Monday 30 March 2020
After writing to the UK Prime Minister last week, Deputy St Pier has received the assurances sought that the Bailiwick's Coronavirus/COVID-19 tests will continue to be analysed by UK test processing facilities until Guernsey's own on-island facilities are functioning.
Deputy Gavin St Pier wrote to Boris Johnson to make him aware that, whilst the COVID-19 situation in the Bailiwick remains different to that in the UK, the Bailiwick is taking strong action to safeguard the people of these islands and to play its part in the regional and global fight against the virus.
Deputy St Pier emphasised to the Prime Minister that it is very important to the Bailiwick's careful and considered plans that COVID-19 tests are processed swiftly by UK test centres in accordance with the Bailiwick's specific needs and its own tailored testing policy with the objective of keeping Guernsey in the 'contain' phase of the response. Deputy St Pier sought Mr Johnson's confirmation that the islands' tests will continue to be processed in accordance with Bailiwick requirements. Guernsey's own on-island testing facility is being prepared so that tests can be processed locally soon.
Deputy St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, said:
"I am pleased that the UK has provided the assurance that we were seeking in relation to tests which underpin our strategy. The Bailiwick is making its own evidence-based decisions to safeguard lives and health. Those decisions take into account the evidence from the vital test results that we receive from our UK test centre partner. The differences between the Bailiwick's and the UK's phases, sizes, infrastructure and resources, mean that there will naturally also be differences in approach and timing. However, we're continuing to work with the UK to combat COVID-19, as the Prime Minister's reply shows.
People across the whole Bailiwick are taking the situation very seriously. Everyone has had to adapt their normal lives to comply with the current measures during these two weeks. That means we are each protecting ourselves and protecting each other. Our continued determination to 'test, test, test' and the impressive community-wide response will protect our health infrastructure and save lives."
Deputy Soulsby, President of the Committeefor Health & Social Care said:
"We're continuing our own testing policy to support our own evidence-based decisions. If someone is being tested for COVID-19, it is understandably an anxious time. We're doing everything we can to make sure that those tests are processed quickly so that the results are known at the earliest opportunity. I'm glad that Deputy St Pier sought reassurance at the highest political level in the UK that processing will continue there until our own test facility is up and running - and that we will receive test results as swiftly as possible."
Up-to-date and accurate information on the Bailiwick's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the actions that every islander must take can be found on gov.gg/coronavirus