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Coronavirus: Travel Limited And Social Distancing For Over 65s

In a change to its earlier advice, Jersey's government is now telling us we should only travel in and out of the island if it is essential,to help contain the spread of coronavirus in Jersey.

Over 65s have to limit all close contact with people unless absolutely necessary, 

Anyone with flu-like symptoms must self-isolate for at least a week.

The advice is the opposite to that issued on Thursday, when the Chief Minister asked people to carry on as normal, which included going away on holiday.

The latest statement says:

"Dr Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Officer for Health, is recommending new measures from today (Saturday) to protect Islanders and significantly contain the number of potential Covid-19 cases as a result of updated modelling over the past 24 hours."

Islanders with a combination of fever, a cough, headaches and muscle aches should self-isolate for a minimum of seven days - whether they've recently travelled off-island or not and irrespective of whether they've been in contact with someone who's been diagnosed.

The new travel advice does not include key workers who need to travel to make sure services carry on running.

Over 65s have been told to stay at home 'as much as possible', to stay more than one metre away from others when not at home - and to avoid gatherings, events or public transport.

"Social distancing for over 65s who are not essential for the running of the Island’s services should they wish to continue carrying out their roles."

Dr. Muscat, says these new recommendations come into effect immediately.

"Social distancing is one of the most important things over 65s can do to protect themselves from coronavirus. Within our current model, this specific form of social distancing could save lives by up to 35% in this age group. It will also reduce the demand on the health service.

"At the same time, we must isolate all those with flu-like symptoms and minimise travel. This advice will help us slow down the virus in Jersey and save lives."

Over 65s who have to stay at home as much as possible can still get fresh air by, for example, gardening or dog walking along a quiet lane.

However, that is only if they don't come into close contact with others. It's different to self-isolating, as those people have to avoid any contact and remain in an isolated space to avoid transmitted the infection onto others.

Social distancing includes:

* No kissing, shaking hands and hugging with people from outside of the household.
* Vulnerable adults should avoid close contact with children and grandchildren in multi-generation households.
* Try to stay home as much as possible
* Avoid large public events and large crowds (sports and other organised activities).
* Keep a distance of 1 meter/3 feet from any person who is not in the household.
* Avoid public transport at peak hours unless essential.
* Work from home if possible.
* Avoid visiting other households.
* Avoid social gatherings in the home.
* If it's absolutely necessary to visit other households, make sure they are not displaying symptoms and keep a safe distance.

Guidelines on large gatherings and events are due to be updated on Monday (16 March).

 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.

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.

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

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