Monday 01 March 2021
The States of Guernsey has updated the guidance for Stage 2 of the exit from lockdown. The guidance covers rules for businesses, households and social gatherings. The guidance has been finalised and published ahead of Alderney's move to Stage 2 tomorrow (Tues 2 March).
It is also being published ahead the Civil Contingencies Authority's decision on whether Guernsey should move to Stage 2 on Monday 8 March, which will be made at its meeting tomorrow.
As Stage 2 represents a significant step towards unlocking, with many more sectors and types of activity able to resume there is a need for detailed guidance in many areas to help prevent a further outbreak of COVID-19. As much as possible, the States have sought to provide clear, tailored guidance for different sectors and different types of activity. However, as has been the case throughout the pandemic, there is a need to establish the rules for the next Stage quickly and to be flexible in reacting to new evidence and the Bailiwick's changing situation. For this reason businesses are asked to familiarise themselves with the general guidance and any specific requirements for their sector as early as possible in preparation for a move to Stage 2.
There are some general principles that define Stage 2. Firstly, it will see the extending of household 'bubbles'. In Stage 1, two households can join to form a bubble. In Stage 2, this will be extended to four households, that can join together to form a single, exclusive bubble.
Outside of household bubbles, social gatherings are permitted with a limit of 20 people indoors or 30 people outdoors. However, as is the case in Stage 1, any such gatherings cannot happen in a person's home - gatherings in homes and gardens should only involve those within that 4-household bubble. Generally, the limits of 20 indoors and 30 outdoors are also applied to businesses, though it is still strongly advised that people should work from home wherever possible. In gatherings outside of a household bubble, social distancing must be observed.
Non-essential retail and some hospitality businesses such as cafes and restaurants will be able to reopen in Stage 2 but with strict measures in place, including for example limits on the number of people sat at a table, and a requirement that alcohol only be served with food.
Face coverings continue to be a requirement in Stage 2 for indoor public places and public transport and strongly recommended in other places where there are likely to be other people from outside your household bubble.
The full guidance can be found at covid19.gov.gg/guidance/stagetwo.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said
"The move to Stage 2 will be a big step towards normality, compared to the significant restrictions we've needed to have in place since the end of January. But we should not think of it as being back to normal yet. This will be a big test, to see if it sparks a rise in cases of COVID-19 and to see how effectively we can find them and control them. That's why we need everyone to work with us in this next Stage.
There's a lot of guidance to get to grips with. The rules have been updated in the past few days as we've looked again at the latest advice from Public Health, and the evidence relating to this variant and where and how it's been transmitted. The aim of these rules is to prevent those high-risk scenarios where the virus spreads easily.
We've had to work on it quickly so I'm sure it isn't perfect, and perfection isn't our aim. We'll keep listening to feedback and if we can and should make further changes to our rules, we will. But we're also asking our community again to help us make this next Stage work. We can't do this without them."