Plea to ‘take responsibility’ as restrictions are eased further

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The appeal came at a briefing on Friday which also saw the medical officer of health predict a move to level two of the Island’s safe exit strategy.

Health Minister Richard Renouf said it was no longer right to have ‘draconian’ legislation requiring people to stay at home.

‘No government should impinge on civil liberties for longer than necessary, and it is no longer necessary or proportionate,’ he said. ‘The States Assembly agreed, and the Island is in a better place as a result of that vote.’

Chief Minister John Le Fondré added that while it was no longer against the law to have visitors inside a home, it remained ‘strong advice’ to not have gatherings in private dwellings.

The Chief Minister also echoed the sentiments of many who have criticised the conduct of those who have gathered on beaches and in parks and left mess behind.

‘People have been leaving litter, glass and hot barbecues behind – not only is this unsightly, but it is a significant risk to children and pets, and may lead to fires.’

Other key points from the briefing included:

  • Confirmation that air passengers are being offered tests on arrival in Jersey which would remove the need for a 14-day quarantine period. A pilot testing programme, which began yesterday, means self-isolation is only necessary for the 24-48 hour period until the test result is available.
  • Hairdressers being told they were a ‘different case’ to dentists, and would therefore have to wait beyond next Monday, the date at which dental businesses can reopen. Medical officer of health Susan Turnbull said hair salons would be part of the move to level two, which she anticipated occurring ‘within the next few weeks’.
  • A prediction by Dr Turnbull that international and UK guidance regarding the definition of vulnerable patients was likely to change soon and would influence Jersey’s approach.
  • An admission by Senator Le Fondré that reopening churches and other places of worship was causing ‘a bit of difficulty’ as the approaches of bodies such as the Church of England needed to be observed. Discussions were taking place, he added.

Meanwhile, the likelihood of the new Nightingale Hospital remaining at Millbrook beyond the five-month period originally anticipated grew larger, with Dr Turnbull saying the battle against Covid-19 was ‘long haul’ and that the £14.4 million facility was a very useful insurance policy.

Jersey’s latest total of active cases was given as five by Dr Turnbull, with no new positive cases reported yesterday, and just one additional confirmed case this week.

Guernsey, where there have been no positive tests throughout May and the final active patient was reported to have recovered this week, moves to the next stage of its exit strategy today, with gatherings of up to 30 permitted, a green-light for non-essential travel and, from Monday, the ability to visit pubs.

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