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  1. Jersey schools to remain closed until 1 May

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Schools in Jersey will remain closed until 1 May, unless they providing places to support critical workers children and some vulnerable children.

    The closures will include all Government-provided and private schools, as well as Highlands College, nurseries and pre-schools.

    Mont al’Abbé and Le Sente will remain open for children who are safe to attend.

    Education Minister, Senator Tracey Vallois said it was "a challenging time for everyone" and thanked teachers and staff for supporting pupils.

    A “Learning At Home” resource is being developed by the government to support parents of pupils aged four to fourteen years old, she said.

  2. Emergency workers to be given ambulance driving lessons

    States of Jersey ambulance parked

    Jersey's Ambulance Service will provide ambulance driving lessons to other emergency services workers as part of their coronavirus provisions.

    Student paramedics, bus drivers, and members of the JLA Lifeboat will also be offered the training.

    The service has taken control of St John Ambulance and Normandy Rescue, allowing it to establish a second ambulance station at St John's headquarters in Midvale Road.

    Four ambulances from St John and two vehicles from Normandy rescue have been made available, as well as volunteers and members from both services.

    Quote Message: It’s times like these that the true community spirit of this Island comes to the forefront and we are very proud to be playing our part.” from Andrew Scott-Miller Normandy Rescue
    Andrew Scott-MillerNormandy Rescue
  3. Jersey Police welcomes latest canine recruit

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    PD Pippa

    German Shepherd PD Pippa is the latest addition to join the States of Jersey Police.

    The 14-year-old puppy will work alongside PC Dave Bisson, replacing PD Turbo, who retired earlier this year after six-and-a-half years of service.

    Pippa completed seven and a half weeks of training in the UK and made it over to Jersey before travel restrictions were implemented.

    She will join the force's two other dogs, PD Jack and PD Leo, and will live at home with PC Bisson and Turbo.

    PD Pippa and dog handler
  4. Jersey coronavirus cases now above 100

    The latest figures show 118 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the island.

    Nearly 1,000 tests - 992 - have been returned negative and 232 are being processed.

  5. Islanders urged to stay home during warmer weather

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    The Government of Jersey is urging islanders to stay at home as forecasts predict good weather for the weekend.

    John Searson, principal meteorological officer at Jersey Met, said temperatures could hit highs of 17C (63F) on Sunday, which he says is "unusually warm for this time of year".

    "I understand that many islanders may want to ‘make the most of it’ and spend time outside.

    "However, warm weather is no protection from coronavirus. If you are going out of the house during your two hours, think carefully about the best time and place to go."

    Senator John Le Fondre has instructed islanders to stay at home apart from two hours a day, in the following limited circumstances:

    • When shopping for food, medicine, and other essential necessities
    • For daily exercise including walking, cycling, running, and caring for animals (including walking dogs)
    • For medical needs, including providing care to a vulnerable person

    Islanders can travel to exercise or to shop for essentials, but the time they spend travelling is included in the total of two hours they can spend outside their home each day.

    When outside, people should keep 2m (6ft) apart from others, as part of social distancing and gatherings of more than two people are prohibited, unless all members are from the same household.

    Suggestions on how to stay entertained inside can be added by members of the public to the government-organised Hometime Facebook group.

  6. Mail plane changes mean deliveries will be next day

    Jersey Post says that from next week, the mail plane will arrive at 10:05 and depart at 19:00.

    This means that mail coming into the island will not make delivery on the day it arrives in Jersey, but the next working day.

    It also means the cut-off time for items leaving the island will be earlier to get to the airport by 17:50 to allow screening and processing before the flight.

    The revised Post Office opening times will be 10:00-15:00 daily.

  7. French workers in pay dispute with Condor

    Condor Ferries is currently engaged in an employment dispute with the French workers of the Rapide over cuts to their wages, a spokeswoman for the crew members has revealed.

    Union representative Laure Tallonneau accused the company of "blackmailing" the workers.

    The employees have been asked to take a 50% pay reduction, voluntary redundancy or unpaid leave for the month of April.

    Condor has told them they have until 5 April to decide, Ms Talloneau said.

    Rapide Ferry

    Ms Talloneau said the company told the workers they should resign if they will not accept the terms extended to them, an "absolutely unacceptable" offer.

    She believes these workers should have the same rights as those from the Channel Island, where the governments are offering to pay a portion of their wages.

    Condor Ferries told the BBC they do not discuss employment matters in the media, but they are fully engaged and supportive of all staff across all jurisdictions.

  8. Coronavirus: Each island is different says Charlie Parker

    Jersey are going down a "different route" to Guernsey in terms of testing strategy, Government of Jersey CEO Charlie Parker has said.

    Mr Parker explained Jersey was dependent on global supply chains to establish on-island testing and was actively exploring expanding the places they source from.

    The government announced the progress on its prospective testing approach yesterday, while Guernsey rolled on-island testing over the weekend.

    Mr Parker said: "They have adopted a different way of doing things, and that was a decision Guernsey made."

    He cited the islands differing population, geographical sizes and demographic profiles as key reasons for their different approach.

    "All of those factor in to the medical advice and factor in to things like testing."

  9. Jersey's virtual parliament 'a Commonwealth first'

    Jersey’s States Assembly held its first ever virtual meeting on Thursday, which it says made history by being the first parliament in the Commonwealth to hold a full virtual legislature meeting, with all members able to participate.

    The online meeting of States Members was organised in response to the coronavirus pandemic to allow the democratic process to continue under social distancing guidelines.

    A statement said: "The virtual meeting allowed States Members to propose legislation, debate and vote on propositions, question Ministers and present statements; the functionality allowed them to continue their duties in full."

    The meeting was live streamed online and as with traditional meetings broadcast on BBC Radio Jersey.

    Digital Jersey, a government-backed economic development agency and industry association dedicated to the growth of the island's digital sector, helped to organise the meeting.

    Tony Moretta, Digital Jersey CEO, said: "It was a real pleasure to see what our amazing digital infrastructure and skills can do in Jersey to get even one of our most traditional institutions online."

    View more on twitter
  10. Jersey police advise against driving to exercise

    Robin Smith

    Islanders should not "travel for exercise" and should remain close to their homes, Jersey's Chief of Police Robin Smith has advised.

    Mr Smith accepted that some people would "need to travel", but said it "should only be for exercise".

    He said: "I encourage people to exercise, where they can, close to their homes.

    "Because, of course, not only do they expose others, they expose themselves as well."

    Jersey police were not considering using drone technology or surveillance, Mr Smith confirmed.

    "That's not necessary, and I don't think the public think we need it either."

    The Government of Jersey advice says driving to exercise was part of the two hours islanders are allowed outside each day.

    Chief Minister John Le Fondre tweeted the same advice on Tuesday evening during a Q&A with the public on the platform.

    View more on twitter
  11. Government revenue loss 'inevitable'

    Shortfalls in government revenues are "inevitable" during the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic, Government of Jersey CEO Charlie Parker said.

    He outlined a range of fees and charges that would be "significantly down" on their projections, as well as revenue streams they would expect to generate from business in a normal year.

    Mr Parker said forecasting was currently being done to work out exactly what kind of financial impact the losses could have.

    "Behind the scenes a huge amount is going on, not just about dealing with today, but also what the impact is going to be in six months time," he added.

  12. 'Deepest drop' in Jersey economy since financial crash

    Jersey is facing the "deepest drop" in its economy since the financial crash of 2008, Government of Jersey CEO Charlie Parker has said.

    The government has already begun to discuss an "economic recovery plan" between 2021 and 2024 to help people and businesses recover from the financial impact of the coronavirus pandemic, he added.

    Mr Parker said: "We will need to kickstart the economy in what will be the deepest drop in economic activity since the financial services crash of 12 years ago."

  13. More than 1,000 face shields ordered for hospital

    Rebecca Thorn

    BBC News Online

    Jersey-based boat seller Quay has purchased more than 1,000 face shields which will be donated to the island's hospital.

    The company said it had sourced the shields from a window-blinds company in Northern Ireland. The firm had switched to making emergency personal protective equipment since the pandemic.

    Quay said the face shields would "help protect Jersey’s frontline staff against Covid-19 after a plea from local medical staff".

    It said the shields were NHS approved and suitable for all health workers.

  14. Jersey schools remain open during Easter

    Schools in Jersey will remain open during the Easter holidays to provide childcare for critical workers and some vulnerable children, the Education Minister has announced.

    Senator Tracey Vallois said she was "enormously grateful" to teachers, childminders and other education professionals who have volunteered to work during the holidays and "support" fellow critical workers.

    Mrs Vallois said: "This provision continues to be offered as a last resort to a limited number of parents and carers who are engaged in delivering essential services and are unable to make any alternative arrangements for childcare."

    Les Quennevais School

    Parents who require the help will be contacted to confirm arrangements over the next few days.

    The Education Minister confirmed that while schools will remain open, the children would be doing different activities to "reflect the holiday period".

  15. Bailiff thanks those 'continuing to work in the community'

    In a public address, Jersey's Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq expressed his "gratitude" to the frontline healthcare staff and essential workers keeping Jersey running during the coronavirus crisis.

    Mr Le Cocq said: "All of them deserve our thanks for their continued work in the community when many may wish they were at home with their loved ones."

    The Bailiff also paid tribute to the government workers "determined and committed" to working on the island's strategy to fight the spread of the virus.

    Mr Le Cocq said he was attending regular briefings on the evolving crisis and expressed his confidence that Jersey was "receiving and acting on the best possible advice".

    "I know how hard those who serve us in this way are working, how tirelessly they are dealing with an enormously complex, challenging and fast moving situation," he added.

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  16. Bailiff launches fund to help deal with coronavirus

    Jersey's Bailiff says the funds will be used to "alleviate the effects and consequences of the current crisis".

    The fund will focus primarily on health and community activities, which are under "increasing demand".

    Timothy Le Cocq

    Timothy Le Cocq said: "We are aware of a number of private individuals and organisations who want to help and to donate money.

    "For this reason I have set up a Bailiff’s Fund, as we have done often in the past to respond to disasters, to support the island's healthcare and community activities at this time.

    "This fund will channel any charitable donations appropriately and my office will work with the health department and charitable organisations to ensure that the generous offers that we have received are directed to the areas in need of extra support."

    How to donate by bank transfer to the Bailiff’s Covid-19 Fund:

    • HSBC 40-25-34 91663933
    • IBAN - GB80MIDL40253491663933
    • Account Name - States of Jersey T/A Jersey Disaster Appeal
    • Reference - Bailiff’s Covid-19 Appeal
  17. Antibody tests for health workers 'within weeks'

    A new testing system to track the number of people in Jersey who have already contracted coronavirus will arrive "in the next few weeks", the government has announced.

    These antibody tests will show who is and who is not immune to the virus.

    They will initially be rolled out to frontline healthcare workers towards the end of April.

    The government said they have ordered 150,000 tests from a UK supplier and expect to receive the first batch of 50,000 within weeks.

    Following the planned rollout of the test to health staff, it will be given to all households on the island, the government said.

    They outlined three key objectives for the new testing regime:

    • Support and protect front-line medical staff
    • Provide a managed exit from the stay home restrictions
    • Promote economic recovery by potentially allowing people back into work

    Many people who contract Covid-19 have mild or negligible symptoms, which presents an issue for essential workers who may be carrying Covid-19 without knowing it as they feel healthy, the government said.

    By testing all essential workers early and working out who has become immune, the government will be able to can work without being a risk to others.

    Testing all households health staff will be able to create a picture of how the virus is spreading, the government said.

    This will not affect the Stay Home instruction in the short term, but it does mean that policies can be updated more quickly with access to more data about the progress of the virus in Jersey, they added.

    Health Minister Richard Renouf thanked health staff who have "worked so tirelessly" to roll out this "ambitious programme under rapid conditions".

    Quote Message: [Health staff's] proactive work in securing a testing system that can be rolled out across the whole island will help us to stay on the front foot in our fight to contain and delay the spread of coronavirus and shield our most vulnerable islanders against it." from Deputy Richard Renouf Health Minister
    Deputy Richard RenoufHealth Minister
  18. Jersey Reds finish seventh in curtailed season

    The Jersey Reds have finished seventh in the Championship after their season was cut short due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

    The Reds remain in the same position they occupied when the season was brought to an early end.

    English rugby's governing body - the RFU - say the final standings were calculated through a 'best record playing formula'.

  19. Confirmed coronavirus cases in Jersey up 15 to 96

    The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 in Jersey is now 96.

    The figures from the Government of Jersey released at 15:05 show 872 negative results, up from 748 on Tuesday.

    They also show 247 tests are awaiting results, which is up from 149 on Tuesday.

  20. Up to about 27,000 jobs supported by new scheme

    A £101m payroll scheme supporting up to about 27,000 jobs has been launched by the Government of Jersey.

    The "co-funded payroll scheme" will fund up to 80% of an employee's wages, with the maximum monthly contribution from the government capped at £1,600 per employee.

    It is designed to "ease the impact of Covid-19 on businesses and employees", the government said.

    Businesses eligible to apply include hotels, restaurants, bars, certain wholesalers and retailers, the fisheries industry, hairdressing and other beauty treatments.

    They can apply for the first phase of the scheme, which covers financial disruption between 20 and 31 March, using an online form.

    Money will be paid to struggling companies "within a matter of days" after their application, the government confirmed.

    Detailed guidance and application forms covering the operation of the scheme have also been published.

    Phase two of the scheme, which will support a broader range of eligible businesses and employees until at least June, is being developed, the government announced.

    If the disruption persists beyond June, the scheme may be extended, they added.

    Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources Ian Gorst said he was "pleased" to confirm the launch of the scheme 12 days after its announcement.

    Senator Gorst added the scheme ensured the "businesses in greatest need" got support "as soon as possible".

    Quote Message: In order to carefully protect our public finances, in what will be a long road to economic recovery, the government is taking an approach of ‘economic triage’ with our support schemes." from Senator Ian Gorst Assistant Minister for Treasury and Resources
    Senator Ian GorstAssistant Minister for Treasury and Resources