Coronavirus: Jersey Schools To Close

Most schools in Jersey will close at the end of this week.

Health officials announced they will shut on Monday 23 March and remain closed until at least the end of Easter holidays.

The closure could be extended beyond the end of the Easter holidays as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

Schools will remain open to students sitting exams in the summer - with each secondary school making their own arrangements to minimise disruption.

The Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois, says she'll be advising private schools and nurseries to follow suit:

“The decision to close schools has not been taken lightly. This will clearly have consequences for students, their families and the wider community hence our considerations around targeted support and advice. This is a proactive health protection measure, taken in the best interest of the public and wider island community to assist in the effort to contain the threat of COVID-19.

“I appreciate this is an extremely challenging time for everyone. However, I cannot emphasise enough the importance of reinforcing the messaging around health advice from the Government of Jersey, including regular handwashing, and to read the new advice for parents and carers, when available.

“Abiding by these measures will save lives.”

Following this advice, the Parish of St Helier has decided to close Westmount Day Nursery from Monday (23 March).

"In these challenging situations, we have to make difficult decisions for the benefit of the public and Island community. I appreciate the problems closing our nursery will cause for parents, but we must do all we can to contain the threat of COVID-19 and act on the best advice of our Island’s health professionals." - Constable Simon Crowcroft.

The government has issued advice to parents to help them explain the coronavirus situation to children:

  • don’t be afraid to discuss Coronavirus with children
  • not talking about something can actually make children worry more
  • help children feel informed and get fact-based information
  • be age-appropriate with the information
  • very young children need brief and simple information
  • allow children to ask questions
  • children and young people are receiving information from schools and discussing with their teachers
  • do your best to answer questions honestly and clearly
  • be reassuring
  • it is okay to feel worried but it is better to talk without alarm
  • give children extra attention and time to talk if and when they want to
  • remind children with facts that very few people in Jersey have Coronavirus and in other places the vast majority of people with the virus recover fully
  • focus on how to stay safe
  • remind children that they are taking care of themselves by washing their hands with soap and water for 20 seconds (or the length of two “Happy Birthday” songs)
  • sticking to routine at home is very important – having regular meal times and bed time routines are an essential part of keeping children happy and healthy
  • keep talking and tell children that you will continue to keep them updated as you learn more


The Children's Commissioner has called on the government to make sure that young people's rights in education, healthcare and other vulnerable areas are protected amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Deborah McMillan says she's particularly concerned for parents and carers on zero-hour contracts who coudl be laid off and families who can't afford to see a GP and rely on foodbanks.

She also stresses the need to stay well-informed on the latest information, to 'avoid unnecessary anxiety';
 

 


 Coronavirus Advice

If you think you might have the virus, you should self-isolate and call the Health Department's coronavirus helpline:

01534 445566

It's open every day between 8am and 8pm. Calls outside these times, or when the line is engaged, won't be answered straight away - but we're told to leave a message and Health officials will call you back.

Please don't visit your GP or the Emergency Department at the General Hospital if you think you have the virus.

Self-isolation

Coronavirus symptoms are similar to that of the flu - a combination of a cough, fever and aching muscles. If you've had any symptoms, even if you haven't travelled abroad, we're being told to self-isolate until they clear up (for a minimum of seven days).

Anyone who has come into contact with a person confirmed to have the coronavirus should stay in self-isolation for at least 14 days.

As of Saturday 28th March, entire households should self-isolate immediately if anyone within that home shows symptoms of coronavirus.

Lockdown restrictions

Jersey's government has announced a phased approach to easing the island's lockdown restrictions. See what's changing below:

Level 4: Lockdown

Calendar date Until Sunday 10th May

Physical Distancing: Keep a two metre distance with people outside your home.

Leaving home: You can go out for up to four hours a day - but only for essential shopping, medical care and outdoor activities.

Gatherings: Household + 2. You can spend time outside with your household and up to two other people. Larger groups and going into others' homes are still not allowed.

Education: All schools and colleges remain closed.

Travel: On-island travel allowed, passenger ferries cancelled and flights only running to Southampton for medical/compassionate reasons or essential work.

Hospitality: Restaurants, bars, pubs and hotels have to stay closed.

Leisure: 'Non-essential' venues have to stay closed.

Retail: 'Essential' shops can remain open as long as physical distancing is maintained. 'Non-essential' shops have to stay closed.

Businesses: 'Essential' work is allowed, but employees should be working from home where possible. Up to two people can work and travel together, as long as physical distancing is maintained.

Level 3: Soft Lockdown

Calendar date Monday 11th May-Thursday 11th June

Physical Distancing: Keep a two metre distance with people outside your home.

Leaving home: Allowed out for up to six hours a day, but we're advised to stay at home as much as possible.

Gatherings: Household + 5. You can spend time outside with your household and up to five other people. Larger groups and going into others' homes are still not allowed.

Education: Schools gradually re-opening from Monday 8th June, starting with years 6, 10 and 12.

Travel: On-island travel allowed, passenger ferries cancelled and flights only running to Southampton for medical/compassionate reasons or essential work.

Hospitality: Restaurants, pubs and hotels that offer outside eating areas can re-open as long as diners can physically distance themselves. Bars and other drinks-only venues have to stay closed.

Leisure: Some outdoor 'non-essential' attractions can re-open, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

Retail: 'Essential' shops can remain open as long as physical distancing is maintained. 'Non-essential' shops can begin to re-open as long as they adhere to physical distancing rules.

Businesses: Outdoor work can resume, as long as teams have fewer than five people. Businesses can allow some staff to return to offices in a staged way, but employees should be working from home where possible. Work requiring entry to private homes is now allowed under strict guidelines.

Level 2: Soft Opening

Calendar date From Friday 12th June

Physical Distancing: Keep a two metre distance with people outside your home.

Leaving home: Limits and restrictions on going out lifted, but we're advised to stay at home as much as possible.

Gatherings: Household + 20. You can spend time outside with your household and up to 20 other people. Larger groups and going into others' homes are still not allowed.

Education: Schools gradually re-opening from Monday 8th June, starting with years 6, 10 and 12.

Travel: On-island travel allowed. Flights and passenger ferries also allowed as soon as travel routes are re-instated by the operators.

Hospitality: Restaurants, pubs and hotels that offer outside eating areas can re-open as long as diners can physically distance themselves. Bars and other drinks-only venues have to stay closed.

Leisure: Libraries, community centres, youth clubs, places of worship, museums, cinemas, theatres and other attractions can re-open as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

Retail: All shops are allowed to open, as long as physical distancing is maintained.

Businesses: Businesses can allow some staff to return to offices in a staged way, but employees should be working from home where possible. Businesses with proof they are able to physically distance can re-open fully.

Level 1: Physical Distancing

Calendar date Dates TBC

Physical Distancing: Keep a one metre distance with people outside your home.

Leaving home: No restrictions on going out, but we need to keep one metre away from others at all times.

Gatherings: Household + 25. You can spend time outside with your household and up to 25 other people. Larger groups are still not allowed, but groups of up to 10 people are now allowed in private homes.

Education: Schools gradually re-opening from Monday 8th June, starting with years 6, 10 and 12.

Travel: All on and off-island travel is allowed, as soon as travel routes are re-instated by the operators.

Hospitality: All pubs, bars and restaurants are able to re-open, as long as physical distancing is maintained. Hotels, B&Bs and other accomodation can also re-open subject to guidelines.

Leisure: Libraries, community centres, youth clubs, places of worship, museums, cinemas, theatres and other attractions can re-open as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

Retail: All shops are allowed to open, as long as physical distancing is maintained.

Businesses: All staff are now able to return to their regular place of work, as long as physical distancing can be maintained.

During the self-isolation period of 14 days, anyone who develops flu-like symptoms should call the helpline on +44 (0) 1534 445566.

All the latest information can be found on Gov.je.

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