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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Legionella warning for reopening businesses

    Guernsey's Health and Safety Executive has issued a warning for businesses reopening their premises after several weeks of closure to ensure their water is clean.

    Legionella bacteria, which can cause potentially deadly respiratory Legionnaire’s Disease, may have built up while the premises have been unattended.

    Systems should be thoroughly flushed with running water from any outlets, and cleaning those outlets (particularly taps and shower heads) and if you are unsure if your water system is safe, contact a water engineer, the group advised.

    Businesses are also being warned to be cautious when switching heating or electricity back on.

    Further advice is available via the executive's website or by emailing hse@gov.gg

  2. Legal obligation for children to be educated

    Asked if it was mandatory for children to return to school on 8 June, States chief executive Paul Whitfield emphasised there was a legal obligation for all children to receive an education.

    However, Mr Whitfield added parents already have the right to choose to home school their children outside of the education system.

    He said: "If anybody's got any indication of symptoms, whether a child or adult or otherwise they should stay at home."

    Mr Whitfield also acknowledged there was a "huge amount" of work is being done by the government, head teachers, unions and other stakeholders to find the safest way for schools to return.

    He added there would be a dedicated panel session to reveal the plans in a "calm and effective" manner to the community.

  3. Day patient unit back to normal from Monday

    The Princess Elizabeth Hospital's day patient unit will be returning to normal from Monday, States medical director Dr Peter Rabey has revealed.

    It was turned into a dedicated intensive care unit for coronavirus patients.

    Dr Rabey said they were removing the additional intensive care equipment installed in the unit in a way that allows it to be returned "within two days".

    "We know exactly what goes where, which piece of equipment is being stored where and we can [return them] in a controlled way," he added.

  4. Public Health preparing for second wave

    Dr Nicola Brink said Public Health Services "absolutely" had to prepare for a second wave of coronavirus to potentially hit Guernsey.

    She said: "I like to be well prepared for any eventuality as far as I can be.

    "If we didn't prepare I think the community could rightly ask questions of us."

    Dr Brink said they would "hopefully" be able to "mitigate against the impacts of a second wave", given their preparations.

    She cited the introduction of their extended testing strategy, which would allow Public Health to conduct up to 400 tests per day on island, as key to their preparations.

    The expanded testing regime is expected to begin around mid-July.

  5. Dr Brink - I want to caution against complacency

    Dr Nicola Brink has cautioned islanders against "complacency" in the fight against the spread of coronavirus in Guernsey.

    The director of Public Health said: "These are hard won gains, we've done really well, but we've done well because the community has enabled us to do well.

    Dr Brink added she "hoped" many of the changes would be "integrated into daily life", including good hand hygiene and the use and proper disposal of tissues when coughing or sneezing.

    "I'm really hoping that some of our behaviours would be fundamentally changed, and that could be one of the good things that comes out of what has happened to us."

  6. Asymptomatic infection 'always a concern'

    People with coronavirus who do not show symptoms will "always be a concern" to Public Health, director Dr Nicola Brink said.

    She said: "But if asymptomatic infections are transmitting to other people, you expect someone to declare as symptomatic."

    Dr Brink added they were likely to be picked up on because of their test, contact trace and quarantine strategy, as at least two to three out of five people are expected to show some symptoms.

    "Not everyone is going to be asymptomatic, so you are protected to a degree by some people becoming symptomatic", she said.

  7. Primary schools reopening full detail released 'soon'

    The full detail of the reopening of schools will be released "soon", States of Guernsey chief executive Paul Whitfield said.

    He confirmed the Committee for Education, Sport and Culture was "very keen" to announce the direction of travel this week and give themselves the "some time" to release the exact detail before reopening.

    Mr Whitfield said: "It is very complicated... so taking all the health advice and then working with the educationalists, the schools and the committee office.

    "They'll be providing [the advice] and very shortly coming forward with the exact detail of how it's going operate in practice."

  8. Four ventilators on loan and six to arrive soon

    Guernsey has four ventilators on loan from the UK to be used in intensive care if necessary, the States medical director has revealed.

    Dr Peter Rabey said the life-saving machines could be used if the island was to experience a second wave of the virus.

    He said: "We're going to keep them here until they are recalled."

    Dr Rabey added the States has also ordered six ventilators, funded "largely by generous donations" and they are expected to arrive soon.

    These would be used as part of a redesign of the hospital's intensive care unit, even if they are not used during the crisis, he added.

  9. External travel dependent on vaccine 'burning out'

    Dr Nicola Brink has said eliminating the coronavirus in Guernsey would allow the Bailiwick to "function as normal", but external travel would remain limited.

    She said travel would depend on the development of a vaccine, as well as various drugs that were currently being tested across the world.

    Dr Brink said it would also depend if the infection "burns out" across jurisidictions.

    "We will be looking at what the risk of infection is to islanders, and how we can mitigate that risk."

  10. Phase three: 'We may not have all the answers'

    Deputy Gavin St Pier has emphasised the States "may not have all the answers" to islanders questions about entering phase three of the lockdown exit strategy straight away.

    He said: "Please do use all the helplines, but do bear with them as well, as they will be busy over the next few days."

    Full guidance on a variety of issues, including contact details for the relevant government helplines, is available online.

    The move into phase two had a lead-in period of a week that allowed queries to be raised about the easing of restrictions before those changes came into effect.

  11. 'Gradual increase' in non-coronavirus patients at PEH

    Guernsey's Princess Elizabeth Hospital is seeing a "gradually increasing" number of non-coronavirus patients, medical director Dr Peter Rabey has revealed.

    He said: "Next week we're dipping our toe in the water of planned elective operations.

    "It'll be a slow start because we're still taking full precautions for personal protective equipment and we have to do a deep clean between patients."

    Dr Rabey said he hoped within a few weeks they would be back up to seeing a "more normal" number of patients across the hospital, as well as allowing partners to addend cesarean sections.

    "As soon as we can we'll be giving you news about that," he added.

  12. Household bubbles extended

    Household bubbles in Guernsey can be extended from two to four households from Saturday, Deputy Heidi Soulsby has announced.

    Households cannot change or swap those they have already joined with.

    It means two households that have already "bubbled up" can join with another pair.

    Alternatively, four individual households that have not joined with any other households so far, can now come together.

  13. Phase three lockdown: What will change?

    Deputy Heidi Soulsby has explained how phase three of the lockdown exit will affect the rules in Guernsey.

    Indoor work and building within homes will be allowed to commence, with a maximum of two people allowed to undertake the work unless the house is unoccupied.

    These allowances do not apply to domestic cleaning, Mrs Soulsby said.

    Restrictions on construction sites will now be based on how many people can work on the site while maintaining social distancing.

    Offices will be allowed to reopen if social distancing rules are adhered to, but people should continue to work from home if they can, Mrs Soulsby said.

    Takeaway food services can begin again so long as food is pre-ordered and collection abides by social distancing rules.

    Childminders can also begin to provide services for essential workers, but cannot look after children from different household bubbles at one time.

    Finally, places of worship can open for private prayer, and a maximum of 10 people can attend a funeral, but wakes and receptions continue to be prohibited.

    Deputy Soulsby reminded islanders the key message continues to be:

    • Stay home in your bubble as far as possible
    • Continue to work from home wherever possible
    • Maintain social distancing of 2m (6ft 6in)
    • Follow hygiene guidelines
    • If you have coronavirus symptoms, immediately self-isolate at home and seek medical help
    • If you are returning from outside the Bailiwick, self-isolate for 14 days, including no mixing in your bubble
  14. Dr Brink on Elimination vs Eradication

    Director of Public Health Dr Nicola Brink has explained the difference in meaning behind the "eradication" and "elimination" of a disease.

    Eradication is the permanent reduction of a particular disease to zero globally, Dr Brink said.

    She cited smallpox as an example of a virus which "no longer exists across the whole world".

    Elimination is when the presence of a disease is reduced to zero in a "particular geographical region", she added.

    Dr Brink said: "We're considering the Bailiwick as our geographical region.

    "An example of a virus that we've eliminated locally, but they haven't eliminated in the UK is measles."

  15. Guernsey orders 10,000 antibody tests

    Guernsey has ordered 10,000 of the antibody tests which were recently approved by Public Health England.

    Dr Nicola Brink emphasised these tests that can tell if someone has contracted and recovered from Covid-19 had been "rigorously evaluated".

    She said: "We're not intending at this stage to do large scale population-based [testing], because we think the instances of infection in the island is very low.

    Dr Brink added the plan was to look at testing "targeted groups", including people who have never tested positive, but are displaying coronavirus symptoms.

    This is because people can often experience symptoms of Covid-19 after they have eliminated the virus from their bodies, caused by their own immune system, she said.

    "It's not common, we've got a handful of cases that fall into that category, but it would be nice to test those individuals."

    The other main group that they intend to test are the contacts of positive cases, to see if any had contracted the virus but remained asymptomatic, she added.

  16. Estimated £330m loss for economy in 2020

    Initial economic modelling of the impact of the coronavirus on Guernsey indicates a loss of about £330m, nine to ten percent of the overall economy, over the course of 2020, Deputy Gavin St Pier said.

    Mr St Pier added that without any recovery measures the economy would take until about 2027 for the economy to return to pre-crisis levels.

    He emphasised that rushing to reopen the island in a singe phase would be a mistake, arguing "the reality is much of the economic output has already been lost", given the chance of tourism returning this year was "minimal".

    Mr St Pier said: "The marginal gain of a single step is not worth the risk of that approach.

    "We've had the economic pain and we must not now squander the very real and visible gains by moving too fast now and risking more economic damage later."

  17. Strategy remains to 'test, trace, and quarantine'

    Dr Nicola Brink, director of Public Health in Guernsey, has said the Bailiwick's strategy through the coronavirus crisis "remains the same" as it enters phase three of its lockdown exit.

    Dr Brink said officials continued to "test, trace and quarantine" which had proven to be effective, as the island reaches the 15th consecutive day with no new cases.

    "Islanders will see from the daily statistics that we are still testing people on a daily basis," she said.

    "Some of these will be symptomatic patients but we have already begun to proactively seek out cases by targeting certain key workers who we are testing regardless of any symptoms of Covid-19."

  18. Guernsey has no measurable infection rate

    Guernsey has no R number currently, the notation for measuring the rate of infection within a population, Deputy Gavin St Pier said.

    The lack of R value is due to the lack of new infections allowing Public Health to have no data from which to calculate the rate of infection.

    Addressing when the island's strategy changed from flattening the curve of infections to eliminating the virus altogether, Mr St Pier said it was down to the efficacy of their test, trace and isolate strategy.

    "We can realistically aim to eliminate the virus in the Bailiwick now," he added.

  19. Lockdown: 'We will not hesitate to take a step back'

    The States of Guernsey "will not hesitate to take a step back" if unexplained cases of coronavirus emerge, Deputy Gavin St Pier said.

    He said decisions continued to be guided by public health data, and any evidence of unexplained community seeding or "clusters" developing would tighten lockdown restrictions again.

    Deputy Pier said he hoped this "will not be necessary", while Guernsey remained in "a really strong position".

  20. Lockdown phase three: 'Step towards normality'

    Deputy Heidi Soulsby, President of the Committee for Health and Social Care has said phase three of Guernsey's exit strategy represents "another step towards near normal levels of activity".

    She said: "We know we are asking islanders to do slightly different things each time we move into a new phase.

    "The way the community have supported the strategy so far means we have moved into the next phase quicker than expected. If we continue in the right direction we hope to include the final elements of phase three in the next couple of weeks."