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"These are dark days that we will always remember"

Wednesday 25 March 2020

"These are dark days that we will always remember"

The Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas has put out a public message, urging people across the Bailiwick to follow Public Health's advice so all of the islands can "pull through" the corona virus crisis together.

His words follow on from yesterday's announcement, which put the islands in lockdown from midnight, after the first case of community seeding was identified in Guernsey.

"We must now move quickly to protect our communities, to protect ourselves - you, me, our fellow islanders, all of us and especially the most vulnerable," the Bailiff warned. "These are dark days that we will always remember."

About 15,000 people tuned in to the States of Guernsey Facebook live announcement last night, in which President of Health & Social Care, Deputy Heidi Soulsby set out what the restrictions will mean for the community. Her statement is available to read in full here.

The measures put in place are the strictest the Bailiwick has ever faced, including during the days of the Occupation between June 1940 and May 1945. 

However, unlike during the Second World War, lines of communication remain open and supply lines with essential goods are flowing freely. 

"States Members have been bold and decisive," Sir Collas continued in his address to the Bailiwick, "unafraid to close borders, close schools, close bars and close nightclubs.

"I am proud of the response I have seen from islanders. Everyone who has followed the guidance has played their part. Anyone who has not done so should be ashamed of themselves. We must all do what we are told to protect ourselves, loved ones and everyone else.

"We have excellent doctors and nurses who are doing all they can and will continue to do so. If we follow the Public Health guidance, we will minimise the spread of infection. If we don't, medical services will become overstretched and lives will be lost, needlessly." 

The President of Policy & Resources, Deputy Gavin St Pier also addressed the public to explain why the States had decided to quickly implement the strict measures, giving residents even less personal freedom to move around the islands than was the case during the Occupation. HIs statement is available to read here.

"Do as you are told and you will save lives - your life and the life of those around you," the Bailiff told the community.

"We are privileged to live in some beautiful islands. These are wonderful communities. We do look after each other. It is important that we continue to do so. Life will be very different in the coming weeks. We must try to maintain contact in all the ways that we can; through the internet, online and by phone. Call your loved ones, especially those who live alone. Share you stories and support one another. But, all the while, follow the guidance that comes from your government. It has never been more important to do so.

"This horrible, hidden, killer virus is moving amongst us in the midst of our community. It requires a community response to fight it and defeat it.

"Never in my worst nightmares did I ever imagine that I would to you like this. The coming weeks an days will be grim. but we can and we will pull through if we each continue to play our part. We must stay together, even when we are apart.

"Take care, stay safe, keep faith and our islands will pull through."

Pictured top: The Bailiff, Sir Richard Collas.

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