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Coronavirus: Jersey reclassifies France as higher risk

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France has the third-highest death toll in Europe

People travelling from France to Jersey will now have to self-isolate for at least five days once they arrive.

Using its traffic light system for assessing coronavirus risk, the island’s government has changed France’s status from green to amber.

France recorded 1,695 new cases on Wednesday – its highest number of daily infections in more than two months.

Those arriving in Jersey will have to take one test on arrival, and another after five days of isolation.

If both tests are returned negative, they will be clear to join public life.

The island’s government has created three levels of classification: red, amber and green.

People travelling from green countries only take a test on arrival, while those arriving from red countries must take a test and isolate for 14 days.

The new rules for travellers from France will take effect at midnight on Sunday.

BBC Jersey News

Summer Reading Challenge Proves Popular

Jersey Library has given out 1,400 Summer Reading Challenge packs this year, giving out 300 more than last year.

This year’s ‘Silly Squad’ theme encourages children aged 4-11 to keep reading throughout the summer.

To take part, children can pick up a challenge pack, read six books, and talk about them with their parents or carers.

In previous years, youngsters had to go into the Library to take part, but that’s been changed because of the COVID-19 health and safety guidelines.

Children who complete the challenge still receive a medal and certificate though.

They can borrow a library book, e-books or read their own as part of the challenge.

Challenge packs are available at the Jersey Library or the mobile library.

Channel 103 News

On-Island Testing Lab Operational From September

A new self-contained laboratory to process COVID-19 PCR tests is set to arrive in around 10 days time.

It’ll be annexed to the current hospital lab, increasing Jersey’s local testing capacity by around 2,600 a day.

The island’s Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, says the systems will be checked over during the rest of August, and if all is well, the lab will be up and running from September.

Work has also started on how to get any potential coronavirus vaccine out into Jersey’s community as quickly as possible when it arrives – and how to prioritise distributing it.

The Economic Development Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, says it’s a high priority for the government and a team is now working on it.

An extended flu vaccination programme is also being worked on separately so as to not overwhelm the health service over the winter period.

Dr Muscat says that will be a trial run for the COVID vaccine:

“What is within our gift is to make sure we can empty the boxes of vaccines and deliver it to people as soon as it arrives. That’s what we’re working on now.”

He adds that health staff are working to minimise the risk of flu and coronavirus spreading at the same time:

“We may end up with people asymptomatic for COVID getting flu and spreading it as though they had symptomatic COVID. We may have confusion as to whether someone has symptoms due to flu or COVID, and that will cause problems in terms of how to manage an individual. We also don’t really know a lot about what happens if someone is infected with the flu and COVID at the same time.”

Channel 103 News

France Travel Restrictions Stepped Up To ‘Amber’

Jersey’s government is reclassifying France as ‘amber’ on it’s traffic light system for travel safety ratings.

It means anyone arriving from there will have to take two Covid-19 PCR swab tests And isolate until the second one comes back negative.

Iceland and the Netherlands have also recently been given the same rating.

The changes are down to a recent increase in the number of Coronavirus cases in the countries.

Jersey’s Economic Development Minister says the government is in talks with Condor Ferries and other transport providers over what extra support can be given after testing and isolation rules become stricter as of midnight on Sunday 9th August.

The country is expected to move up to amber on the traffic light system, which is based on the risk of the virus being transmitted.

Senator Lyndon Farnham admits it ‘will cause additional challenges for French sea links’ and said support will be given where possible.

Channel 103 News

Hottest Day Of The Year Recorded

Temperatures have reached 35.3°C in Jersey today, making it the hottest day of 2020.

That was recorded at the Maison St Louis Observatory this afternoon.

It’s the highest ever temperature recorded in Jersey on 7 August, but not the highest ever in the entire month.

That’s because 36°C was recorded on 9 August 2003.

It’s still the hottest day of 2020 so far, beating the previous high of 32.7°C on 25 June.

It’s not likely to be quite as hot over the weekend, but it will stay very warm until the middle of next week.

Temperatures of between 27°C and 28°C are predicted between Saturday and Tuesday.

Islanders are urged to take safety precautions during this heatwave – you can find advice here.

Channel 103 News

Unemployment due to rise by 1.6% in 2020

Unemployment in Jersey is expected to rise by 1.6% this year, according to the Fiscal Policy Panel (FPP).

Their latest review of the island’s economy found that unemployment peaked in May at 2,380 – an increase of 1,500 since the start of 2020.

Although data from July shows this peak has fallen by about 600, unemployment levels remain more than double what they were last year.

The island’s economy is predicted to shrink by 6% by 2024, a 2% sharper contraction than originally forecast by the panel’s review in March.

The coronavirus pandemic has also left the States with a large and structural deficit, meaning the government will have to decide how to tackle a “permanent imbalance” in revenues and spending.

The FPP has advised the government does not make large cuts quickly, but should aim to get rid of the deficit by 2024 as the economy recovers.

House prices have increased by 10% since March, a change triggered by the easing of lockdown restrictions, according to the panel.

However, the review suggests there will remain “considerably fewer transactions” than last year.

The panel’s findings will influence the next government plan, which is due to be debated by the States in December.

BBC Jersey news

Flu and coronavirus could ‘overwhelm’ health services

A combination of flu and coronavirus cases this winter could “overwhelm” Jersey’s health services, the deputy medical officer of health has said.

Dr Ivan Muscat said the island needed to avoid a surge of the two infections arising at the same time, which could lead to confusion over the cause of an individual’s symptoms.

A flu vaccine is expected to be rolled out in early October to 50-65 olds, as well as being extended to those outside that group who were “at risk”, Dr Muscat said.

Schoolchildren up to year 11 will also be given given the flu vaccination due to being “super-spreaders” of the common winter infection, contrary to their role in coronavirus.

Dr Muscat said: “If you vaccinate your schoolchildren well, you protect your community as a whole probably better than just vaccinating the adults.”

He added that the programme would work as trial run for when a coronavirus vaccine was expected in the “late autumn”.

BBC Jersey

Customers ‘Regaining Confidence And Coming Back’

The Operations Manager of the Liberation Group says people are starting to regain their confidence and return to their pubs, bars, and eateries across the island.

Liberation sites started to gradually reopen from mid-June after closing three months earlier.

It started with two-metre distancing which has since reduced to one.

Safety measures were also introduced for customers to get used to – which included not being able to get served at the bar and giving over their details for contact tracing purposes.

Steve Elson says the return has gone as well as could it have.

“Our staff have been excellent, they’ve brought everything on themselves and our customers are gaining confidence and slowly coming back.

“I think the risk assessment we had in place during closure and before and after lockdown and the measures we’ve put in – everyone has adhered to them and it’s all come good in the end!”

The Group brought in a host of safety measures when reopening, which included:

  • Easily-accessible hand sanitiser
  • Cashless payments
  • Single-use recyclable menus
  • Cutlery in envelopes and daily cleaning of all unused cutlery
  • Condiments served in disposable containers for single-use
  • Reduced furniture and increased spacing between tables
  • Constant capacity monitoring to prevent overcrowding
  • Pre-order
  • 20-minute cleaning check ensuring all public and kitchen surfaces are regularly cleaned
  • Strict social distancing for all team members in kitchens and service areas.

Mr. Elson says the test, track, and trace system at the borders was the best thing that the government could’ve done to help organisations like his to start the road to recovery.

The Operations Manager has also described communication with the government as being ‘massively improved’, which he says has given much-needed confidence and clarity to Jersey businesses.

“Some of our sites have received tourists coming over so they are slowly starting to come in and the confidence is there as well.

“It’s just a breath of fresh air for this year, which is really good to see.”

A campaign has now started to increase checks and enforcement on pubs, restaurants and bars across Jersey to make sure they are abiding by safety guidelines and getting contact details for contact tracing purposes.

There are more details on that campaign here.

Channel 103 News

Kayakers Rescued Off North Coast

The Fire Service’s inshore lifeboat was called out yesterday to help two people kayaking near Bouley Bay.

They were trying to paddle around to Bonne Nuit but ended up struggling as the sea conditions worsened.

The emergency services were called out just before 8pm on Thursday evening.

Watch Commander, Mark Bailey-Walker, says the pair made the right decisions in bringing the correct safety gear and choosing not to paddle beyond Belle Hougue point where the rough conditions would have been dangerous.

In a post on Facebook, Jersey Fire and Rescue said the kayaker was ‘uninjured but a bit tired’:

At 19:37 the FRS received a call from the Coastguard requesting assistance with a kayaker in difficulty behind Bouley…

Gepostet von Jersey Fire & Rescue am Donnerstag, 6. August 2020

Channel 103 News

Surge In Queries Keeps CLS Closed To Drop-Ins

Customer and Local Services on La Motte Street will stay closed to drop-in customers because of a surge in online and telephone queries over the last three and a half months.

The government says in that time, applications for the likes of registration cards and changes to income support have tripled.

There’s now an average of more than 700 phone calls a day – up from around 450 before lockdown.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of queries handled since making it easier and quicker for customers to access Government services. 

“Our team at Customer and Local Services have been hard at work throughout the pandemic supporting Islanders and during this challenging time, we prioritised telephone contact for customers, reducing their need to make a journey into town to get the advice and support they need.

“Overall, it’s now easier than ever to access our services by making them available over the telephone and online, which in turn enables us to provide extra support to those customers who need it most.

“Of course, we fully appreciate how important it is to support those members of our community with more complex enquiries who may need or feel they would prefer to see someone face-to-face. With this in mind, customers can arrange a convenient appointment, by calling us on (01534) 444444.” 

– Ian Burns, Director General of Customer and Local Services.

A 24/7 secure post-drop service is also available to send important documents.

There is more information here.

Channel 103 News

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