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Public Health Services follows the lead of Public Health England and adds Italy to its list of affected countries - COVID-19

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Friday 06 March 2020

As the situation regarding the SARS-CoV-2 virus evolves, the Public Health team continues to meet daily to discuss the evolving situation around novel coronavirus (COVID-19). After reviewing epidemiological data on Friday 6 March 2020, a decision was made keep the specific lockdown areas designated by the Government of Italy in Group A and to add the rest of Italy to the list of Group B affected areas.

This addition affects anyone who has returned from any part of Italy since 21 February 2020.

For Group B countries, Public Health Services (PHS) are asking people to self-isolateONLY IF THEY HAVE SYMPTOMS (fever or cough or shortness of breath),even if these are mild, and these symptoms occur within 14 days of returning from a Group B country.

Factors influencing this decision included:

Public Health Services are having to make decisions about which countries we should be concerned about based on assessed levels of risk and the resilience of Guernsey's small health infrastructure if we have to deal with cases of COVID-19 on Island.

Anyone in Guernsey or the smaller islands who has returned home from Italy (or from any of the countries in the Group B category in the last 14 days is asked to be vigilant for signs of cough, fever or shortness of breath.  Any returning travellers who experience one or more of these symptoms during this period of time, no matter how mild, should self-isolate at home and ring the coronavirus helpline on 01481 756938 and 01481 756969.

This helpline is available everyday between the hours of 8am and 10pm.

Self-isolation guidance and further information can be found at: www.gov.gg/coronavirus

The guidance for travellers returning is now as follows:

Group A: Self -Isolation for all returning travellers irrespective of whether they have symptoms or not:

PHS are recommending that any individual should self-isolate, irrespective of symptoms if they have returned from the following areas in the last 14 days:

If you experience symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath, no matter how mild) and have returned from the above countries in the last 14 days, then contact the coronavirus helpline on 01481 756938 and 01481 756969, or, if you are feeling very unwell, phone 999 telling the operator of your symptoms and travel history.

Group B: Travellers from other specified countries who have symptoms, even if these are mild:

PHS have updated the guidance as of the 6 March 2020, taking into account the evolving situation globally.

PHS has issued this additional advice for returning travellers from the following countries:

If you experience symptoms (fever, cough or shortness of breath, no matter how mild) and have returned from the above countries in the last 14 days, then stay indoors and call the coronavirus helpline on 01481 756938 and 01481 756969, or, if you are feeling very unwell, phone 999 telling the operator of your symptoms and travel history.

Self-Isolation is the act of separating yourself from physical contact with the rest of the community for a specified period of time.

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