Experts warn Jersey Covid cases could reach 500 per day by next week


The lifting of all coronavirus restrictions in Jersey has been once again delayed following a steep rise in coronavirus cases.

Jerseys government is now also recommending masks are worn in public places and people should work from home if they can. 

At a press conference the Chief Minister announced that Stage 7 of Jersey's reconnection plan will not happen until at least August 5.

Experts are warning case numbers could reach 500 per day by this time next week.

At a press conference (13 July) officials announced they want to slow the rate of infection and reduce levels of isolation, which is affecting both individuals, and businesses are having to close.


Stage 7

Stage 7 of Jersey's reconnection plan, where all restrictions would be lifted due to happen on 15 July, but has now been postponed.

Scientists, public health experts and government ministers say it is part of a plan to allow for a 'safer summer'.

Jersey's Chief Minister says there was "every intention" to proceed with the reconnection strategy.

It is now expected so called Freedom Day will happen on 5 August 2021 at the earliest.



Masks

The government is now "strongly recommending" wearing masks when in public places, especially where physical distancing is difficult.

Meanwhile masks remain mandatory for islanders over the age of 12 when using public transport, or inside the bus station, airport, and harbour.


Direct contacts

Islanders are being asked to "think very carefully about their impact on others" when identified as a direct contact of a positive Covid case.

People identified as direct contacts will now get a text to confirm they are a contact and appointments for testing will also be sent.

All direct contacts in Jersey (resident and non-resident) can leave the island for travel, but should make sure they have a negative test result before travelling.

Direct contacts can still attend vaccination appointments.

People who are waiting for their second or third negative test result should work from home if they can.

Additionally direct contacts are asked not to attend a medical appointment unless it is urgent, and to minimise social contact, avoid busy or crowded public spaces and avoid visiting people in hospital or care homes except in special circumstances.

If a direct contact gets a positive test result they will be notified by text or email and must immediately isolate for 14 days. They will then not be expected to attend another testing appointment in this time.


Work from home

Islanders are now being asked to work from home wherever possible.



Schools

There is fresh advice for schools who can now make an independent decision to close a class or year group until the end of term.

Also children now must not come to school if there is a positive Covid case in their household.

Previous guidance (up until 13 July) set out that children and young people who are direct contacts of a Covid case could attend school - as long as they were tested.

The government is strongly advising staff and students in secondary schools to wear masks in communal areas. Staff in primary settings are encouraged to do the same.

Talks are ongoing between officials and the Jersey Early Years Association surrounding guidance for nurseries and summer activity clubs.

There have been 397 confirmed cases of Covid in schools since half-term.

Jersey's Children and Education Minister says the changes are to ensure staff and students are as safe as possible.



Household isolation

Members of a household where a person is positive are not required to automatically isolate, but are encouraged to act responsibly and minimise their contact with others until they receive a third negative test result.

Positive individuals are "strongly recommended" to isolate separately from others in the house.

If another member of the household develops symptoms of Covid they must immediately isolate and call the helpline for the Covid Safe team to arrange testing.

Isolating in a separate part of the accommodation:

  • Be in a separate room to other members of the household at all times, this includes sleeping in a different room.

  • Do not share bathrooms or kitchen space at the same time. A rota is suggested to helo with cleaning touch points between uses and ensure there is good ventilation.