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Jersey to end all covid rules in March

Jersey to end all covid rules in March

Friday 28 January 2022

Jersey to end all covid rules in March

Friday 28 January 2022


The States in Jersey today (Friday) published a detailed timetable for lifting all remaining covid-19 rules.

Jersey's timetable includes scrapping testing at the borders on 7 February and ending all isolation requirements by 31 March even for people who have tested positive for the virus and still have symptoms.

On Wednesday, Guernsey's Civil Contingencies Authority published a ‘Bailiwick Blueprint’ for moving towards handling the virus through guidance rather than emergency laws. The Authority has pencilled in 17 February – just three weeks from now – as the date to remove all domestic legal controls. 

Jersey's timetable appears to be longer but more detailed and allocates dates to each specific change in what it is calling a "de-escalation plan". 

Jersey's Council of Ministers said the emergency phase of the pandemic – which began when the island entered lockdown in March 2020 - will formally come to an end on 31 March with the lifting of all isolation requirements for positive cases.  

John_Le_Fondre.png

Pictured: Jersey's Chief Minister, John Le Fondre, announced his Council of Ministers' plan to end all covid rules by the end of March.

Jersey's "de-escalation plan" timetable is as follows:

Tuesday 1 February

  • Masks: legal requirement to wear in shops and other public spaces ends (separate policies for schools and healthcare settings).
  • Work from home: Recommendation to ‘work from home where possible’ ends.
  • Business contact tracing: Removal of legal requirement for businesses to collect contact details.

Monday 7 February

  • Travel policy: All requirements, including border testing and the need to fill in a pre-departure travel form will come to an end.
  • Government contact tracing: Government-led contact tracing, including schools, comes to an end, to be replaced by recommendation that positive cases inform people they’ve met.
  • School rules: Education policies are refreshed. This is likely to include a requirement that children who have symptoms and/or test positive for covid stay away from school, isolate and get a PCR test. Also, children will be required to do a LFT each week-day morning when at school, at least for short term.
  • LFT reporting: End of recommendation that people report negative LFT results, except release from isolation.

By Monday 28 February

  • Rules and regulations: All Covid regulations and orders to expire, except the overarching law enabling rules to be brought in, which will end in August. Regulations requiring screening, assessment and isolation at the border, if needed, will expire by 31 March.
  • Future of STAC: Completion of review of whether STAC - the group of scientific and technical staff who advise ministers on covid - is still needed.
  • Future of CAM: Meetings of ‘Competent Authority Ministers’ – the group of ministers who have legal responsibility for covid-related laws – to meet far less frequently.
  • A new strategy: 'Post-emergency-phase covid strategy' to be approved and published.

By 31 March

  • Isolation: People who test positive for covid will no longer be required to isolate by law, even if they have symptoms.
  • Reporting of statistics: From now until April, the Government will begin to phase out the range, volume and frequency of data about covid that it provides to the public, including daily case numbers.

Jersey's Council of Ministers said it could announce the changes now because of high vaccination coverage in the island, particularly in vulnerable groups, and a recent risk assessment from the UK which provides a high level of confidence that the severity of the dominant omicron variant of covid-19 is much lower than earlier variants.

So far this winter, Jersey has recorded 19,500 cases of covid-19 and 21 deaths compared to last winter’s 2,900 cases and 37 deaths. 

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