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Covid update 15th December

covid-19-update-jersey-hospitality-association

Covid update 15th December

Dear Member,

 

Following the Competent Authority Ministers meeting last night to discuss the new Omicron variant, a number of changes to the Winter Covid Strategy were agreed. These changes reflect the dynamic situation presented by the pandemic and in particular, concerns around the Omicron variant.

 

Attached is the Chief Minister’s speech that was read out in the States this afternoon, and you can read the report from Bailiwick Express here.

 

Here are the main points:

 

  1. Effective immediately, you will see enhanced efforts to boost lateral flow testing, support care home and hospital staff, and get to an 80% rate of vaccination (3 doses of vaccine) by the middle of January.

 

  1. Further measures have been agreed that will impact more directly on the island economy. For travel, from 4th January 2022 “fully vaccinated” (for those over 18) will mean 3 doses of vaccine plus 2 weeks since the 3rd dose. They are also removing the “natural immunity” category which means that anyone who has had Covid in the past 90 days will still be subject to our border requirements (so they must either take a test and isolate or be fully vaccinated).

 

  1. From 4th January, the Government will also be advising that businesses should use working from home arrangements as part of ensuring that staff are kept safe. This will not be an instruction to work from home and it won’t be enforceable by Law. Businesses will be encouraged to take decisions that are in the best interests of staff. It will be made clear that, where staff can be kept safe in the office environment (through distancing, testing, masks) that is an acceptable and responsible manner in which to proceed.

 

  1. From 4th January, masks will also be required by Law in all indoor public settings – this will reflect previous practice (with exemptions when exercising, eating, drinking, exercising and in church).

 

  1. There will also be a greater focus by hospitality venues on collecting contact tracing information to facilitate rapid contact tracing of what is understood to be a much more transmissible variant.

 

 

These measures will be subject to continual review and left in place only for a period of time felt to be absolutely necessary. Should Omicron not develop as anticipated, it’s possible that some of these measures will not reach a point of implementation and we will be kept informed.

 

Critically, business support measures are being reviewed and a further announcement on this topic is expected to follow, probably in the early part of next week.

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