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Lockdown Exit To Start On 22 February

Guernsey will move into Stage 1 of its exit from lockdown on Monday 22 February.

The Civil Contingencies Authority has confirmed the first step in easing coronavirus restrictions will begin next week.

It had previously given a provisional date of 18 February, but said that was subject to review of case numbers and data.

The CCA says it has taken a 'balanced approach' to remain in full lockdown for a few days longer to expand surveillance testing to pick up any asymptomatic cases.

Guernsey entered its second lockdown on 23 January after 4 people tested positive for the virus and the cause of their infection was unknown.

Case numbers rose rapidly and exceeded 300, but have been declining  - with just two new positive cases detected in the past 24 hours.

There are now 123 known active infections.

In total, 496 people have tested positive since 22 January.  One person has died.

"The CCA did consider if the move to Stage 1 could be made earlier, however while only low numbers of cases are now being identified each day through an expanded testing programme which includes surveillance testing of several frontline and essential service workforces, some cases are still being found where the source of the infection is unclear." - States of Guernsey

Alderney - which has only had one Covid-19 case - will move to Stage 1 tomorrow (18 February)

Stage 1 will:

* Allow some small non-public facing businesses to resume some activity (max 10 staff outdoors and max 5 staff indoors)

* Allow each household to ‘bubble’ with one other household.

* Allow outdoor gatherings of up to five people outside of a household bubble, provided they are socially distanced, and not in private gardens.

Take-aways can reopen but food collection must be done outside.

Deputy Al Brouard, the President of Health & Social Care clarified what the CCA defines as 'bubbling':

"From tomorrow (18/02/21) in Alderney and from Monday (22/02/21) in the rest of the Bailiwick all households will be able to bubble with one other household. Once your household bubbles with another you cannot change to bubble with another household. 

"Already this is in place for those people who meet specific criteria for support bubbles, and if that is you you've already bubbled. You must keep that same bubble. Stage 1 is not an opportunity to switch over to a different household in a new bubble.

"If you are in a bubble together there is no need for social distancing. You can meet indoors and for as long as you want. You are all in that bubble, and because of that, you can also meet outside without observing social distancing."

Deputy Brouard also said that Stage 1 will also introduce a change to exercising rules:

"Whether that is on your own going for a run or an outdoor gathering, it has been increased fron 2 hours to 4 hours, and in this weather that is probably more than most of us would want to do anyway."

More guidance on Stage 1 can be found here

 “We know this lockdown has been far from easy, but the community has done a tremendous job in getting this more transmissible variant of the virus under control. But as we continue to see cases, including those where the source is not clear, we need to tread very carefully. Guernsey will move to the next Stage on Monday, meaning a little more time to use our testing to hunt out as many cases as possible. Then, when we do make the move, it is still a very limited ‘unlocking’ to ensure we do not see another sudden rise in cases. But it’s a positive step forward and does allow us to see some of our loved ones again, and allow some parts of the economy to get back to work in a careful, controlled way.”  - Deputy Peter Ferbrache.

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