States of Guernsey Media Release 22nd April 2020
New guidance outlines businesses that can operate if public health directions are met
New guidance for businesses and workers has been issued, which supersedes all previous guidance given and outlines which types of business can operate from 25 April 2020 if public health requirements on social distancing and hygiene are met.
The guidance continues to support the key message that in order to protect our community Islanders should, apart from specific reasons, STAY AT HOME.
Islanders should not leave their home except to exercise, to buy necessary food and supplies, for medical appointments or to work – either where that work is essential, and/or where the States has decided that certain types of business can operate in line with the public health directions.
Business that may resume full or partial operation, subject to meeting the public health requirements outlined in the guidance (section D), include:
- – Gardening, building and other trades with no household contact
- – Building wholesale and supply
- – Vehicle servicing, maintenance and repairs (including cars, bikes and marine)
- – Property sales, rentals and business transactionsAdditionally the new guidance also outlines changes in relation to the number of employees allowed to carry out non-essential work on office premises, subject to meeting social distancing and hygiene requirements. This is covered in section E.
Any business falling within these categories that wishes to operate from 25 April 2020 mustnotify Environmental Health via www.gov.gg/covid19businessnotification.
The types of workers considered essential has not changed. The position remains that only vulnerable students and the children of essential workers can attend their school, college or early years provider.
The changes are consistent with the cautious approach adopted to date. It represents a series of limited extensions to permitted activities which will gradually allow people back into the workplace in a controlled way. However, if the public health evidence indicates that this approach should be reversed in order to protect the community, that will be done.
Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, said:
‘The evidence available has led us to a position where we feel confident in easing some of the current strict restrictions on businesses that have been in place since we entered lockdown. It will certainly not be business as usual for those who can resume work from Saturday, and businesses absolutely need to carefully read the guidance and stick to it as we cannot allow the community’s hard work in respondingto this virus to be undone. We have always said our decisions will be based on evidence and while that has enabled us to take this step, we cannot guarantee thatin the future we won’t need to tighten the restrictions again if the evidence dictatesit.’
Deputy Gavin St. Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, said:
‘The guidance published today is more detailed, inevitably more complicated as a result and therefore needs to be read carefully by employers to ensure they comply fully with the non-negotiable public health directions around social distancing and hygiene requirements. Even if you are already operating, please do read the guidance. There is no bullet-proof way of moving into this next phase as we seek to relax lockdown measures, so we need businesses and the wider community to continue supporting us to reduce the risk of the number of cases beginning to rise again. Our core message remains that people should stay at home unless for very specific reasons.’
Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health & Social Care, said:
‘As a result of the way in which the community has embraced the measures we have put in place so far, it has proved possible to relax certain restrictions to enable some low-risk businesses to return to work. The updated guidance explains in detail the types of business that can operate and the public health requirements that must be met to do so. Any business not able to meet those requirements cannot operate; no exceptions. We have been successful in flattening the curve, but we have to maintain that positive momentum as we move into the next phase of lockdown.’
The new guidance can be found here https://covid19.gov.gg/guidance/businessEnds
Notes to Media
Please contact Joel de Woolfson