New Covid-19 measures – including some pupils wearing masks in schools – to be introduced

EARLY closing for hospitality venues, a reduction in the maximum size for gatherings and requirements for teachers and older pupils to wear masks in school are among new measures designed to help tackle the Island’s rising rates of Covid-19.

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To accompany the new restrictions, which will come into effect later this week, there will be enhanced levels of payroll support for businesses and additional support for visitor accommodation providers, events and attractions.

The measures include:

  • Hospitality venues required to stop serving customers by 10pm and close by 10.30pm.

  • Maximum attendees at organised gatherings to fall from 40 to 20, with the limits for informal gatherings falling from 20 to ten and funerals 80 to 40.

  • Pupils in Year 11 and above must wear masks in communal indoor areas of schools, with teachers required to wear visors or masks.

  • All arriving passengers and direct contacts of Covid-19 cases will move to a new, aligned ‘triple-testing’ regime, with tests on day zero, day five and day ten.

  • The resumption of testing for care home residents and visitors.

Today’s announcement follows a sharp rise in the tally of Covid infections in recent weeks: the number of known active cases rose from 22 to 71 during October and has more than doubled so far in November to a latest figure of 152.

The number of clusters of Covid-19 has also increased 'significantly'.

Chief Minister John Le Fondré said that unless numbers stabilised there was a risk of some form of lockdown being introduced early next month and possibly extending into the Christmas period.

Economic support measures will be increased as the new restrictions are brought in. The payroll support scheme, which was previously set to taper down during the winter and finish by 31 March, will now be maintained at higher levels, with the exact level of support determined by how much businesses’ turnover has declined.

Hotels and other accommodation providers will be eligible for additional support with their fixed costs for the period from October to April inclusive, with details of further measures for events and attractions set to be announced later this months.

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