Guernsey’s Civil Contingencies Authority has agreed that it will move out of full lockdown and into Stage 1 of its Exit from Lockdown on Monday 22nd February.
The Bailiwick of Guernsey entered lockdown on Saturday 23rd January after 4 cases of Covid-19 from unknown community sources were identified. Since then, the lockdown has made significant progress in controlling what could have been an exponential increase in cases.
The Civil Contingencies Authority (CCA) did consider if the move to Stage 1 could be made earlier, however while only low numbers of cases are now being identified each day through an expanded testing programme which includes surveillance testing of several frontline and essential service workforces, some cases are still being found where the source of the infection is unclear.
The CCA has sought to take a balanced approach and remain in full lockdown for a few days longer, so further expanded surveillance testing can look to identify as many cases as possible. However, unless this results in a very extraordinary increase in cases or some other unforeseen development, the CCA is not intending to again review its decision on moving to Stage 1, and the move will go ahead on Monday.
Stage 1 will allow some businesses who are not able to operate in the full lockdown to resume some business activity, provided they are non-public facing, they limit the number of staff working, and those staff are socially distanced and follow strict guidance.
It will also allow each household to ‘bubble’ with one other household. Outdoor gatherings of up to five people outside of a household bubble will also be permitted, provided they are socially distanced.
The CCA has also agreed that Alderney, where only one case of COVID-19 has been identified, should move to Stage 1 on Thursday 18th February.
More details on Stage 1 can be found here.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said: “We know this lockdown has been far from easy, but the community has done a tremendous job in getting this more transmissible variant of the virus under control. But as we continue to see cases, including those where the source is not clear, we need to tread very carefully.
“Guernsey will move to the next Stage on Monday, meaning a little more time to use our testing to hunt out as many cases as possible. Then, when we do make the move, it is still a very limited ‘unlocking’ to ensure we do not see another sudden rise in cases. But it’s a positive step forward and does allow us to see some of our loved ones again, and allow some parts of the economy to get back to work in a careful, controlled way.”
Photo courtesy of Sure Telecom.