COVID press briefing 10th July 2020

I made the following statement at the press briefing on 10th July 2020.

OK so you’ve heard about the plan to move to phase 6, how we will shortly be introducing business tunnels and looking to extend our air bridges. I’d just like to talk about one final change that will be introduced immediately and that is in relation to the exemptions we are allowing to the standard 14 day self-isolation rule with respect to travel for compassionate and specific medical reasons.

Before going any further it’s important that I define what we mean by compassionate travel and travel for specific medical reasons.

We are classifying compassionate travel as travel from and to the Bailiwick either to visit a terminally ill person or attend a funeral; to support shared care arrangements for children and young people; or to support an adult with complex needs or a learning disability for whom they have caring responsibilities.

With respect to travel for specific medical reasons, here we mean travel from and to the Bailiwick to receive time-sensitive investigations or care that cannot be delivered on island; or Travelling from and to the Bailiwick to receive investigations or care that in the opinion of the patient’s consultant cannot be deferred, without harming the patients’ health or likely outcome. So, just for clarity, this does not apply to everyone receiving treatment off-island. 

On arrival in the UK those qualifying for an exemption will be required to 

restrict their movements as far as possible to the degree necessary for the purpose of their travel. For instance minimising close contact with others, avoiding public transport and public places.

On return to the Bailiwick individuals undertaking qualifying medical travel will be required to self-isolate for 7 days. On day 7 they may request a test and must remain in isolation until the result is received. If negative we will ask them to follow the guidance that we have put in place for the recent 7 day pilot. 

Individuals undertaking compassionate travel will be required to self-isolate as

recommended by the Public Health team. This will be determined by a risk assessment specific to circumstances.

Anyone who wishes to apply for an exemption will need to contact public health on who will be able to provide more details.

I think it’s worth saying again, as we have done so over the last few months, we are taking a risk based approach balancing the various needs of the community against the potential for spread of the infection. The exemptions I’ve just described, as well as the business tunnels and air bridges are all being introduced because we believe that the risk to the community is low. We have no intention of treating islanders as guinea pigs exposed to unacceptable risks.

And this will apply for our move to phase 6. The adaptive triggers that have been developed are designed to ensure that the risks are manageable, with an enhanced test track and trace system in place and the continued evaluation of evidence both in the Bailiwick and around the world. We will continue to be guided by the evidence, as we always have been. It has served us well and we don’t intend to stop now. 

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