23 June 2021
Ministers agree that our response to COVID-19 must be proportionate to the risks we face, and take into account the real impacts on all Islanders.
Like many of my fellow Ministers, I have been contacted over the past week by parents, business owners, visitors and a wide range of islanders. They have all raised concerns about the current isolation requirements, particularly where they affect children and the fully vaccinated.
That is why I am pleased that - on the advice of STAC - we are able to announce a revised isolation policy for fully vaccinated Islanders and visitors who are contact traced.
Firstly, there will be a reduction in the isolation period for fully vaccinated direct contacts who are identified on-Island.
From today, they will only have to isolate until a day 0 negative test result. They will then take further tests on day 5 and day 10.
Fully vaccinated direct contacts identified while travelling to Jersey will no longer be required to isolate, but must undergo testing on day 0, 5 and 10.
These new measures will continue to protect Islanders from the spread of COVID, while reflecting the reduced risk that double vaccinated Islanders face from the virus.
Everyone aged 18 and over who is currently isolating will be contacted to explain this change.
But if you are fully vaccinated and have had a negative test result while in isolation there is no requirement to wait until you hear from them. You no longer need to isolate.
The changes announced today enable us to use the successful vaccination programme to protect those most at risk but also to reconnect with each other and the rest of the world.
There also is a clear pathway in place to remove the remaining restrictions we have all faced during the past year.
I look forward to the next stages of our COVID-19 reconnection. This will include the return of standing drinking and the reopening of all hospitality businesses, including nightclubs.
We will, of course, continue to monitor the prevalence of the virus in our community and the positive impact of the increasing number of vaccinated islanders.
From the first days of the pandemic we have acted quickly to put in place financial support for businesses. We have adapted the schemes as the pandemic unfolded so that we could ensure islanders’ jobs and livelihoods were protected. We will continue to do this.
We recognise there is ongoing pressure on certain businesses that are still not able to operate as normal or have been affected by the extended travel restrictions. We are committed to continuing support where necessary.
Current schemes are due to finish at the end of June and we have asked officers to review the position and bring back proposals early next week, particularly for the worst-affected sectors, such as tourism, events and hospitality.
We also want to ensure that as many public events as possible take place this summer – and officials are working closely with the organisers and their suppliers to ensure events can still take place in a safe and manged way.
I am confident that we will see a safe, enjoyable summer ahead for Islanders and visitors alike.
I’ll now hand over to the Minister for Health and Social Services.