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Isolation-Exempt Worker Tests Positive

One foreign worker who was granted an exemption not to self-isolate on arrival to Jersey tested positive for coronavirus after going straight to work instead of waiting for his first test result to come back.

The government says permission may be granted not to isolate where it is critical for the running of a service or business for a person to travel here and work during an isolation period.

82 workers from overseas have been given that permission, subject to getting a first negative test result first.

Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf has confirmed that one person failed to wait for that first result.

"He was isolated immediately when the test result came through. So one appears to have happened in this case."

Permission not to isolate is only for the period of work and travelling to and from work. At all other times, these people have to isolate for the necessary amount of time dependant on where they have come from.

"When employers make applications, they have to assure officers of the infection control measures they will put in place, which include providing independent transport to and from the workplace and ensuring the work has suitable accommodation and support to isolate, which includes taking meals, provision of hygiene facilities and ensuring physical distancing.

"All of this is risk assessed and monitored." - Deputy Richard Renouf, Health Minister.

There is more on the isolation-exempt process here.

The Health Minister did not confirm in the States sitting which areas these isolation-exempt workers came from and therefore what they were classed as on the traffic light system for safe travel.

Following the Health Minister's statement in the assembly, a government spokesperson said:

"The monitoring and enforcement team work closely with contact tracing to ensure all public health regulations are being adhered to.

"Workers who are exempt from the Safer Travel Policy must still register before entering the Island and complete testing requirements as per their travel history. 

"The period of time workers are permitted to not isolate is only when they are travelling to and from work and at work. 

"Compliance checks are made on a regular basis outside of these exemption periods and if any worker is found to be in breach of the policy they are liable to a £1,000 fine.

"Employers are also required to clearly outline infection control measures in the workplace, ensure the employees have suitable accommodation to isolate when not at work."

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