Howard, David, Dr Al, Dr Henrietta
Well good afternoon everyone
0 new cases
30 active cases
0 in hospital
Shielding advice ended today but urging employers to speak to staff who have been shielding to prep for their return to work.
Vax supply will be affected this week – down to supply disruption, may see vax stats lower than usual
14th day since last unexplained case
Not much to add – figures look good
Progress of vax programme is good
The UK is looking good
Thanks to everyone for their patience, and to the hardworking teachers and UCM for supporting students who have assignments.
We’re working to support childminders, nurseries and playgroups to open. A big thanks to those who support working families.
Education and childcare has a big role to play
If the data is good – hoping to lift a lot of restrictions on the 19th April
Will let you know after COMEN on Thursday.
COMEN and Tynwald meeting tomorrow to chat borders
We will publish the outcome soon.
The vax programme is making a difference – protecting the vulnerable and reducing risk to health service.
We must not forget the skills we have built up through this pandemic
Some form of social distancing and face coverings might be needed in the future
Hand hygiene will continue to be important
Ventilation – we have learnt is important in minimising risk
Setting up the ‘Emergency Advisory Group’ – idea from debates in Tynwald
The group will provide impartial, informed and independent advice to COMEN
Looking to appoint external professionals, on a voluntary basis, to the group – not just health, science and tech professionals also looking for expertise in legal, business, comms, logistics and emergency response.
Interested? Visit http://www.gov.im/public-appointments
Applications open till Sunday
Sam: Borders, given that we’ve vaxxed the most vulnerable, is it worth looking at the border policy again? Is it worth asking the public what they think, not just MHKs?
HQ: Hoping at the end of this month that family, partners and people who have a legal attachment to the island are coming to the island. If that works, with a testing regime in place, then we can look at moving to areas that they come from.
Sam: Steam Packet review when can we expect to see that?
HQ: Due end of April
Sam: Still working to the same scope? Or has that been expanded?
HQ: Same as when we last spoke.
Al Bell: UK nations are moving on, restrictions easing. Will we be ahead of the UK next week?
HQ: I’d be disappointed if we aren’t. Hopefully back to normal next week.
Al Bell: Will there be a change in isolation rules with border changes?
HQ: Chatting about that tomorrow
Paul: No one in hospital with Covid? But a guy has told me he’s been in hospital with Covid and tested negative but has now tested positive in hospital but has been discharged today, is this to keep the numbers at ZERO?
HQ: not massaging figs Paul, he’s already been declared as having a positive test previously. Would not impact any decisions that we would make.
DA: Can’t comment on individual cases, Paul.
Paul: Herding, UK looking at Herd Immunity. Are we looking at that too?
DA: Herd Immunity is a very specific phrase. Transmission is not absolute from vaccines. Herd Immunity in media is out of context.
Dr Henny: Agree David. The group that published this model have published optimistic models in the past, wouldn’t give it much weight tbh.
Paul: We will not be living with the virus after we’ve vaxxed 80% of the population?
HQ: We can start making changes to policy when we have most people vaxxed.
Paul Hardman: David, do we have a figure for cancellations for AZ vaccine? And how many people have had their first dose letter but not registered?
DA: AZ about 400 people – but doesn’t mean they haven’t reregistered since as we don’t keep that data.
First dose letters – hard to keep track of. There will be a mop-up session towards the end of the vax programme, we will be working with GPs to follow up. Vaccines are also a personal choice.
Paul Hardman: Dr Al, with border restrictions easing. Is there any possibility for sports teams visiting the island to do day testing instead of full iso?
Dr Al: Mainly looking at Family and friends at the moment, that’s the first commitment. Interesting question, we would like to get the sport and art life back on track but that will be after Family and friends.
Leanne: David, Moderna Vax any update on when it will be available?
DA: Waiting on paperwork
Leanne: Dr Al, if kids go back to school next Monday will attendance be compulsory?
Dr Al: It will be voluntary for the next couple of weeks, understand that people may be wary.
Tim: Dr Al, ventilation is important, what are you going to do about places in schools without windows? Testing?
Dr Al: We’ve looked at testing, we’re in a different position as we have low risk here. So we will do systematic testing here so if you don’t feel well to stay home and get tested instead of regular testing in schools. Routine testing will be open to teachers. Ventilation and air, each school is different. We’re looking at deep cleans, outdoor areas for teaching, ventilation system cleaning etc.
Tim: Guernsey air bridge, what about other destinations?
HQ: We’re looking at our border strategy this week. First air bridge makes sense to be Guernsey, it’s not going to cause any issues with looking at other jurisdictions.
Simon: Using open data on the Covid website, vax figures looking good. Should further cases appear after April 19th will we move more mitigation, than hard lockdowns?
HQ: Once we start opening the borders we will see cases, we will have to learn to live with it. Imagine there will be booster jabs in the future also if you don’t feel well call 111. Social distancing and mask-wearing might be a thing.
Simon: Will family and friends be able to isolate with family and friends?
HQ: Looking at that this week.
On the home straight but remain vigilant
If you have symptoms call 111
This coverage is not intended to be a verbatim transcript and should not be treated as such, you can listen to the full briefing here.