Chief Minister: Extra restrictions for hospitality industry among options being considered with Jersey 'on the cusp of lockdown'

FURTHER actions aimed at pulling Jersey back from the ‘cusp of lockdown’ will be considered during the first part of December, ministers have confirmed, with tougher restrictions on the licensed trade among the options being considered.

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At a briefing this evening that was broadcast live, a range of new measures were outlined, including making facemasks compulsory in indoor public spaces from Tuesday at 10am, and guidance to work from home where possible from next Monday.

As he issued a final warning to those Islanders who have flouted guidelines and continued to socialise freely, Chief Minister John Le Fondré said other measures targeted at the hospitality sector would be considered.

‘I would agree that alcohol is a factor – today’s measures are not the end of it, and we are looking at further measures and may make a further announcement,’ he said.

Having brought forward the deadline for any venue serving alcohol to 10pm last week, Health Minister Richard Renouf said he was likely to be asking fellow ministers about a further reduction in trading hours for pubs, bars and restaurants.

The warning to the licensed trade as Jersey Hospitality Association chief executive Simon Soar issued a written plea to those venues who were breaching guidelines, risking more serious measures for the sake of ‘an extra few pounds’.

Senator Le Fondré said there was a ‘last chance’ for those who had not taken earlier warnings seriously.

‘We are on the cusp of lockdown – be under no illusion,’ he said, adding that he was ‘absolutely furious’ at those who had knowingly, deliberately and recklessly flouted the guidelines, urging to think about the impact of their actions.

The Chief Minister also confirmed that more than 30 new staff were being added to the contact tracing team, which will number 89 people by 7 December.

Legal measures to enforce the maximum size of gatherings are to be brought in within a few days, along with revised guidance on physical distancing, with a return to two-metre distancing appearing imminent.

Christmas guidelines regarding household bubbles will be issued shortly, while high-risk Islanders and those over 70 face firmer guidance regarding shielding, and those who can work from home will be advised to do so from next week.

Deputy medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat confirmed the Island’s tally of known active cases had risen to 247, a rise of more than 100 in less than a week.

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