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Restaurants remain open for business

Restaurants remain open for business

Saturday 21 March 2020

Restaurants remain open for business

Saturday 21 March 2020

Although many pubs and the island's nightclubs have had to close their doors under new restrictions, restaurants and other premises serving food are still open to the public, but they have to adhere to strict guidelines.

They are being advised to take extra precautions and allow customers to physically distance themselves from others.

This also applies to the island's gyms, which are still open for business.

"We debated long and hard about what should be opened and what shouldn't be open," explained Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink. "If you think of the role of fitness and so on in our general wellbeing, bearing in mind this is going to be months and we want our population to remain healthy and resilient.

Dr Nicola Brink director public health coronavirus

Pictured: Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink.

"Things like restaurants, if they can spatially distance - have their tables two metres apart, have enhanced cleaning, there are ways in which, at this stage, we can potentially keep them open. We are not giving guarantees long term because we need to look at where we go. Things could get easier, they could get harder - that all depends on how successful we are at containing things here. If we are really successful at flattening the curve, we'll get a bit of herd immunity but our sick patients wouldn't breach our ability to cope, so it's finding that balance."

Many premises had to close their doors at short notice yesterday evening, following an announcement late afternoon.

A&E ED emergency department hospital peh

Pictured: A second case of corona virus has been confirmed in Guernsey.

"At the moment, an assessment on each interview is; 'is it required?', 'is it proportionate?', 'is there evidence to support it?' and 'is it the right thing to do now?'," Dr Brink added. "Sometimes we are going to get it right, sometimes we're going to get it wrong. What we are saying to you is, every time we assess this we will do our best to look at the evidence, look at its local applicability and make the best possible decision we can at that particular time."

The new measures were introduced following the confirmation of a second covid-19 case in Guernsey.

"One of the things we've been incredibly grateful for is how supportive the community has been," said Dr Brink. "We've tried to explain our decision making, because I honestly believe this is a whole island effort. This is not just Public Health or Health & Social Care, this is everyone. The only way we're gong to get through this is all together."

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