Ministers considering reducing isolation time for infected Islanders

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JERSEY could follow England’s lead by bringing in a reduced requirement for isolation for those who have tested positive for Covid-19, the deputy chief minister has said.

After England yesterday reduced its minimum isolation period from seven to five full days, subject to two negative lateral-flow tests, Senator Lyndon Farnham confirmed that a similar move was being actively considered here.

He said that the matter had been due to be discussed by members of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell yesterday, with ministers likely to reach a decision later in the week.

He said: ‘I very much hope that we will be able to reduce the restrictions currently in place, given the welcome direction of travel in case numbers.

‘As long as we keep moving in that direction, and STAC are happy about the balance of risks, I would hope ministers will be able to reduce the minimum isolation requirement and consider other moves back towards normality.’

During last week the Island’s tally of known active cases fell from 4,119 on Monday to 3,020 by Friday. Yesterday the figure had dropped further to 2,402.

This week’s change in England brings a requirement for those who have tested positive to record two negative test results, the first on the morning of day five and the second at least 24 hours later, at which point quarantine may be ended.

The minimum period in England was ten days prior to a reduction to seven days on 22 December, with Jersey making a similar move on 30 December.

UK media have reported that several senior Conservatives, including party chairman Oliver Dowden and Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi, have spoken optimistically about ending the so-called ‘plan B’ restrictions in England which are due to be reviewed on 26 January.

Testing for those arriving in the UK could also be removed by the start of February, it was reported.

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