Guernsey has gone into lockdown for the second time.
The decision was made following confirmation of four new positive cases of Covid-19 where it was not clear how they contracted the virus, as none were directly from travel or the contacts of known cases of travellers.
Officials say a sharp and strict lockdown offers the island the best chance of getting back to normality as quickly as possible.
The lockdown will be reviewed in two weeks.
Number of cases
Today (24 January), it was announced that the number of active cases in Guernsey has risen to 31. Six of those are potential community cases, meaning they have not been linked to anybody else so are currently from an unknown source.
The Director of Public Health for Guernsey and Alderney, Nicola Brink, shared the figures in today's media briefing.
Number of active cases in Guernsey.
Potential community cases.
Number of cases in hospital.
Number of cases in care homes.
Positive tests will be sent off to the UK on Monday to see if they are as a result of any new variants.
Dr Brink says it is highly likely we will see more cases today and tomorrow.
People should stay at home unless they are:
Seeking medical care;
Carrying out essential shopping for food or supplies;
Exercising for up to two-hours outdoors - this is allowed to take place with other members of your household or, if you live alone, you can exercise with one member of another household while socially distancing.
If you can work from home, then work from home.
Those who cannot work from home can only go to work if they are essential workers.
The message for businesses is to keep your staff at home unless your activities are essential for the running of the island or you adhere to the very strict conditions outlined in the guidance. Hopefully all businesses have plans in place for remote working following lockdown last year.
Events and gatherings
All elective surgery has been postponed next week and forthcoming weeks will be reviewed on Monday.
Any emergency surgery will continue as required.
The safety of our community is paramount and these emergency measures reduce any risk to our health and care services whilst we have unexplained community transmission. 2 I know that these decisions will be disappointing for those who have been preparing for surgery in the coming weeks. Officers will be in touch as soon as they can to rearrange all appointments that have been postponed.
The States of Guernsey says PPE stocks are good and they have sufficient for enhanced use both in health and social care facilities and the private care home sector
No routine visits are allowed.
End of life visits will be individually assessed.
Where visits can be safely accommodated with appropriate safety measures, staff may allow it under controlled circumstances.
We know how distressing and difficult being apart from your relatives is for everyone. We will be reviewing this decision in line with Public Health guidance on a very regular basis and ask for your patience as we do what we can to protect you and your loved ones.
Care homes and the hospital are being instructed not to allow any visitors.
End of life visits will be considered.
The Director of Public Health has closed schools, colleges and early years providers (pre-schools, nurseries and child-minders) to all students for the next two days.
The States of Guernsey says closing sites on Monday and Tuesday (25 and 26 January) will support Public Health efforts to contact trace and test as many students and staff as possible.
18 cases were confirmed across seven education settings since Friday night (22 January).
Restaurants and non-essential retail
Restaurants and non-essential retail are closed even for deliveries or takeaways.
We need all non-essential businesses to either stop operating or operate remotely, and all non-essential workers to stay at home, if we are to quickly get the situation under control. It really is so important that all businesses read the guidance and adhere to the restrictions in place.
Islanders are discouraged from using public transport - it should only be used for essential journeys during the current lockdown.
An ‘enhanced Sunday’ bus service will be operated Monday to Friday from Monday 25 January until further notice.
A normal Sunday service will run on weekends .
Night bus services have been suspended until further notice.
Islanders are discouraged from using public transport for all but essential journeys during the current lockdown.
All public worship in all churches will be suspended with immediate effect and until it is safe to resume.
Most church buildings will remain closed, except for access by those preparing for, or officiating at, live-streamed services.
Anyone entering a church building will be asked to record their names and contact details, to assist the States’ staff in track and trace.
Churches may still be used for funeral services.
Waste and recycling
All public waste and recycling sites are closed until further notice.
Kerbside collections are continuing as normal, and islanders should continue to put out waste and recycling on their normal collection night, unless someone in the household has tested positive for Covid-19, has symptoms or is awaiting a test result. Anyone who tests positive will be given advice by Public Health on what to do with their waste.
All islanders are advised to adopt social distancing measures.
Guernsey’s Director of Public Health is advising islanders to wear masks
The meeting that has been planned for 27 January cannot take place.
The States Greffe says there is no power at this stage to convene the States of Deliberation as a remote meeting. Because of this there is no option but to postpone it.
All the business for the meeting will be deferred to the States’ meeting scheduled for 24 February.
Policy and resources will be looking at co funding measures next week based on the system that was in place for the previous lockdown. This will include sole traders and the self employed.
Anyone who is locked-down or isolating and is feeling lonely can contact the St John Caring Caller scheme on 01481 720088 to arrange for one of their volunteers to call them back for a friendly chat.
We know that for some people lockdown can make them feel disconnected and cut off from the outside world, which can lead in to restless, anxiety or other mental health related issues. Just having someone to ask about your day can make all the difference with how you are feeling.
St John is also operating a free essential delivery service for people who are in urgent need of essential groceries or prescription. They are offering to collect and deliver food or medicines to islanders doors. You can call 01481 742147 to arrange a delivery.