'Poor behaviour' causes non-essential shop reopening to be pushed back by at least a week

NON-ESSENTIAL shops will be forced to wait at least another week before reopening after a 'lack of adherence to the most basic of hygiene guidelines' caused a cluster of Covid-19 cases.

Health Minister Richard Renouf. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30097002)
Health Minister Richard Renouf. Picture: ROB CURRIE. (30097002)

Health Minister Richard Renouf says the infections were detected amongst staff working within the supply chain for the retail industry and were caused by 'bad behaviour' with some continuing to work despite being symptomatic and not wearing PPE.

He added that his staff were now working to trace around 200 possible direct contacts in an effort to contain any spread of the virus.

'It is exactly this sort of behaviour that will prevent us from reconnecting our Island community,' Deputy Renouf said.

'Officials, including the chair of the Scientific and Advisory Committee, worked late into the night and presented options to ministers this morning. We have decided to delay the reopening of all non-essential retail and indoor recreation venues for a minimum of 7 days. Close contact services will then open a week later.

'We will throw the net wide to make sure we are picking up all contacts and by the end of the week we will have performed all tests necessary to establish our next steps. We have already contact traced many of the potential contacts and will do more as each hour goes by.'

Deputy Renouf added that the the Island will not be going into lockdown.

The Island's Covid-19 figures had been on downward trend with figures falling from over a thousand in December to 143 on Monday [25 January]. Tuesday's statistics have not yet been released.

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