaces, such as shops. Credit: PA

People in Jersey could be fined up to £1,000 for failing to wear face covering in certain settings.The Health Minister has proposed a raft of new laws allowing him to quickly bring in new restrictions to contain the spread of coronavirus.The proposition will be debated in the States next week.If approved, it will enable the Minister to make mask-wearing compulsory for customers in certain workplaces, such as shops.Islanders would only be exempt if a health condition or disability prevented them from doing so.Businesses will be told to refuse service to customers who are not wearing masks, and to ask them to leave the premises.

"The requirement for a person to cover part of their face in some circumstances is clearly an imposition on their freedom and the decision to allow such a requirement to be introduced is not taken lightly.

Deputy Richard Renouf, Minister for Health and Social Services

The proposition sets out the following reasons for making mask-wearing mandatory:

  • Masks effectively prevent the projection of respiratory droplets, reducing the risk of people unknowingly passing on the virus to others (source control).

  • Masks are increasingly thought to be useful in reducing the risk of community spread if introduced early and alongside other key measures.

  • Masks are now linked to increasing protection to the wearer, as they reduce the amount of the virus that the user might be exposed to.

At next week's special States sitting, members will also be asked to approve stricter enforcement of contact tracing measures in the hospitality sector.