Warning Issued Ahead Of Sunny Weekend

Even though the weather is looking lovely this weekend, we're being urged to resist the temptation to make the most of it and stay at home.

We can each go outside for up to two hours a day to shop for essentials and exercise whilst keeping at least two metres (six feet) away from others.

There's concern that people will want to stay outside for longer that's allowed, particularly on Sunday when temperatures of 17°C are forecast.

Chief Officer of Jersey Police, Robin Smith, says his team will make itself known if required.

"Of course islanders will want to do exactly what they've done in previous times, but you've heard over the last couple of weeks how important it is to stay at home and save lives.

"Yes you will see more police officers over the weekend, yes you may be stopped and we will adopt one of the four E's"

Those four E's are to:

Engage with those they think are breaching the rules

Explain why it's so important to stay at home

Encourage people to comply

Enforce the rules 'only where absolutely necessary'.

"Warm weather is no protection from coronavirus. If you are going out of the house during your two hours, think carefully about the best time and place to go. You don’t want to endanger yourself or others by going to popular areas, where you might compromise your 2 meters social distance." - John Searson, Principal Meteorological Officer at Jersey Met.

Gatherings of more than two people aren't allowed, unless from the same household. Visitors to the home are also banned.

Mr. Smith gave that warning in a press briefing this morning, alongside States of Jersey Chief Executive Charlie Parker and Director General of Justice and Home Affairs Julian Blazeby.

In a statement on preparing public services for the emergency and the recovery, Mr. Parker said an urgent review into spending is underway to advise Ministers what must be delivered and what can be deferred or stopped altogether.

He said there are areas where there will be savings.

"We’re looking at all the possible options for Ministers to consider to fund the recovery and replenish the reserves over coming years. So we’re looking at how the public service should tighten its belt, like other sectors are having to, in order to support the essential services necessary to fight Coronavirus. As a result we are urgently reviewing current Government expenditure in the light of the crisis, to offer Ministers options on what we should continue to deliver, what we should defer and what we should stop."

The head of Jersey's public sector also heaped praise on all the islanders working to keep us safe during the coronavirus pandemic.

"I'm immensely proud and grateful to the many of you and our community partners for all that you ar doing every day for all of us. Thank you to every single one of you."

Among other topics discussed in the briefing were:

* What savings have been identified to kickstart the economy after this crisis: "Inevitably at this time of crisis when people are not working in a normal environment, you will create slowdown in expenditure. Construction sites will close today, we're not developing and delivering on any major capital programmes, that will make sure money is being saved. We don't operate at the moment our leisure centres, we're not operating our sports facilities, all of which saves money and all of which will be redirected and retargeted towards supporting the crisis." - Charlie Parker.

* Domestic abuse: "We've already been in contact with the Jersey Domestic Abuse Service and other partners to start to plan how we might be able to mitigate that while accepting that it will increase. We're building up plans now, we've seen a slight increase, nothing too concerning just yet but we're anticipating it and we're building some plans to try and prevent it as best we can." - Robin Smith.

* Police action since the lockdown came into force: "We are taking information for everybody that we stop. So far we've given words of advice to 80 people. That seems like a fairly reasonable number, but of course that will increase if we don't see that we're complying with those instructions. We're going to take a very measured and very sensible response to it, but we will enforce when we absolutely have to." - Robin Smith.

* Driving for exercise: "My view is that people shouldn't necessarily travel to exercise. Let's not forget, we want people to stay at home so it is always best where possible people stay at home to exercise in and around their homes. I do accept that some people need to travel and we will continue to monitor this carefully. I encourage people to exercise where they can close to their homes and don't unnecessarily travel because of course not only do they expose others, they expose themselves as well." - Robin Smith.

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