As Guernsey enters its second strict lockdown period, mobile and landline calls to the States of Guernsey’s Covid-19 advice lines (01481 756938 and 01481 756969) are free of charge for Sure customers.
The Covid-19 lines, which have been free to call since March 2020, are currently receiving and making hundreds of calls daily as the Joint Emergency Services Control Centre (JESCC) experiences its largest volume of calls since the start of the pandemic.
Justin Bellinger, Chief Executive at Sure in Guernsey, said: “We want to reassure our customers that if they do have to call the advice lines then they can take comfort that these are free calls. JESCC are doing a fantastic job fielding a large amount of calls, which may require you to stay on the line for a longer period than expected. It’s vital that islanders follow the guidelines issued by the States of Guernsey and only call the Covid-19 helpline if they have the relevant symptoms.”
Supporting the community
As schools are closed, more than 90 SIMs and devices, provided by the Sure Community Foundation, are being distributed this week by the committee for Education, Sport and Culture to students without access to the internet to help them continue their studies while they are confined to their homes.
Staying in touch with friends and family during the lockdown can play a huge role in an individual’s wellbeing. Working with the charity ‘We All Matter Eh?’, Sure and its Community Foundation have supported care homes and individuals by donating £12,500 worth of WiFi devices across the Bailiwick of Guernsey as part of the #StayConnected initiative since the start of the pandemic.
Customers who use a Piper Lifeline service, an alarm designed for elderly or disabled residents to call emergency services, or who are on the Telephone Assistance Scheme (TAS) continue to receive free local landline calls 24 hours a day, so they can stay connected to friends and relatives as well.
Justin continues: “Now more than ever is the time to stay in touch with loved ones and call upon the Guernsey Together mentality as we navigate through the second lockdown. A phone call or text message can really make a difference to someone’s day.”
Working from home
As demonstrated by the first lockdown, Sure’s network is well equipped to handle the increase in demand as islanders work from home. The telecoms provider is also encouraging its customers to download the Sure Support App available on Apple and Android smart phones. If a customer is experiencing broadband issues, the ‘self-help’ app is able to run network tests using a mobile to diagnose and solve broadband issues. This will result in customers avoiding lengthy calls, a swift diagnosis and ensure islanders can stay connected to friends and family.
“Our website offers useful guides including how to make the most of your broadband or phone and a list of telephone numbers and email addresses to contact us in case of a query.
“This is a worrying time for everyone and we are here to support our island communities. I’d like to thank our customers for their ongoing support and our employees for their hard work in keeping the islands connected.”
Updates from Sure regarding Covid-19 and the Sure Support App can be found here.