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Island Authorities work together in respect of Covid-19 to develop targeted Island specific exemptions

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Wednesday 15 April 2020

The States of Guernsey, the States of Alderney and Chief Pleas are working together to mitigate the risk of spreading the coronavirus and support the particular needs of their communities.

Representatives from across the Bailiwick have been involved throughout the development of the plans being implemented to protect islanders from Covid-19. From political representation at meetings of the Civil Contingencies Authority to operational engagement in individual workstreams, current restrictions, including the lockdown provisions, have been informed by the needs of, and risks, facing both the Bailiwick as a whole and the particular circumstances of the individual islands.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said:

"Our collective objective is clear, we must reduce the spread of Covid-19 and make sure that our shared health infrastructure is not overwhelmed. All three Islands wish to see normal life resume as soon as it is safe to do so, but this must happen at the right time as informed by the professional expertise available to the Islands.We are all committed to following the advice of Public Health Services."

The advice provided by Public Health Services is under constant review, informed by the proactive testing strategy together with other evidence and the practical experiences of each Island. Having reflected on the latest advice available, the Committee forHealth & Social Care is in a position to approve two exemptions, specific to the particular needs of Alderney and Sark.

The first in respect of Alderney seeks to address concerns in respect of the capacity available for Meals on Wheels by specifically permitting the service to partner with other commercial kitchens on the island who are operated by lone workers in order to increase their ability to respond to an increasing demand for their services.

The second in respect of Sark recognises the additional travel restrictions in place, the additional measures that have been implemented on island, the particular island requirements and that, to date, no positive cases have been recorded. In this context, the Committee for Health & Social Care is in a position to enable to pilot lone workers and those working in pairs resuming outdoor work in Sark subject to maintaining social distancing under the management of the Sark authorities.

Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee forHealth & Social Care said

"The two exemptions are being made based on the very latest evidence and expert advice on how the Covid-19 virus is developing here in the Bailiwick and the particular context of each island community. We hope that that these two exemptions will be the start of a gradual relaxation of provisions across the Bailiwick. This will however depend on Public Health advice."

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