Alderney may be given dispensation to move forward more quickly between exit stages than Guernsey but will not attempt to rush into lockdown exit despite pressure in some quarters for a “total exit”.
The cautious approach was spelled out in a QUAY-FM broadcast by the Island’s lead politician Bill Abel who is also the Alderney representative on the Bailiwick’s Civil Contingencies Authority (CCA).
He said States of Alderney Members have received emails and communications asking for a “rushed” exit from lockdown based on perceived risks with only a single managed, although still active, incident of COVID-19 on the Island.
“We still have an active case on the Island, a situation we never expected.” he said in the radio broadcast.
“We cannot rush the process and consultation and approval is needed from both Public Health and the CCA as Alderney still forms part of the Bailiwick’s wider risk profile.
We all need to remember that our current low risk situation is not due to luck but is as a result of a well-managed process of a rapid lockdown on January 23 followed by the requirement for travellers to isolate for 14 days on entering the Island.
The Strategy for Exiting Lockdown is not only focused on the preservation of life but is also structured around the wellbeing of the communities and the need to get our economies up and running. The Strategy considers opening up in three Stages and is based on risk and the capacity of Public Health and the Civil Services across the Bailiwick.
The risks for our community continue to be reduced with the rollout of the vaccination programme, together with the dedication and competence of our medical and emergencyservices, and the competent management by the CCA, Public Health and the Civil Services of the Bailiwick.
It is important to remember that if we have an outbreak we will need the support and medical services from Guernsey and this will significantly impact on their efforts to contain the current outbreak on Guernsey.”
He said the new variant of the virus is more virulent and has a higher rate of transmission than the strain faced last year.
“So any risk of the virus getting a toehold here in Alderney
will put us back into lockdown, increase the strain on the Bailiwick’s health system and may lead to the loss of life.”
He added that States Members are trying to do their best for Alderney. “We are not medical experts and we are guided by professionals,” he said. “From our perspective we want to both preserve life and serve the community by getting the economy up and running again.”
The CCA is expected to announce the timing of Stage 1 tomorrow (February 16), which could come as early as Thursday and will allow two households to “bubble” and outdoor gatherings of up to five people while maintaining social distance. Businesses will be able to operate with up to 10 members of staff for outdoor sites and up to five indoors where the work cannot be done remotely. Businesses will be required to register online that they will
be working and provide a method statement describing how they will minimise risk.
Stage 2 will allow gatherings of up to 30 people, inside or outside and restaurants, pubs, cafés and hotels will be able to operate with table service only.
Ultimately, Stage 3 will see a return to the ‘Bailiwick Bubble’ with social, recreation and business activity permitted.
The Policy and Finance Committee, which is chaired by Mr Abel, has submitted proposals to the CCA on a “faster” exit from lockdown for Alderney, for example an earlier adoption of Stage 2.
Full details of the Bailiwick’s ‘Exit from Lockdown’ are at