COVID press briefing 7th April 2020

I made the following statement at the press briefing on 7th April.

As Gavin has said, we need to continue with lockdown until 23:59 on Saturday 18th April, in order that we get a better idea where things are going.

However, it is apparent that, aside from the clusters in the care homes, things have been going well, and we don’t at the moment have evidence of widespread community seeding as a consequence of the way islanders have heeded the message to STAY AT HOME. We really do understand how difficult this has been for many of you and is not something we have had pleasure in doing, but it does look so far, that it really is making a difference. You are all making a difference.

Now, although we are not lifting the lockdown, we do believe that we can make a change in one area and that is in respect of home deliveries.

Up to now, only essential items could be delivered to homes. From tomorrow it will be possible for non-essential items to be delivered as long as certain criteria are met as follows;

  • The goods can only be purchased online or over the telephone. Other than essential retail outlets, shops are not to open their premises to customers, and only one or two people may work on the premises to take and fulfil orders. Social distancing and hygiene guidelines must be followed.
  • Businesses may use couriers to deliver items – couriers are designated as essential service providers – or a business can use its own delivery facility.

However, the following delivery rules apply;

  • Goods must be packed for delivery by no more than two people in line with social distancing and hygiene guidelines, including the wearing of gloves;
  • The deliveries must take place as part of a planned itinerary, and goods must not be sold by delivery drivers to other parties;
  • The deliveries must be undertaken by no more than one individual wearing gloves;
  • A 70% alcohol hand gel should be rubbed on the gloves between deliveries; and
  • The goods must be left on the doorstep of premises or in an agreed outside place – there must be no direct customer interaction.

Of course, retail outlets don’t have to provide this service and neither should they if they can’t meet the requirements. These rules will be enforced and if we find businesses are not following them, or not following the spirit of them, we will have no hesitation in tightening up the directions again. This is not about business as usual.

The members of the Committee for Health & Social Care have considered these changes very carefully and at length. We have obtained assurances from the Director of Public Health, that as far as she is concerned, they represent an acceptable risk, taking into account the increased activity that it might cause, ability to maintain social distancing and hygiene rules, and at the same time the wider benefits both to businesses that abide by the rules and to the community in terms of supporting mental and physical health at what is a very difficult time.

We are constantly reviewing the situation, alongside Nikki and her team to ensure that any action we take is appropriate and proportionate at any one time and we will continue to do so.

I hope that, whilst we can’t lift the lockdown yet, it may make the next 2 weeks more bearable for many of you.

And finally, I think I need to be make a very important announcement. And this announcement is specifically for any children, or their Mums and Dads who may be listening. Some of you have contacted me as you are worried that there will be no Easter egg hunts and the Tooth Fairy will not be able to collect any teeth that have fallen out.  I am very happy to tell you that the Committee for Health & Social Care have designated the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy as essential workers. The Easter Bunny will, therefore, be able to visit children in the Bailiwick on Easter Sunday but with one caveat. Dr Brink has advised that any Easter egg hunts can only happen at home with the people living in your home.

And don’t worry the Tooth Fairy can continue to make essential visits to Children’s houses to collect any teeth that have fallen out during the current lock-down period. 

Dr Brink assures me that both the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy are fully briefed by Public Health Services to ensure all infection prevention and control measures are in place for these visits to take place. 

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