New, stricter guidance has been published for islanders at high risk of becoming seriously ill if they get coronavirus.
Islanders classed as high-risk are:
- People over the age of 70
- People with severe respiratory conditions
- People with certain types of cancers
- People who've had a solid organ transplant
- People with Down's Syndrome
- Anyone who has stage 5 kidney disease or receiving kidney dialysis.
These people are being encouraged to work from home wherever possible and avoid indoor activities that happen outside their own home.
They can choose a small number of family and friends from outside their household to not maintain distancing with. High-risk islanders are asked to keep two metres apart from everyone else.
Visits to other people's and visitors to their own homes are discouraged unless it's from their small chosen number of friends or family or for delivering care or essential services.
"This new guidance will protect Islanders at high risk if followed but may impact their daily routine. However, it is not advising this group to isolate or go into full ‘shielding.’
“We are encouraging these Islanders to enjoy outdoor activities with a small group of close friends and/or family, and to stay connected, but to also avoid indoor activities wherever possible." - Deputy Richard Renouf, Health Minister.
Anyone who suffers financially because of this can apply for financial support through the Connect Me service. The service can also offer help with having shopping delivered, advice on mental health and wellbeing, and how to stay active.
Parents and guardians of children at high-risk are told to get medical advice to decide whether they should go to school. The governemnt says the risks for children are likely to be lower, and the benefits of going to school are likely to outweigh the risks if all public health advice is followed.
High-risk islanders can still attend social events outdoors but should keep two metres apart from others not in their chosen small group.
"We are introducing these measures in response to the way the virus is moving through the Island, and how it is being transmitted.
"There are certain conditions which will make an individual more likely to develop severe illness if infected with COVID-19. And the older you are, the higher the risk also, which is why we have added those over the age of 70 to the high-risk category." - Dr. Ivan Muscat, Deputy Medical Officer of Health.
The updated guidance can be read in full here.