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New social-distancing rules and more businesses ordered to close in Jersey

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NEW measures have today been announced to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in Jersey.

Picture: JON GUEGAN. (27623787)

Islanders are now being told to stay 6ft apart from each other, and further businesses have been ordered to shut.

The closure measures now extend to:

• cinemas, theatres, and concert halls

• museums and galleries

• spas, wellness centres and massage facilities

• all indoor leisure and sports facilities, including gyms and swimming pools

• betting shops.

However, many businesses, such as Randalls, the Liberation Group, the Zoo, Jersey War Tunnels and smaller shops and outlets have already closed.

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The new measures will not affect food retailers, supermarkets or retailers that supply fuel, medicines, food takeaway or delivery services, and suppliers of other vital goods, which will continue to be open as normal to Islanders.

Last week, strict social distancing for the whole population of the Island was introduced, and some types of business were told to close.

The measures announced today still fall well short of those announced by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday.

In a statement to the nation he said people in the UK should now only leave their homes for:

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  • Shopping for basic necessities such as food and medicine – and these trips should be as infrequent as possible.
  • One form of exercise a day. This should be done alone or only with people you live with.
  • Any medical need, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
  • Travelling to and from work, but only where work cannot be done from home

Jersey's Chief Minister, John Le Fondré said: 'Yesterday the UK introduced national self-isolation, based on their modelling and position on the curve.

'Based on our clinical modelling and where we are on our curve, we have extended the [new] measures. I want to assure Islanders that we are enacting the right measures, at the right time, for Jersey. At this stage, that means strengthening our compliance with strict social distancing measures.

'It is by no means an easy decision for ministers to require that certain local businesses premises need to close, but it is in the best interests of Islanders’ health to do so and that remains our highest priority.

'Measures to support businesses have been discussed by the Council of Ministers, with some already announced last week. We will continue to implement help for those people whose jobs and businesses have been directly impacted.'

Senator Le Fondré added: 'I am presenting to the States Assembly today further information on the coronavirus model and the implications for Jersey. Further announcements will follow.'

Shortly after Mr Johnson's announcement, Jersey Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham said the Island should implement the same measures.

He tweeted: 'It is time for Jersey to follow the UK.'

An hour later, he added: 'Right now it is a personal view very soon I hope it will become a Government statement.'

Richard Heath

By Richard Heath
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