Over 65s Ordered To Stay At Home

All islanders aged 65 and over and those with underlying health conditions have been ordered to stay at home from midnight.

The government says they should only leave their homes for up to two hours per day and for these reasons only:

*To shop for basic necessities and medicines, but as infrequently as possible

* For daily exercise. This can include walking, cycling, running, sea swimming or other open sea activities, provided you maintain social distancing from everyone else

* For medical reasons, if you are advised to do so by a healthcare worker or required to do so having called 999.

It follows the latest advice from the Medical Officer of Health, Dr Ivan Muscat.

Anyone at severe risk from Covid-19 should stay at home. That includes people with certain cancers, severe respiratory conditions such as severe asthma, those on medications that significantly affect their immune system and pregnant women with underlying heart disease.

They should:

* Strictly avoid contact with someone who is displaying symptoms of coronavirus. These symptoms include high temperature and/or new and continuous cough.
* Do not leave your house.
* Do not attend any gatherings. This includes gatherings of friends and families in private spaces such as family homes, weddings and religious services.
* Do not go out for shopping, work, leisure or travel
* When arranging food or medication deliveries, these should be left at the door to minimise contact.
* People in home isolation should keep in touch using remote technology such as phone, internet, and social media.

The Health Minister made the announcement this afternoon:

"We are introducing this measure to protect our most vulnerable groups of Islanders from the spread of Coronavirus, because the medical advice is that they are more like to suffer from more severe symptoms, be hospitalised and require intensive care. They are also at greatest risk of death.

"By self-isolating, with the support of family, friends and the help of volunteers, we hope to shield over 65s, and those with underlying medical conditions, from the virus. This will help save lives, by significantly reducing hospital demand throughout the infection curve.

"The Government Community Taskforce will mobilise to support this group to stay in their homes and we will keep them informed about when it is likely to be safe enough to ease these restrictions. I should be clear that this will be a matter of weeks, not days.

"I must stress to those affected that this is for your own safety, and it requires all of us to ensure that we keep our distance and practice good hygiene, so we don’t take the infection into your homes." - Deputy Richard Renouf, Health Minister.

More to follow...

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