The government confirmed yesterday that the current figures of active coronavirus cases for Jersey’s nearest neighbour – both nationally and regionally – were well within the threshold for ‘green’ status, and lower than the corresponding figure for the UK.
There is no legal requirement for self-isolation for those arriving from green countries, as long as the result of the test administered on arrival is negative and they have not visited amber or red territories during the previous 14 days.
Meanwhile, External Relations Minister Ian Gorst said that the number of people coming to Jersey since the borders reopened had exceeded expectations and that there were also slightly more active case of Covid-19 than anticipated.
An updated version of the Island’s ‘Countries Risk Assessment’ was issued yesterday, with 14 additions to the ‘red’ list, which now stands at 24.
Those who have spent time in ‘red’ countries are legally required to self-isolate for 14 days, while those who have spent time in the countries ranked as amber must self-isolate for five days after arriving in Jersey, with tests carried out on arrival and on the fifth day.
Although some Islanders have expressed concern about the rise in levels of Covid-19 in Brittany, deputy medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat said the actual number of cases in the region remained low.
Dr Muscat said that the upper limit for green status was 25 cases per 100,000 people across a 14-day period, although other factors, such as the distribution of cases, were also taken into account.
The current rate for Brittany is 12.2 cases, Dr Muscat added, compared with the national French figure of 11. The UK figure is currently 14, according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
‘We’ll continue to closely monitor the situation in France and, if necessary, we will reclassify the country,’ he said. ‘However, we would look at the whole range of risk factors such as rate and direction of change, distribution of cases and country testing rates before making this decision.’
As well as number of cases per 100,000 people, the government also considers where cases are being found – for example, whether they are in care homes or through day-to-day contact with people – and the risk of case numbers increasing when reviewing the risk attached to that country.
In a press release, the Government of Jersey said that the worst-affected area of Brittany was the Finistère region in the far west, furthest from Jersey.
The government added that a number of additional public health measures were being implemented in France in response to the rise in new cases to contain the virus. These include increased testing and more stringent regulations for the wearing of face coverings.
As part of the weekly review of Jersey’s Countries Risk Assessment, 13 countries previously ranked as amber will have red status from tomorrow. A country is classified ‘red’ when the active case figures are above 120 per 100,000, although other factors are again considered.
One country, Luxembourg, has risen from green to red as a result of a recent rise in active cases to more than 1,000 among a population of 626,000.
Five countries have been reclassified from green to amber, while three have been downgraded.
Dr Muscat said: ‘The revisions to the countries made today reflect the international changes to new cases of Covid-19, including where some countries have been successful in suppressing current rates of infections.
‘The countries and categories are regularly reviewed to determine the level of risk travellers arriving from each country present in order to allow our borders to operate safely.’
Changes to Countries Risk Assessment (effective 24 July)
Green to red: Luxembourg.
Green to amber: Andorra, Croatia, Serbia, Seychelles, Turks & Caicos.
Amber to red: Bahrain, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Israel, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Montenegro, Oman, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Turkmenistan.
Red to amber: Sweden
Amber to green: Canada, Estonia