Jersey

Coronavirus: Jersey to move to 1m physical distancing rule

Social distancing sign on exterior of building
Image caption A 2m (6ft 6in) physical distance rule has been in place in Jersey since 20 March

Physical distancing in Jersey will be reduced from Friday, a leaked government letter has revealed.

The rule will change from 2m (6ft 6in) to 1m (3ft 3in) for all contexts, including workplaces and restaurants.

A curfew on restaurants will also be lifted and pubs could be allowed to serve alcohol without food from 1 July.

The letter from Senator Lyndon Farnham, seen by the BBC, was addressed to Simon Soar, chief executive officer of Jersey Hospitality Association.

It was intended to help businesses prepare ahead of a public announcement on Thursday. The States has been contacted for comment.

'Disappointed'

Jersey currently has five active cases of the virus, none of which are being treated in hospital, the States said.

The letter states that the move to a 1m safe distance was possible "owing to the continued low rate of active Covid-19 cases on-island".

Mr Soar said he was "disappointed" it had been leaked but welcomed the "advanced notice" of the changes from the States.

Image caption Shops in Jersey have been allowed to reopen if a 2m physical distance between customers can be maintained

As part of the new physical distance, restaurants and cafes will be allowed to serve multiple household groups at the same table, as long as the 1m distance is observed between individuals.

Under level two of the lockdown, pubs have only been allowed to serve alcohol with food.

Senator Lyndon Farnham wrote: "Assuming the low rate of cases continues, it is then proposed that licensed venues including pubs may open to provide a seated alcohol-only service from 1 July."

Nightclubs are expected to remain closed until the island reaches level one of its exit strategy framework, the letter read.

Senator Farnham had asked for the changes to be kept "in confidence" until a public announcement on Thursday.

Last week the island's deputy medical officer of health Dr Ivan Muscat said: "If Covid-19 cases remain low, physical distancing could be reduced to 1m."

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