Emergency phase of pandemic to end, Chief Minister confirms

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JERSEY’S emergency phase of Covid-19 restrictions will end on Friday, the Chief Minister has confirmed.

Senator John Le Fondré addressed the States Assembly this afternoon [wed] and confirmed that the legal requirement for positive Covid cases to isolate will cease at 12.01am on Friday.

However the Chief Minister and deputy medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat have both emphasised that those who test positive should still isolate to prevent spreading infection.

Senator Le Fondré also confirmed that the Scientific and Technical Cell, a group of experts which has provided guidance for ministers through the pandemic, will be discontinued although members will remain on standby.

Daily statistical updates from the government have become a feature of the pandemic, however after this Friday’s data is published there will be a single weekly update every Thursday.

Senator Le Fondré said: ‘This decision has been made based on the latest public health intelligence and is proportionate to the new phase of the pandemic that we are now in. However, it is important to highlight that public health guidance continues to strongly encourage isolation to Islanders who are symptomatic, waiting for their PCR test result, or have had a positive test result.

‘It is important to recognise that we are not post-Covid-19, we are post-emergency.’

Dr Muscat added: ‘The burden of Covid-19 has decreased quite significantly, so it is reasonable to reduce the burden of restrictions, but it does not mean Covid has gone away.’

Prior to the law-change on Friday, Jersey is the last remaining part of the British Isles where it is law for those who’ve tested positive to isolate.

Guidance will replace the legal requirement, with Islanders recommended to isolate for up to ten days if they have experienced symptoms, tested positive via a lateral flow test or are waiting for the result of a PCR test. Two negative LFTs, 24 hours apart, from day five after the initial diagnosis should be used to leave isolation early.

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