COVID press briefing 15th April 2020

I made the following statement at the press briefing on 15th April.

I’d like to start with a very big thank you to a number of our health and care family who haven’t been mentioned that much during this crisis but who have had an incredibly important role to play over the last few weeks and will continue to do so and that is our GPs across the community and across the Bailiwick. They really have been on the frontline from the very start. I would like to thank them for their input into the COVID-19 tactical group meetings, for work in supporting the care homes and, in particular, the work done at the COVID-19 surgery, which was at the Longfrie, but has now been moved to Chest & Heart at the PEH Campus.

I’d now like to focus on Alderney and Sark.

To date there have been no positive case identified in either Island. Sark, in particular, has imposed incredibly strict measures in terms of entry to the island for some time with anyone arriving since 20th March being taken by the Sark ambulance and placed into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Following a request from the Chief Pleas of Sark, together with proposals as to how it will be monitored, the Committee for Health & Social Care has authorised that work can recommence for outdoor workers either working alone or in pairs, subject to social distancing measures being in place.

Public Health have carefully considered the proposals and it has the full support of the Director of Public Health as a means of a pilot transition from firm lockdown with the clear safeguard that it would immediately be revoked in the event of a single positive test.

In respect of Alderney, we had a request from the States of Alderney that certain food establishments open their kitchens due to a particular social need. The Connaught has reached capacity to provide food for Meals and Wheels there. As a consequence, the Committee has agreed to authorise 4 establishments to provide prepared food as long as they do so with lone workers in the kitchens and the food delivered by Meals on Wheels. Again, this has been supported by the Director of Public Health.

I think it is important to make it clear that these are limited exemptions specific to our smaller islands to meet their unique needs. As Deputy St Pier has stated, we are looking at what we do for the Bailiwick as a whole over the next 2 days and will be providing that information on Friday ahead of the expiry of CCA regulations on Saturday.

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