The island will be moving into phase three of its lockdown sooner than originally planned, following 15 consecutive days without a new case of the corona virus, meaning more businesses will be able to re-open, including non-essential retail and takeaways.
The ‘Exit from Lockdown’ framework published on 5 May 2020 outlined the triggers which would allow the Bailiwick to move through six detailed phases to safely return to normality.
We moved into Phase 2 on the 25 April 2020 and have had no new cases of unexplained community transmission since 21 April, with only seven active cases today.
The current public health data has exceeded our government's and public health officials' expectations, and they have subsequently decided to introduce most of the elements planned for Phase 3 early.
These can be found on the States website HERE under Phase 3.
In addition, a decision has been made to introduce some non-essential retail on a pilot basis which was originally planned for Phase 4.
"This early move into Phase 3 represents another really positive step forward for Bailiwick," Deputy Gavin St Pier explained. "As always, we are having to strike a balance between managing the public health risks and consequences of covid-19 against the wider health and welfare interests of the Bailiwick which obviously includes consideration of the economic consequences of the lock down and its impact on jobs, incomes and businesses.
1 hour to go...Subtitles are available. If you require subtitles please ensure you activate them on the device you are using. https://t.co/nqTnaU9L6v— States of Guernsey (@Govgg) May 15, 2020
"It is in all our interests that we end the lock down as quickly as we safely can, which is why it will be done in a series of calibrated and controlled steps, not one big leap of faith. We will continue to be led by the evidence of covid-19 in our community and our public health data.
"Whilst the current evidence leaves the Bailiwick in a really strong position, with every expectation that we can progress more quickly through the exit phases than we might originally have hoped, we will not hesitate to take a step back if we see unexplained evidence of community seeding or clusters developing. I sincerely hope that will not be necessary, especially if the whole community continues to follow the guidance and regulations."
Health & Social Care President Heidi Soulsby added: "As I said on the 5 May, we know we are asking islanders to do slightly different things each time we move into a new phase. The things that we have included in this ease into Phase 3 represents another step towards near normal levels of activity."
From today, anyone wishing to resume private health and wellbeing activities can complete a risk assessment based in their own premises and activities. These applications will then go to the Medical Director for approval. For more information, go to:https://t.co/FjF5mdZnfd pic.twitter.com/thLxHwdFq8— States of Guernsey (@Govgg) May 14, 2020
"The way the community have supported the strategy so far means we have moved into the next phase quicker than expected. If we continue in the right direction we hope to include the final elements of Phase 3 in the next couple of weeks."
Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink said due to the significant reduction in active cases, it has been possible to start testing key workers and other potentially symptomatic people for the novel corona virus.
"Our strategy remains the same ‘test, trace and quarantine’. It continues to be effective as evidenced in the lack of new positives and the low number of active cases. Islanders will see from the daily statistics that we are still testing people on a daily basis. Some of these will be symptomatic patients but we have already begun to proactively seek out cases by targeting certain key workers who we are testing regardless of any symptoms of covid-19."
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