The COVID-19 pandemic in the Bailiwick of Jersey is part of an ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), a novel infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
The first case in Jersey was confirmed on 10 March 2020 when a person tested positive on the island after returning from Italy.The Government of Jersey’s strategy has been to delay the spread of the virus, avoid vulnerable people from catching it, help the island’s health service cope with the number of people requiring hospital care and to save as many lives as possible.
The first death from COVID-19 was on 25 March. The person was aged in their 80s, had long-term health conditions and had been receiving palliative care before contracting COVID-19. On 29 March a second person died. They were in their 70s and had long-term health conditions before contracting the virus. On 4 April, a third death was announced – a patient in their late 60s who had underlying health conditions.
On 14 April the number of people that have died either under the care of Health & Community Services or in the community where the death certificate mentions COVID-19 increased to six.By 12 May deaths totalled 26, with 13 in hospital and 13 in the community of which 12 were in care homes. Three were between 50 and 70 years of age and seven were over 90. 38% female, 62% male. On 20 May, the active cases had reduced to 21, of which two were in hospital. Deaths had increased to 29.
From 20 March, all travellers arriving on the island, other than essential workers, were required to self-isolate for 14 days. From midnight on 26 March those aged over 65 and people with certain underlying medical conditions were required to self-isolate.On the evening of 29 March, the Chief Minister announced a lockdown, effective from 8 am the following morning. Islanders were required to stay at home other than for short periods for specific purposes unless they were employed in an essential function. On 24 April the initial lockdown was extended. until at least 11 May.
On 12 March, the Minister for Economic Development announced deferred social security and GST payments, and deferred rent for businesses where the government was the landlord.On 20 March, he announced that government would pay a subsidy of up to £200 a week to workers in the hospitality, retail, wholesale and agriculture and fisheries industries until the end of April.[He announced an enhanced phase 2 package of support on 26 March, using the island’s strategic reserve – the so-called ‘rainy day fund‘ – to pay up to 80% of the wages of affected staff in certain industries, capped at £1,600 a month.
The payroll co-funding system was extended on 1 June to run to the end of August 2020. Phase 1 covered March and cost around £2m, Phase 2 around £20m.On 10 July it was announced a number of measures including direct payments to low income households, every adult and child in Jersey would be given £100 in vouchers to spend locally and to help employment a reductions in social security contributions and a fiscal spending programme to help local businesses.On 18 March, it was announced that all schools and colleges would close for at least four weeks starting from 23 March.People deemed to work in essential roles could apply for their children to attend school or child care so that they could continue to perform their roles.
On 5 March, the airline Flybe which had been founded in Jersey and serviced the most air routes from the island went into administration, citing Coronavirus as part of the reason for its collapse. On 11 March, Channel Islands airline Blue Islands announced that flights between Jersey and London City Airport would be cancelled temporarily.On 20 March, Blue Islands announced that flights between Jersey and Guernsey would be suspended. On 28 March, Jersey Airport announced that British Airways flights between Gatwick and Jersey would be suspended from 31 March until the end of April. On 30 March, EasyJet announced that it was grounding its entire fleet until further notice.