Clear evidence seen that the community is working to ease out of lockdown
In a press release received today the States of Guernsey says:
'The ‘Exit from Lockdown’ framework published on 5 May 2020 outlined the triggers which would allow the Bailiwick to move through 6 detailed phases to safely return to normality.
At the time of publication it was made clear that this was not a final document and would be adjusted as circumstances changed and as our understanding of the coronavirus improved.
Today marks 15 consecutive days since the last diagnosis of a new case of COVID-19. We moved into Phase 2 on the 25 April 2020 and have had no new cases of unexplained community transmission since 21 April 2020. The Bailiwick currently has 7 active cases.
The current public health data has exceeded our expectations and there is clear evidence that the community is working with us to ease out of lockdown. In view of this, and the fact that all other criteria to move into the next phase have been met, it has been decided to introduce most of the elements planned for Phase 3 early. In addition, a decision has been made to introduce some non-essential retail on a pilot basis which was originally planned for Phase 4.
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care said: ‘As I said on the 5 May, we know we are asking islanders to do slightly different things each time we move into a new phase. The things that we have included in this ease into Phase 3 represents another step towards near normal levels of activity. The way the community have supported the strategy so far means we have moved into the next phase quicker than expected. If we continue in the right direction we hope to include the final elements of Phase 3 in the next couple of weeks.’
Deputy Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said: ‘This early move into Phase 3 represents another really positive step forward for Bailiwick. As always, we are having to strike a balance between managing the public health risks and consequences of COVID0-19 against the wider health and welfare interests of the Bailiwick which obviously includes consideration of the economic consequences of the lock down and its impact on jobs, incomes and businesses.
'It is in all our interests that we end the lock down as quickly as we safely can, which is why it will be done in a series of calibrated and controlled steps, not one big leap of faith. We will continue to be led by the evidence of COVID-19 in our community and our public health data. Whilst the current evidence leaves the Bailiwick in a really strong position, with every expectation that we can progress more quickly through the exit phases than we might originally have hoped, we will not hesitate to take a step back if we see unexplained evidence of community seeding or clusters
developing. I sincerely hope that will not be necessary, especially if the whole community continues to follow the guidance and regulations.’
Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink said: ‘Our strategy remains the same ‘test, trace and quarantine’. It continues to be effective as evidenced in the lack of new positives and the low number of active cases.
'Islanders will see from the daily statistics that we are still testing people on a daily basis. Some of these will be symptomatic patients but we have already begun to proactively seek out cases by targeting certain key workers who we are testing regardless of any symptoms of COVID-19’.
Full details of what has been included in Phase 3 can be found here:https://covid19.gov.gg/guidance/exit