With a growing number of dissenters criticising the gov’s rules on isolation for high risk contacts, the Chief Minister has said CoMin is looking at ways to lessen the impact.
Currently, anyone who is fully vaccinated does not have to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus. However, rather strangely, those who aren’t fully vaccinated do have to self-isolate, even if they receive a negative test result.
This position has led to criticism from residents and business owners who have had to close their stores, offices and bars despite their staff not necessarily testing positive themselves. Gef has asked how many people are currently in isolation but the gov has been unable to provide a figure aside from a snapshot for those awaiting tests results having travelled. This stood at 510 at Tuesday lunchtime.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said: ‘With the gradual increase in COVID-19 cases over recent days, a growing number of people are having to self-isolate. I know there is concern on the impact this is having on staffing, particularly for smaller organisations, with some having to temporarily close. As cases and self-isolation numbers grow, so will the level of disruption for employers. Government is listening to these concerns. Thanks to our vaccination programme, we are adapting to live with the virus. Despite current case numbers, there are currently no COVID-19 hospital admissions and no indication that anyone is seriously ill with the virus.
‘Each day, the number of people fully vaccinated increases, meaning fewer and fewer people will be required to self-isolate if they are identified as a close contact of someone with the virus. Whilst the work goes on to complete our vaccination programme, we must continue to protect our community. However, we cannot ignore the social and economic impact of the growing number of people identified as close contacts, but not yet fully vaccinated, having to self-isolate.’
The Chief will host a Covid briefing on Thursday afternoon at 4pm to update islanders on the situation.