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Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

  1. Sark to reopen borders to the rest of the bailiwick

    Sark will reopen its borders to people from Guernsey, Alderney and Herm from 1 June.

    The island said it would allow residents to travel within the bailiwick as Covid-19 was "brought under control".

    Residents from outside the bailiwick - including Jersey, France and the UK - will not be allowed to visit for the time being, representatives said on Facebook.

    It follows the announcement that Guernsey will enter phase four of its lockdown exit from 30 May, permitting non-essential travel in and out of the island.

    Sark
  2. States spending up to £20m on new patient records system

    Guernsey States has agreed to spend up to £20m on a replacement electronic patient records system (EPR).

    The Health & Social Care and Policy & Resources committees sought the funds from the island's capital reserve.

    The current EPR system, known as TRAKCare 2012, is due to be no longer be supported by its provider from 31 March 2021.

    The funding was passed by 29 votes in favour, six against and four abstentions.

  3. Oyster company raises £14,000 through crowdfunding

    BBC Radio Guernsey

    A crowdfunding scheme by the Herm and Guernsey Oyster Company has raised more than £14,000.

    As a way to keep the business afloat and staff employed, the company made oysters and oyster tours available to buy in advance, with vouchers valid until August 2021.

    Owner Charlotte Dixon said it was one of the best things she had ever been a part of, and even had a donation from the US.

    Quote Message: We had a donation from a lady in Texas who's not actually been to Guernsey before, but just thought the photographs on my crowdfunding page were beautiful, and she wants to visit after the lockdown. It's crazy, but how brilliant is that? It's just great." from Charlotte Dixon Herm and Guernsey Oyster Company
    Charlotte DixonHerm and Guernsey Oyster Company
    Oyster
  4. Public Health working on 'elimination' definition

    Public Health is working with an "academic institution" to establish a definition for the elimination of Covid-19 from Guernsey, Dr Nicola Brink said.

    The service's director added the debate was whether to count from whenever the last recorded transmission of the virus, or the last active case being resolved.

    Guernsey is currently 22 days without a new case, with just two known coronavirus cases.

    Dr Brink explained there is "no worldwide definition" and said the distinction was more of interest to academics, rather than her team.

    She clarified Public Health was more interested in the lack of evidence of community transmission and the lack of "untoward" reports from primary care facilities in the island.

    Dr Brink said: "All of the data is stacking together and nothing is sticking out and making us worry."

    "From our perspective we're fairly confident."

  5. Tourism industry 'sacrificed' for island economy

    Guernsey's tourism industry will continue to suffer until further restrictions can be lifted beyond phase four of the exit strategy, Deputy Gavin St Pier has said.

    While non-essential travel is permitted from 30 May, travellers arriving in the island will have to self-isolate for 14 days.

    "The impact on the hospitality and visitor economy is significant," Deputy St Pier said.

    "The priority is to restart the economy as quickly as we can, but as safely as we can," he said.

    Deputy Heidi Soulsby added: "Sadly the tourism industry will be impacted by it, but by having those controls on the border, it's meant we're able to open up the rest of the economy much faster.

    "That's the one sacrifice we've had to make," she said.

  6. Unemployment has 'doubled' during lockdown

    Unemployment in Guernsey has "doubled" over the course of the lockdown, States chief executive Paul Whitfield said.

    Mr Whitfield said there had been about 400 new unemployment claims in this period.

    Payments of unemployment benefit have risen by about 310%, he added.

    He said: "Normally we enjoy incredibly low figures, so you can see that leap is very telling."

    However, Mr Whitfield emphasised there had been a "tail off" of new claims recently, as business had started to reopen.

  7. Islanders' donations show 'staggering generousity'

    Deputy St Pier has thanked islanders for their "staggering generousity" in donating towards the island's coronavirus response.

    He said the Covid-19 response appeal, which directs money to front-line services facing economic hardship, currently stood at £127,000.

    Support for charities, which are working to aid the coronavirus response, is made through the Social Investment Fund with £145,000 in donations, he said.

  8. Islanders reminded to adhere to phase three rules

    Deputy Gavin St Pier has reminded islanders to adhere to phase three restrictions until the island moves into phase four on 30 May.

    He urged people to keep to social distancing guidelines, which would remain a "key requirement" for "some period of time".

    Deputy Pier urged islanders to remain vigilant across the bank holiday weekend.

    "As we all start to go out of our households more, we mustn't forget that discipline we all learnt quite early on in the process."

  9. Coronavirus 'elimination' never part of the plan

    Elimination was never part of Guernsey's strategy but was a potential "fantastic byproduct" of islanders sticking with lockdown so well, Deputy Heidi Soulsby has said.

    However, the president of the Committee for Health and Social Care cautioned plans to reduce restrictions might see a rise in coronavirus again.

    Mrs Soulsby said: "[New cases] should not been seen as failure, because we were never aiming for elimination.

    "It's just the community has done a fantastic job."

  10. Group meetings based on hygiene and social distancing

    The meeting of groups once Guernsey transition into phase four will be based on access to hygiene facilities and ability to adhere to social distancing guidelines, Dr Nicola Brink said.

    The expectation is that gatherings of up to 30 will be allowed from 30 May, with 50 people possibly permitted to attend funerals and weddings.

    The director of Public Health added they were not being "prescriptive" and were laying out a "set of principles" allowing groups to gather.

    Dr Brink clarified they were not going to reintroduce extra-curricular activities for children outside of school and these would be left for phase five.

  11. Emergency Covid-19 test results available 'within one hour'

    Public health has the ability to turn around "rapid" testing within an hour for health emergencies, Dr Nicola Brink has revealed.

    The director of Public Health said their 24-hour service was for use in situations like needing to know if a critically ill patient has the virus before sending them to Southampton for non-Covid treatment.

  12. 'Some travel' within Bailiwick expected

    The director of Public Health has said she anticipates to see "some travel" between islands in the Bailiwick.

    Dr Brink said Guernsey had progressed "far quicker" than expected, but movement would be dependent on the agreement of each island.

    She said more information would be delivered by the States next week.

  13. 'Significant increase' in mental health referrals

    Guernsey's mental health services have seen a "significant increase" in the number of referrals over the last few weeks, Dr Dominic Bishop revealed.

    The psychiatrist emphasised not all the referrals were "Covid virus specific", but acknowledged many were linked to the "current situation".

    Dr Bishop said: "There are significant indirect effects of the pandemic and we need to consider all of them.

    "They include social isolation, unemployment, financial concerns increased stress on relationships, and all of these negatively impact our wellbeing."

    He added he hoped the removal of lockdown restrictions would ease stress on islanders and allow the States to reopen all of its mental health services.

    "However, the return to normal... will be a challenge to our service," Dr Bishop added.

  14. 'Talk to people' to help mental health

    Islanders struggling with mental health problems should "talk to people" they trust, Dr Dominic Bishop has advised.

    The senior clinical psychiatrist added people are "social beings" who need human connection.

    Dr Bishop said: "You will find that talking about your problems, even if the person you're talking doesn't have the solution, will be be helpful."

  15. Outbreaks in care homes 'completely resolved'

    Outbreaks of coronavirus in two care homes in Guernsey have been "completely resolved", the director of Public Health has announced.

    Dr Nicola Brink thanked healthcare and care home staff who had helped residents during the time of infection.

    She said visiting care homes would recommence under "very controlled circumstances".

    A testing programme for asymptomatic islanders would also be extended into care homes, Dr Brink added.

    More than 100 key workers had been tested under the programme this week, she said.

  16. Support for reopened businesses until 'at least' July

    Support for businesses who can open under new lockdown restrictions, but will have limited income due to continued public health restrictions can claim until at least the end of June, chief executive Paul Whitfield has confirmed.

    He said: "We are continuously assessing the requirements for business support beyond the June period."

    The majority of business support claims have been processed by the States and outstanding claims are "being dealt with as quickly as possible".

    Payment for payroll claims up to 15 May will receive payment within the week, he added.

  17. Islanders with symptoms urged to come forward

    Dr Nicola Brink has encouraged islanders to come forward for testing if they have any symptoms of Covid-19.

    She said: "If that person is positive, we can isolate them, we can contact trace around them, and nip any infections in the bud."

    A list of possible symptoms include:

    • Muscle ache (fatigue, exhaustion)
    • Headache (sinus pain, pain around eyes)
    • Loss of smell/taste
    • Sore throat
    • Fever (high temperature, rigors, chills, can’t get warm)
    • Shortness of breath, chest tightness
    • Continuous new cough

    "We're doing so well and we can't be complacent," Dr Brink added.

  18. Keep social distance to avoid 'falling at last hurdle'

    Sticking to hygiene and social distancing advice is essential to maintaining Guernsey's success in battling the coronavirus, the president of the Health and Social Care Committee has said.

    Deputy Heidi Soulsby added the States were willing to reverse the easing of lockdown, should "things go wrong in the next few days".

    She said: "Now is not the time for complacency.

    "We're entering into the home straight, we don't want to fall at the last hurdle."

  19. Household bubbles 'a thing of the past'

    Guernsey's system of household bubbles will be a "thing of the past" once the island moves to phase four on 30 May, Deputy Heidi Soulsby said.

    The president of health and social care said the only restrictions remaining will be limits on the size of gatherings.

    The exact restrictions have yet to be laid out, but Mrs Soulsby said Public Health were looking at about 50 people for weddings and funerals and about 30 for other gatherings.

  20. 'Fortress Guernsey' cannot last forever

    Travel in and out of the Bailiwick of Guernsey will restart on the basis that there is no vaccine available, Deputy Gavin St Pier has said.

    "We know we cannot stay in Fortress Guernsey forever," he said.

    "But the fact is none of the measures currently available is perfect, so we will have to work out what is the most appropriate mix of measures for our community."

    Deputy Pier said while there were "flaws" to other jurisdictions travel rules, he was confident additional measures could be implemented at Guernsey's borders.

    He added the States would be speaking to other island populations including the Faroe Islands to share their experiences and exchange travel ideas.