A series of legislative changes, giving Ministers additional powers to protect Islanders and manage the developing situation, will be lodged by the Government today (Friday 20/03/2020), for debate in the States Assembly next week.
The proposed new measures include:
- powers allowing the Minister for Treasury and Resources to make withdrawals from the Consolidated Fund in emergency circumstances brought on by the pandemic;
- Triennial Regulations which will allow the Bailiff to withdraw or add conditions to public events that have already been granted permission;
- powers allowing the Minister for Environment to shut down any public gathering determined to be prejudicial to health;
- changes to the legal requirements under the Cremations (Jersey) Law for a second examination of a deceased body, and
- amendments giving care providers and the Care Commission the necessary flexibility to continue serving vulnerable Islanders with a reduced workforce.
In addition, Ministers will be introducing a series of further measures next week that will:
- allow Health and Community Services to employ retired doctors;
- allow self-employed individuals to defer payment of social security contributions without it affecting their benefits and entitlements;
- give the Minister for Health and Social Services the power to issue a serious shortage protocol in respect of prescription medicine or to issue a direction for the purpose of preventing or controlling the outbreak of a pandemic disease in Jersey;
- powers to impose requirements on people to be screened or assessed for coronavirus, and
- the power to require people to self-isolate, using reasonable force, if required.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, explained: “During these unprecedented times, it’s essential that we’re able to act quickly in order to keep Islanders as safe as possible.”
Government of Jersey News Release.