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Press Release - Covid19 Lockdown 25.03.2020

For immediate release: 25th March 2020

Alderney in lockdown to save lives

Strict new measures in the war against Covid-19 came into force at midnight last night (March 24), requiring everyone to stay at home with a very limited number of exceptions.

The emergency measures were put in place by the Civil Contingencies Authority on the advice of the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink, as the number of cases in the Bailiwick rose to 23, all of them in Guernsey.

As the latest case was transmitted within the community as opposed to being contracted in another country, the lockdown - initially for a period of two weeks - is now necessary to contain the spread of the virus.

The new measures require the following:

  • People must stay at home, except for a very limited number of purposes
     
  • Non-essential shops and community spaces are now closed
     
  • There must be no gatherings of more than two people in public

There are no confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Alderney but the Island is still waiting for test results.

"We do not yet have a confirmed case in Alderney but that doesn't mean the virus isn't here. We can take advantage of the fact that we are now in lockdown because if it does turn out that the virus is already here, we will have taken action early and limited its impact," said Alderney President William Tate in his morning broadcast on Quay FM (March 25).

Residents can leave home to shop for essential items, to collect medicines, or for outdoor exercise for a maximum of two hours providing social distancing is practiced. All essential grocery stores and the pharmacy will deliver if requested.

Work and business

All businesses that are not essential for the Island's current needs must now close. People can travel to work only if they are engaged in essential business or if their work cannot be carried out at home.

Private businesses which are essential to the Island include:

  • Businesses which ensure the supply and accessibility of foods including grocery stores, air and sea transport and harbour port and freight operators.
     
  • Health and community care services such as GP surgeries, the pharmacy, the Connaught Care Home, other care services including Alderney Animal Welfare, employees and volunteers who provide services to those in need, and those responsible for management of the deceased.
     
  • Those essential to law and order such as advocates.
     
  • Services which support schools, including school transport, and daytime childcare.
     
  • Services maintaining critical infrastructure such as electricity, oil, post and telecommunications.
     
  • Public service broadcasters and mainstream news media.

Essential public services that remain in operation are:

  • Health and social care
     
  • Education
     
  • Emergency services (Law Enforcement, Ambulance, Fire and Coastguard)
     
  • Law Officers
     
  • States Works, including waste and recycling
     
  • The Harbour Office and Airport
     
  • Regulatory roles related to financial stability and banking supervision
     
  • Treasury
     
  • Social Security
     
  • Any public servants who are essential to support the response to the COVID-19 emergency

School will continue for the children whose parents work in essential services and businesses. Everyone who is not deemed to be a critical worker is required to remain at home for the duration of these emergency measures.

People returning to Alderney

Students and residents returning to the island during this critical time must immediately enter into mandatory self-isolation for 14 days. Anyone seeking to travel to the Island must be able to demonstrate proof of residency before they travel.

A States of Alderney newsletter, written before these measures were announced, is being distributed to all Islanders and includes an insert with phone numbers and email addresses for ordering essential items.

Anyone needing to consult a doctor is asked not to attend the Island Medical Centre without an appointment but to telephone first.

"Stay at home," reiterated the President in his radio broadcast. "Stay in touch by phone with friends and family. Keep calm. If you start to feel unwell call the Helpline. Don't panic about food or medicine. There will be enough to go around if people do not over react."

The Helpline numbers are 01481 756938 or 756969. Guernsey Public Health has full, up-to-date information on the Coronavirus at https://ssltest.gov.gg/coronavirus. This covers the whole Bailiwick, including Alderney.

Ends