30 July 2021
On the advice of the Public Health and in consultation with the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC), Ministers have agreed a reduction to the standard period of isolation for people who test positive with COVID-19.
The new policy, which is effective immediately, will see:
- the current 14-day isolation period reduced to 10 days from the point of a positive PCR test having been received. Individuals must be symptom free for 48 hours prior to finishing their isolation period
- the isolation period for the small number of passengers arriving in Jersey who do not wish to take part in the Safer Travel testing programme will also reduce to 10 days.
The isolation policy has been assessed as a proportionate balance to reduce the isolation burden to Islanders, including those who are asymptomatic, whilst continuing to reduce the risk to the wider community from positive cases and align with the current isolation period in the United Kingdom.
Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: "Currently, Islanders who are positive with COVID-19 are required to isolate for a period of 14 days. Although the evidence suggests the dominant Delta variant is more transmissible and can increase the severity of symptoms, there is no compelling evidence to suggest a longer period of infectivity such that isolation for 10 days from onset of infection, in non-severe cases and in the absence of immunosuppression, is safe.
"Islanders who are still exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19 at 10 days aside from a persistent cough, fatigue and /or loss of smell or taste, which are common symptoms that tend to carry on for longer after the infectious period has passed, should continue in isolation until they have been symptom-free for 48 hours."
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: "I am pleased we are able to bring forward a reduction in the isolation period which will further support the health and wellbeing of Islanders. The new policy means anyone who is currently on day 10 or more of their isolation period will be able to leave isolation now unless they have features suggesting ongoing infection.
"Last week, we brought in a daily 2-hour window of outside exercise time for those isolating to help promote wellbeing, particularly for families with children and for those who do not have access to outside space, and I hope the new isolation policy will further support this.
"The COVID Safe Team will be shortly be contacting those who are currently in isolation advising of the change from a 14 to 10-day period. This includes Islanders in isolation who are positive with COVID-19, as well as anyone who had opted not to participate in the Safer Travel testing programme."
Islanders who have symptoms of COVID-19 must immediately isolate and either book a test online via the booking portal or call the helpline to be prioritised for a test.