Covid: Removing Restrictions 'The Right Thing To Do'

The Health Minister says it's time for the government to take a step back and allow islanders to manage their own health.

Mandatory mask-wearing inside public spaces and work from guidance will end on Tuesday 1 February.

Border testing will be scrapped from Monday 7 February.

The mandatory requirement for positive cases to isolate will be lifted by the end of March.

You can read more on the upcoming changes here.

Deputy Richard Renouf says enforcing isolation for a disease that now carries far less risk is not right.

"The normal considerations apply to any other disease they have - they should not spread it, they should look after their family, consider their own health needs and it's not necessary, when it comes to that stage, for governments to intervene any longer."

The Covid fatality rate has fallen from more than 1 in 100 in January 2021 to fewer than 1 in 1000 in January 2022, according to statistics published by the government.

The latest vaccination statistics for Jersey show that 90% of over 18s have had at least one dose.

Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondre says given those vaccination statistics - and the latest scientific evidence - it was difficult to continue justifying the Covid restrictions in place.

"Obviously we've got to keep an eye ahead. If there is something that comes out from left field from another country, in another part of the world that we have to respond to, we will do that.

We will make sure part of the forward-planning is making sure that we can continue to respond quickly if we need to.

I think, in overall proportionality, it is the right thing to do."

Given the high vaccination rate, the vaccination centre at Fort Regent is moving to five days a week.

It will be open between Tuesday and Saturday, starting from Sunday 30 January.

Deputy Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Ivan Muscat, says we are starting to approach normal types of infection.

"The mortality from influenza is normally of the order of 1 in 1000 and the current mortality from Covid is 1 in 1000.

So we are starting to approach that sort of climate with Covid and it, therefore, behooves us to balance our mitigation accordingly and this is what we are doing.

We are deescalating in a step-wise, cautious manner, keeping a very close eye on activity and we hope to continue to be able to deescalate as we go forward, but of course, in order to do that, we have to emphasise the huge importance of people continuing with the vaccination programme so that we do not lose traction, now that we've gained so much."

The Health Minister has revealed that an antiviral medicine to stop the virus that causes Covid from growing and spreading will be rolled out in Jersey 'in the coming weeks.'

Molnupiravir treats early infection and helps to stop more severe symptoms.

It was approved for use by the medicines regulator in November 2021.

Deputy Richard Renouf says it will make sure Jersey's most vulnerable people can get treatment for Covid if they need it.

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