Ministers have decided to accelerate the reconnection of the Island’s community and economy. This follows advice from STAC, taking account of the low rate of Coronavirus cases, the high level of testing and contact tracing, and the success of the COVID-19 vaccination programme.
This means that pubs and nightclubs offering seated drinks service can open from Good Friday, if they retain 2 metre physical distancing, limit table numbers to 10 people, and collect customer details for contact tracing.
Other reconnection stages have also been brought forward, although dates could be put back again if the situation changes.
The revised Reconnection Roadmap is now:
Interim Stage: from Friday 2 April (Good Friday)
alcoholic drinks table service resumes, without the need for an accompanying meal
customers must eat and drink at the table, but there is no requirement to order and pay at the table
food and drink must be ordered (in all food and drink premises) before 11pm and the establishments must close at 11.30pm
no limit on dining or drinking time
masks are still required except when seated at a table, without the need to be eating or drinking
table numbers still limited to 10, with 2 metres or screens between people at adjacent tables
Stage 5: from Monday 12 April
physical distancing requirements replaced with guidance
working from home guidance lifted
no limits on size of gatherings in venues, such as controlled wedding receptions, wakes or theatre performances. Masks to be worn indoors.
up to 20 people can attend informal gatherings in people’s homes and gardens or in public places, such as beaches
no limit on spectators or participants at sporting events. Masks to be worn indoors.
Monday 26 April: Travel reconnection to United Kingdom, Isle of Man and Guernsey
Stage 6: Monday 10 May
standing alcoholic drink service resumes
saunas and Jacuzzis reopen
masks still required indoors
No earlier than Monday 17 May: Travel reconnection to other jurisdictions (excluding UK list of banned countries)
Stage 7: Monday 14 June
unlimited number of people permitted in homes and gardens
nightclubs fully reopen, including dancing
larger indoor and outdoor events and festivals permitted, subject to case numbers and risk assessment
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “After considering advice from STAC we are confident that it is now safe to bring forward the next stages of our reconnection plan. We are maintaining a phased approach, which safeguards our community and our successful vaccination programme, while also relaxing restrictions and allowing Islanders to resume more of their regular activities.
“It has now been a year since we went into lockdown. Today we remembered those who lost their lives during this pandemic and took time to reflect on the impact of the virus on all our lives. This has been a year unlike any other, and the isolation has proved challenging for many of us.
“The latest figures on active cases and vaccination implementation show that we can now afford to bring forward the relaxation of restrictions and look forward to further reconnection with confidence. We will, however, remain vigilant and I would urge Islanders to continue to play their part by following the remaining guidance.”
The Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “I am delighted to see more of our local economy opening up again, so Islanders can enjoy the Easter break, safely, and within remaining guidelines. Our medical advisers have said that the figures show it is safe to bring forward our reconnection plan, and Ministers have acted on that advice. Islanders will no longer be limited in how long they can spend at a restaurant table, and the 10pm closing time has been removed.
“We have made tremendous progress with our vaccination programme and our case numbers remain low. As long as the metrics continue in this vein, we can look forward to an updated timetable and a faster journey to full reconnection. Many Islanders have felt isolated over the last year, and today’s announcement provides another step towards normality.”
Further advice for Islanders and guidance for specific sectors will be online by Friday 9 April, before the Stage 5 reconnection on Monday 12 April.