Draft laws on mask wearing indoors to be lodged

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Deputy Richard Renouf said that a proposition regarding masks could be debated by States Members in December.

The minister was speaking after Islanders were issued with fresh guidance that ‘strongly recommended’ the use of face masks from the start of this week.

‘It’s still early days, but I’ve been told that there seems to be a greater number of people observing the guidelines,’ he said. ‘I understand that businesses and their customers may need some lead-in time and I would expect to see a further increase in usage.’

Deputy Renouf had previously said that the latest guidance would be monitored before a decision was made to proceed with legislation.

‘There’s no specific time period for reviewing the use of masks – we look at all the measures that are in place,’ he said.

Lodging the proposition was a provisional move, Deputy Renouf added, ensuring that the legislation could be debated if necessary, but could subsequently be withdrawn or amended if ministers felt that mask-wearing had become sufficiently widespread.

‘If we feel our measures are making a difference in preventing the spread of the virus then we may choose not to proceed,’ he said.

The minister said the campaign to limit the spread of Covid-19 was evolving.

‘We are seeing declining numbers at the Airport and Harbour and we expect a further decrease after half-term, which will mean a shift of focus away from the ports towards preventive measures such as masks and hand hygiene,’ he said.

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