From Friday 26 June, Islanders are advised to maintain a physical distance of 1 metre or more from people outside of their household. This marks a change from the current 2 metre requirement.
The new ‘1-metre minimum’ guidance will apply in places including workplaces, hospitality settings, and public spaces. Schools are already operating on separate guidance due to the lower risk of children catching and spreading the virus.
The Government is updating its official guidance – which is part of Level 2 of the Safe Exit Framework – based on the latest medical advice that the continued low rate of cases on-Island means it is safe to make these changes.
In line with this guidance, hospitality businesses which provide seated food service (for example, cafes and restaurants):
- can serve people from different households at the same table, if customers keep 1 metre apart
- will no longer be required to close at 10:45pm
Licensed venues (for example, pubs) will be able to provide an alcohol-only seated service from 01 July, provided the number of cases remains low. Nightclubs are not permitted to reopen.
The reduction in distance also means that construction sites will no longer need to apply for the ‘COVID-19 Construction Work Order’, as workers will be able to maintain a reduced physical distance more easily.
While the industry will no longer need permits to operate, the existing measures requiring a risk assessment, with plans to minimise transmission, will continue to be monitored as part the Health and Safety at work Law.
Islanders are also advised that they can begin limited, physical contact with a small number of people from outside of their household. Islanders can help reduce the risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 by ensuring that they only have physical contact with a handful of people and by maintaining good hygiene.
The Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Maintaining a physical distance from other people is still an important way to limit the spread of COVID-19. The reduction from 2 metres to at least 1 metre has been introduced as the next step in our move towards a ‘new normal.’
“By allowing limited physical contact, grandparents can once again hug their grandchildren, and couples who live separately can reunite. High-risk Islanders should remain mindful of how many people they choose to have physical contact with.”
Medical Officer of Health, Dr Susan Turnbull, said: “I congratulate our Government, my colleagues and all fellow Islanders for the collective efforts that have brought us to our current very favourable position: we now have an extremely low level of Covid-19 infection on the Island.
“This, together with the knowledge that respiratory viruses do not spread easily in summer conditions, gives confidence that the time is right to relax the 2 metre restriction.
“Our COVID-19 strategy has always aimed for ‘least overall harm’ and my advice to Government has always focused on the interests of Islanders’ overall health and wellbeing. Reducing to a minimum of 1 metre physical distancing will allow Islanders to have more social engagements while staying safe.”
The full guidance is available on the Government of Jersey website.