Coronavirus: Guernsey speeds up easing of lockdown

Empty high street
Image caption Guernsey has been in Phase Three of lockdown since 15 May, allowing only essential shops to remain open

Guernsey has announced it will further speed up the easing of its lockdown rules from 30 May.

The move to Phase Four is six weeks earlier than originally forecast by the States of Guernsey.

Under the new phase, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to reopen, as well as hairdressers and beauticians.

Cinemas, gyms and sports venues will also be permitted to open with social distancing measures in place, the government said.

The move comes as the States announced all schools in Guernsey would reopen from 8 June.

Under Phase Four, "some public gatherings" could be allowed, with "possible" restrictions on the number of people allowed to attend.

Restrictions on contacts between households will be lifted, although adherence to social distancing and hygiene guidelines is "more important than ever", the States said.

Non-essential travel will be permitted, however there will still be a 14 day self-isolation requirement for anyone returning to the island.

President of the Committee for Health and Social Care Heidi Soulsby said they were announcing the escalation early to give businesses, organisations and the wider community time to prepare.

Deputy Soulsby added: "We are conscious that people are desperate to travel to meet new babies that have been born during lockdown or to see relatives who don't live in the Bailiwick."

Phase Three of the island's exit strategy began on 15 May and was expected to last for up to eight weeks.

The island has had 22 consecutive days with no new positive tests for Covid-19, as well only two active cases.

There have been a total of 252 positives cases and 16 Covid-related deaths.

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