26 November 2021
Islanders are encouraged to start the night right by taking a lateral flow test (LFT) before socialising this festive season or attending Christmas parties.
With an expected increase in social activity over the next few weeks in the run up to Christmas and New Year, Islanders are reminded to follow the recommended personal actions:
- check COVID-19 status with an LFT before leaving home
- get vaccinated against COVID and flu
- wear a face mask in indoor public spaces where possible
- socialise in ventilated spaces
- keep a distance and respect people's personal space.
- stay home if you feel unwell or have COVID symptoms
Anyone attending a festive event should take an LFT before leaving home. If positive, they must ensure they isolate at home and book a PCR test. Testing at home means there is less risk of anyone who is positive spreading the virus to others.
The Keep Jersey in Business campaign encourages Islanders to help local businesses this winter by taking responsibility for their actions to minimise the spread of COVID-19. There are no restrictions on events, however, event organisers and guests are encouraged to take on board the Christmas public health recommendations.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "We would like everyone to enjoy the festive party season, and this is the first year for a while where events and parties are able to go ahead due to the progress we have made to mitigate the risk of the virus.
"Taking an LFT before attending Christmas parties will protect other people and safeguard the business continuity of establishments. It is important that we all support our local pubs, restaurants, clubs and other businesses by acting on the guidance which helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
"Nobody wants their friends, family or colleagues to be ill or isolating over Christmas, so by taking these important actions while out and about, going for a family dinner or to a nightclub, we can reduce the chances of spreading and catching COVID-19 and ensure that Christmas is an enjoyable, fun and safe time for everyone."
Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "LFTs are very effective at picking up infectious COVID due to the Delta variant. Researchers at University College London have confirmed that they are approximately 80% effective at detecting infectious levels of COVID-19 infection and likely to be more than 90% effective at detecting those who are the most infectious.
"In Jersey, more than 23 thousand Islanders have registered onto the home testing programme and over 333 positive LFT results have been submitted online. Additionally, ongoing LFT tests, for example twice weekly, will pick up many infections not picked up by less frequent PCR tests. So many infections may have otherwise gone undetected, if it wasn't for people having that initial LFT and then confirming it with a PCR test."
Free LFT kits can be ordered online at gov.je/testing and take approximately five days to be delivered to a home address.
Islanders should submit their LFT results by logging into the online portal and using the unique code sent to them via email and SMS.
If a positive LFT result is returned, submit the LFT result on the online portal and a PCR test will be arranged. If positive at PCR, the isolation period will begin from the date the LFT result was submitted online.