COVID press briefing 4th May 2020

I made the following statement at the press briefing on 4th May.

Firstly I would like to thank in behalf of HSC all those who have helped to put together our Framework for Exiting Lockdown that we are publishing today.

There are 4 strategic aims of this framework, namely Mitigating and minimising the impact of COVID-19 on the community, Protecting and preserving life, Minimising the economic, social and environmental impacts and finally Promoting the restoration to normality as soon as possible 

Basically, we are considering the restoration of business, social, cultural and recreational activity alongside the need to protect islanders from COVID-19 and setting out how we will do so through a series of transitional measures. We are also doing so from the local perspective, taking into account the Bailiwick specific needs and demographics.

Is it perfect? No. Does it answer every question? No. Could it answer every question? No.

Lockdown was relatively simple, a blunt instrument to squash the curve. Easing out of lockdown is more complicated. A recent analogy has compared the former with a hammer and the latter to a dance. How we needed the hammer to bash down the spread of infection in order that our medical services could cope. After that, we need to learn to dance, to live with the virus in our community. may easily put a foot wrong, and may have to stop the music, be prepared to retrace our steps a bit, and start again from where we left off in order to get it right

This dance needs 2 participants working in harmony. The exit framework, and the recovery plan. 

This exit framework includes reference to a number of public health indicators, known as ‘triggers’, to inform the decisions that will be taken at each stage. The ‘release’ triggers provide an indication of the risk to the community of COVID-19 and if it is possible to move forward to the next stage of lockdown on an incremental basis. The ‘adaptive’ reversal triggers describe those indicators that will be used by Public Health Services to inform the advice given to the Committee for Health & Social Care as to whether further efforts should be taken to contain the virus, which may require a step back to an earlier phase. If the evidence is compelling to do so, it may be necessary to roll back through a number of phases to mitigate against the presenting public health risk. 

The time that we will spend in each phase will be informed by the release triggers, but the phases may be longer than indicated in this framework depending on the evidence presenting at that stage. 

This document reflects the need to balance the risks posed by COVID-19 with the broader health and wellbeing of islanders. This includes economic wellbeing and the desire to resume business activity – 5 

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