This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the Isle of Man Government’s Coronavirus Media Briefing held on Thursday 18 February 2021. In particular, for any legal guidance, you should seek advice from official sources.
You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts proper nouns incorrectly (especially the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”).
Before relying or quoting anything contained here, you should verify it against the underlying audio recorded here. Time Stamps and automatically-generated speaker names should help in the verification.
Howard Quayle 0:00
Well good afternoon, everyone and thank you for taking the time to watch and listen. Today I’m joined by the Minister for Health and Social Care David Ashford and on zoom by our Director of Public Health Dr. Henry Ewart.
Howard Quayle 0:12
As you’ll be aware from our announcement earlier, we have unfortunately detected cases of COVID-19 on the island. These cases are not related to individuals who have travelled here and immediately entered self isolation. Let me give you an update on the situation. On Tuesday, an individual contacted 111 to report that they had COVID symptoms, they were immediately offered a test and instructed to self isolate, along with other members of their household. They took up the offer of the test while a one on one team arranged which they arranged on Wednesday. Later yesterday, the result came back as positive. At this point, the other members of their household who were identified as close contacts were also offered tests, which all agreed to. Again, these were quickly arranged by the 111 team. While these additional tests were underway, further contact tracing began work to identify anyone who had been in close contact with the index case 15 people were quickly identified, all have been contacted, immediately instructed to self isolate, and offered tests, all 15 contacts have now undergone testing. Six of the results came back as positive and nine came back negative. These six cases appear to have a clear and identified train of transmission back to the index case. This means that for the moment, at least, we have a single cluster and no unexplained cases of COVID-19 in the community. Now whilst This is encouraging, I must stress that it is early days, all 15 people identified through contact tracing have been instructed to self isolate for up to 21 days, regardless of whether their test results were positive or negative. All the members of their households have also been instructed to self isolate, they will be offered further tests on day 13 of their self isolation. With these six additional positive results. The results come Of course, more contact tracing. The team is working quickly to identify and contact individuals, our swabbing and laboratory team standard ready part of this work is identifying any locations of interest which is ongoing, and we will announce these as and when the picture becomes clearer, which is likely to be later tonight and through into tomorrow. So how did the index case contact the virus as was confirmed this morning by the Isle of Man steam packet company. It is a member of their staff who tested positive they work on board the Ben McCree but are not in a customer facing role. And so the likelihood of any contact between this individual and passengers appears low. For those travelling our community has the safeguard of self isolation upon arrival. For the crew, there are strict measures and hygiene requirements to help prevent transmission of the virus. As the cluster extends beyond a single household, there is clearly work to be done in identifying how the situation has arisen. For this reason, it is not appropriate for me to speculate further here today. Our transport links remain the only route for the virus to reach the island. We know the majority of positive cases have been among returning residents who develop symptoms while self isolating the obvious wider risk has been the potential for the staff and crew of our air and sea carriers, particularly those who reside in areas where transmission levels are high to bring the virus to our island, as we have seen over the past 24 hours. A week ago cancelled ministers asked for an options paper on whether vaccinating the crew of our air and sea carriers could increase our resilience. That paper was considered this morning, and the Council of Ministers agreed that this is a sensible and responsible move, which will strengthen our defences against the virus. vaccination is therefore going to be offered to create the steam packet and measure on the Ramsay based freight operator as well as loganair which operates regular flights to the island and our air ambulance crews. This will help to reduce the risk to our crews who travel between the Isle of Man and the UK or who work with UK based colleagues from becoming seriously ill as a result of contact contracting the virus and potentially unwittingly spreading infection to Isle of Man passengers and possibly more widely on the island. There is growing evidence that the vaccines may reduce transmission, although the extent to which is still to be fully confirmed. However, the possibility of reducing the risk of transmission will add an extra layer of defence against the risk of important cases, leading to a return of community transmission.
Howard Quayle 5:21
Council considered that it was important we now add an extra layer of protection around our critical national infrastructure, such as our air and sea services. The first line of defence of course remains the protocols in place by our carriers to mitigate the risk of transmission of the virus. And now we will add a further layer of protection. We believe this will further help mitigate the risk to our people and help protect the freedoms we have enjoyed. So the question is, what action have any will be taken in response to this cluster. The Council of Ministers has met twice today to discuss and evaluate what is a fluid and evolving situation. With contact tracing continuing and our belief that we understand the chain of transmission, we have decided that we will not be bringing in any restrictions today. Instead, we will continue to monitor the situation and the Council of Ministers will meet again tomorrow to review the latest information. I will of course keep you fully up to date on any developments. The situation is fully in line with our COVID-19 outbreak management plan. It is always difficult to know whether the right decisions are being made. The Council of Ministers can only go on the evidence and judging the balance of risk. Although no restrictions are being announced this evening, it may be that individuals make their own decisions on precautions they wish to take. You may see more people wearing face coverings or wishing to keep their distance from others. This is understandable, and a matter of personal choice which should be respected. I know as we’ve seen so often through this pandemic, that our community will show consideration and kindness in equal measure. I’ll now hand over to the Minister for health and social care. Minister Ashford for any further comments, David.
David Ashford 7:16
Thank you, Chief Minister. It’s just to reinforce several of the points that the chief minister has made. At the moment we are dealing with a defined cluster. There is no unexplained transmission or wider community spread that’s been identified to date. So nothing that’s unexplained. contact tracing is continuing. And as we know from previous outbreaks, that does take time. And there is also targeted surveillance swabbing being undertaken of steam packet stuff as well. I think the main message to emphasise is one that has been emphasised throughout the pandemic. And that is that anyone showing any form of symptoms of COVID-19 should immediately contact 111. If in doubt, contact 111. Don’t dismiss symptoms and think that it’s something else. If you have any doubts at all, get yourself tested, because that is what protects our island. Thank you, Chief Minister.
Howard Quayle 8:09
Okay, thank you very much, David. And now to questions from the media. And first we have officer Rob Prichard from three FM Good afternoon, Rob Foster. My
Rob Pritchard 8:18
Good afternoon, Chief Minister, I believe you mentioned there that following this situation, and something has been passed, this steam packet crew will be in line for more testing. I just wonder why a measure like this hasn’t come in sooner given the transport links have continued since the start of this pandemic. And before that?
Howard Quayle 8:35
Well, our public health Directorate and our borders team have had numerous meetings with the representatives from the Isle of Man steam packet to ensure that the strict protocols are in place fully understood and adhered to. That’s where the main protection will be doing the vaccination gives a layer of protection to the crew have the steam packet to carry out their duties and that we don’t have a situation where we should there be a major outbreak, we don’t have the crew being able to operate the ship, but it’s the procedures that are the key protection to our people. And that’s what is obviously being looked into at this moment in time. I don’t know David or Henrietta, if you want to add to that.
David Ashford 9:19
And I’ll bring the Director of Public Health in in a moment if I may, Chief Minister, but just to say an answer to that VAB testing has its uses, but it is actually a point in time. Because someone tests negative on one particular test does not mean they haven’t even got COVID and are incubating it in the early days, or the fact that I’m going to go on to transmit or receive COVID A day later. So testing has to be a mix of measures. The main mitigations with the steam packet is around protocols and ensuring that people follow the behaviours necessary to make sure those protocols work. That is the main mitigation that works and I’ll bring in the Director of Public Health in case she’s got anything she wishes to add.
Henrietta Ewart 10:01
Thank you, Minister.
Unknown Speaker 10:02
Henrietta Ewart 10:03
to add to your comments, really about the limitations of testing, the main mitigation for the steam packet crew has today to be in the requirement for self isolation. When they’re not on duty when they come off their shifts. Now, they’ve been having to do that self isolation every time they come off shift for a year now nearly, which has taken quite a toll on them, obviously, and on their families. So the reason why we were exploring the use of testing as an adjunct self isolation was to explore whether we could actually relax a bit of the self isolation requirement for those crew groups. So the main mitigations always been self isolation. And as the minister said, testing doesn’t take away the need for it, but it may be able to mitigate and relax it slightly. Thank you.
Howard Quayle 10:58
Thanks, Robin. Your next question?
Unknown Speaker 11:00
Yes, like you say, contact tracing is still underway. Do you know how many days it will take before you get a good idea of the extent the situation? No, not
Howard Quayle 11:08
at this moment in time, the team are flat out doing a sterling job, I’m sure. But we’ll be able to give you an update, probably this time tomorrow, to see whether we have more information on how long it’s going to take to do it. But we’re doing it thoroughly. And if it takes two three days, then that’s how that’s what we’re going to have to do. I don’t know if it has anything to add on how long you think it’ll take.
Henrietta Ewart 11:35
I think it’s going to take into the weekend to get the contact tracing and more particularly the testing completed. But obviously, this is an emerging situation. And as always, we’re taking a very focused and systematic approach to it, working from the cases to the highest risk contacts first, and then extending outwards as we find positives if we find positives, so we should be much clearer as we get into the weekend. Thank you.
Howard Quayle 12:03
Okay, thanks very much, Rob. And now we move on to Tim Glover from Manx radio Good afternoon, Tim faster, my
Tim Glover 12:08
faster my a Douglas East Mhk Chris Roberts show was on the man in line this lunchtime, quote was astonished that steam packet crews weren’t vaccinated straight away when it was shown that the Jamba Juice transmission. We mentioned this there is an emergency question recently on it as well. Was it a political decision based on medical advice, the influence of Mr. Robert shore being that you’re our political leaders, and should have had the confidence to apply a common sense approach and have acted, as it makes sense both medically and economically?
Howard Quayle 12:43
foremost, it wasn’t the advice of our medical professionals or public health professional, I should say that we did vaccinate, we would be taking away vaccine from from people who are in serious risk of dying as potential of contacting COVID-19. What we’ve looked at as saying, well, the ceilings are really important to the island for the supplies and people to get over here. And can we give protection to our sea crews as additional protection to ensure that there’s not a mass outbreak on the URL on the on the shipping lines? Also, it does, it is accepted, it can give a what we don’t know yet, because there’s no evidence to support that minimal reduction in the potential to pass on the COVID-19 to people. So vaccination will not stop a spread of covid 19 to the Ireland through through staff, it may it’s there to help them, it may reduce the spread. But that in its own is not a protection. The greatest protection is ensuring that the rules and regulations agreed between our public health and borders team and the steam packet company with the way their offices etc. and team follow the rules. That is the key defence on how we stop the spread of covid through our sea routes. And I don’t know if David or doctor you would want to add to that.
David Ashford 14:10
Yeah, if I could now bring Dr. uattend. Chief Minister, Tim, one of the things that keeps being sad is around the reduction in transmission. Now everything is looking positive at the moment that the vaccine does reduce transmission. But I keep hearing this 67% figure bandied about and we need to be very careful with that, where the 67% figure comes from his from the pre print report in The Lancet, where that is the sort of midpoint of the PCR testing that was done. It’s on a limited sample. And in fact, actually it’s from table two on page 21 of the study. And the confidence intervals actually put it between anywhere between 49% and 78%. So that’s actually quite a wide range. We don’t yet have firm scientific evidence that actually shows how much that transmission is juiced. And I think one of the important things as well to emphasise is it is a reduction in transmission, it is not a removal of it. So even if someone is vaccinated and even if the steam packet staff are vaccinated, they will still need to abide by all the rules and protocols in place, because it does not prevent them from in circumstances of passing on to other people. And I’ll bring the Director of Public Health and if I may.
Henrietta Ewart 15:25
Thank you, Minister. I think the Minister and the Chief Minister have really covered this very well. And we also went through it in some detail a press briefing last week. Anybody who makes the statement that vaccination prevents transmission is making a false and incorrect statement that is simply not borne out by the current evidence, as the minister has gone through, this is from a preprint. So it hasn’t been peer reviewed. As we said last week, the actual main purpose of that paper was to look at vaccine dose intervals. And the analysis of reduction in infection was just an additional sub analysis on a group of patients within that study, it’s also important to remember that it is solely limited to the AstraZeneca vaccine. Nothing similar has been published on Pfizer. So we really have to be very careful on how far we interpret this. And what Wait, we try and make it bear. And we have to say that it may be an encouraging early sign that it prevents infection, and by proxy and inference, therefore transmission. So it may be an extra layer of Swiss cheese in our packet Swiss cheese interventions. But no more than that, and it certainly doesn’t negate the need for all the other protocols and mitigations that are in place. And
Howard Quayle 16:50
I think it’s also worth pointing out to him that our colleagues in Guernsey haven’t introduced any vaccination programme for their shipping links either. I don’t believe jersey have to and New Zealand aren’t going to start vaccinating until the middle of this year. So just to show you what others are doing at the same time. So your next question, Tim?
Tim Glover 17:10
So exactly, let’s get some clarification on this. Because we’ve always said manque solutions to problems so I don’t get why we’re comparing to other jurisdictions. This any reduction in transmission or potential reduction in transmission was surely worth bringing in. This rather feels like the closing the stable door after the horses bolted as one listener has just said,
Howard Quayle 17:34
Well, no, we’re we’re being absolutely clear. vaccinating the steam packet staff will not stop it coming into the island via Steam packet staff. It’s the behaviours on the adherence to the rules and regulations that have been brought in by public health. That’s what we’ll we’ll we’ll stop it. vaccination may help the percentage of reduction. We’ve looked at this, obviously before the outbreak, we’ve taken advice, and we’ve made a decision to to go down this route. But we are the first that I know of to do this. So I think it’s unfair to say this certainly isn’t a knee jerk reaction. We already had the paper and asked for it over a week ago, long before this case has arisen. So its timing maybe is unfortunate. But no, it’s we’ve come up with a solution for what we think is right for the island.
Tim Glover 18:25
It is something we’ve raised for several weeks, however. Second question other areas of weakness potentially, as UK key workers coming in? And we’ve had, obviously the peels silk involves key workers at the full two weeks isolation. We were told by Tim Baker, but we’re hearing multiple sources that this isn’t the case out there and do can you just clear up what’s going on with the peeled silk key workers?
Howard Quayle 18:51
Well, there are clear rules and regulations Tim and I don’t want to go on here. So if people genuinely believe that someone is breaking the rules, then that is a criminal offence and should be reported to the police without delay. We obviously have our rules that people know clearly when they come over what they have to follow. And if people have the island feel that there is a rule that an individual is breaking the rules and their isolation, then it’s it’s I would urge them to contact the police and reporters.
Unknown Speaker 19:20
Howard Quayle 19:22
Thank you very much. Next we have Alex Bell from the BBC Isle of Man. Good afternoon, Alex faster. My good evening.
Alex Bell 19:29
And you mentioned before that it is up to individuals to make their own decisions about things such as mask wearing with the risk of community transmission now in arguably increased should the advice and not be clearer on what people should do to lower their own personal risk.
Howard Quayle 19:47
No, at this moment in time, we have a clear plan. It clearly sets out what happens with a certain number of cases in the community. We’re following that plan at this moment in time. Yes, we have cases we know where they’ve come from that they’ve done. Not suddenly appeared and we haven’t been able to trace where they have originated from. So in this instance, what we’re saying is that people wish to do certain things and other residents should respect people’s reactions. And I think, David, you might want to add to that.
David Ashford 20:16
Yeah, if I may, Chief Minister, at the moment, we’re dealing with a defined cluster. We haven’t had any community spread, that’s all identified off the back of that. So at the moment, there is no formal move to actually reintroduce face masks, etc. That’s not believed to be necessary at this stage, should the information change, then the decision process will change. But we follow a very clear plan. Many people may remember the 1886 cluster that we had earlier earlier on this is similar to that. It’s a very defined cluster, it hasn’t spread out anywhere else at the moment. Like I say, should the situation change, then the measures in place will change. But at the moment, it’s a defined cluster, and there is no need for the community to take any further action. Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 21:01
We are less than three weeks clear of the latest lockdown, should restrictions be increased again, do you think people will adhere to them?
Howard Quayle 21:11
Well, we’ve been in the good position where we’ve experienced nearly seven months last year and Okay, only two and a half weeks or so this week. But yeah, I think people will hopefully we won’t have to make any restrictions or if they are, though, there’ll be modest, but yeah, I think the people of the Isle of Man, appreciate the freedoms that they’ve enjoyed, and know that we’ve all got to work together to ensure that we get back to normal situation. Thanks very much, Alex. Next, we have Sam Turton from Gef. Sam. Good afternoon.
Sam Turton 21:44
First of all, Chief Minister,
Howard Quayle 21:46
I’m just reading through our comments here, as we’re going on this, unfortunately, tells that the issues on Steam Pakistan isolates, and when they’re not on shift, they say that simply isn’t true. And it is the staff haven’t been made aware of this. Do we know what exactly the protocol is for Steam packet stuff? In this case, though? Yeah, if you’re working, I shift you come up. When you say you do your first day, you come off the boat, you go home, you isolate at home with your family, and then you go back to work. You can’t go out and about and that’s clear. It’s been clear from from day one. I don’t know if Dr. Us wants to expand on that.
Henrietta Ewart 22:23
Yes, that that is the case, and the direction notices and the protocols that go with them all support that. It’s probably best to not say too much more about this at the moment, because obviously this is all subject to ongoing investigation.
Sam Turton 22:40
Thank you. Secondly, my procedure packet stuff now being moved into the vaccination list, when will they be done? And how will they be done and also we’ll be moving into more key workers getting vaccinated, or we just can move in the steam packet and mess around and loganair. And at this point,
Howard Quayle 22:55
just the groups that have announced some, obviously, a programme will have to be worked up with with our teams who carry out the vaccinations but and that will be in full consultation with the management of the steam packers and the other groups Logan and our emergency air ambulance and Meza, Ron. Thanks. Thanks very much, Sam. And now we come to Simon Richardson from business 365. Good afternoon, Simon foster my Good afternoon,
Simon Richardson 23:25
gentlemen, my first question really is for the health minister, please. I mean, the latest scare obviously highlights the narrow path we tread. My question relates to the pace of the vaccination rollout. Now I know you’ve explained several times that we’re adhering to the manufacturer’s recommendations in respect of the gaps between doses. But surely that can’t account for what looks like a massive difference between the Isle of Man and say Gibraltar. latest figures I accept these are relatively approximate, show that we’ve administered around 17.5 per 100 of the population, whereas Gibraltar has completed at point two per 100. This suggests that they’re receiving many more vaccines, many more doses than we are for a population of around 34,000 compared with our 84,000. What do you think the reason is behind this? And could it be that the UK is giving them more in order to make to rub Spain’s nose in it, so to speak.
David Ashford 24:31
And my understanding is proposer is receiving their vaccines on the same basis as we are in terms of population. I don’t know if there’s any special arrangements with Gibraltar with other countries. So for instance, countries within the EU, obviously, they’ve got a much more defined and smaller population than we have in order to get vaccinated. So I don’t know if that’s having I mean, I can’t comment on a specific country. And I don’t have that to hand. But in relation to our vaccine rollout Simon is If you actually look at us compared to the UK and the other Crown dependencies, which is what is actually our measure, because we are getting paid on per head of population basis, when you take into account the second dose and we are pretty much level pegging with the United Kingdom.
Simon Richardson 25:17
Okay, they they, as far as your belt is concerned, I think they all they use only Pfizer as well, which is obviously more difficult to administer and they do seem to have got an awful lot of people vaccinated.
David Ashford 25:28
Well, at the moment, I mean, I’ve just brought up Travolta’s figures at the moment they do, but I can’t comment on that because I can see the figures in front of me, but I haven’t looked into gibraltars vaccination programme will be perfectly honest on that. Okay, thank
Simon Richardson 25:40
you. Secondly, for the chief minister, if I may, given the news today, there’s been we’ve had today, has there been any signs of panic buying in the supermarkets? And what would you say to people who think it’s okay to strip the shelves and take more than they need?
Howard Quayle 25:56
Well, it’s totally irresponsible. We’ve had to lock downs now. And each time it’s been shown that there’s been no need whatsoever to panic by the shelves, they, the food is still getting into to the island supplies are as normal. And it really is irresponsible for people, maybe buying two three weeks worth of supplies, and then someone who’s working full time and not able to get into the shops then, you know, say working in the hospital, working in the prison, gets into the shops when they finished work and find there’s nothing on the shelves. So it really is totally, you know, regretable that some people feel the need to do this, the history should show you that there is absolutely no need to panic by I’m afraid I haven’t had chance to be out. today. Obviously, I’ve been in an awful lot of meetings today, I haven’t been able to observe it myself. But I would ask people to respect their neighbours need for food and shopping to and and please just buy what you normally need, there’s absolutely no need for it. And at the end of the day, then leads to waste and throwing food away that you can’t possibly use as you know, it’s bad for your pocket. And it’s bad for the environment, and certainly doesn’t help your neighbour who’s maybe struggling because of your actions. So I thank you for raising that, Simon.
Unknown Speaker 27:11
Thank you very much.
Howard Quayle 27:11
Thank you very much. We now move on to Paul Moulton from Isle of Man television. Good afternoon, Paul Foster, my
Paul Moulton 27:16
afternoon before my questions. I’ve had a message from the steam packet press office. And I think this is very important news. For Henry, please correct what you have said steam packet crews have not been isolating when they come off duty at all. This has never been the case.
Henrietta Ewart 27:34
Well, that’s what we understood. And that is what I personally understood from them to be the case. And that is why I thought I sat in a meeting with them over a week ago, discussing the introduction of testing regime to enable us to mitigate it. And I think you will also find that what they’ve just said from their press release is not in line with the policy document that they were sent jointly from dhsc and Cabinet Office on the 21st of January. I think we need to look into why they’re saying what they’re saying their steam packet that is
Paul Moulton 28:07
from them. And also I’ve heard from members of staff, we’ve also also said the same thing. So something’s clearly gone awry on that one and obviously needs sorting. Anyway, I’ll leave that with you. My first question is, clearly we’ve had this information, we broke this story this morning. And we’re still waiting for these contact places. And I’ve got this because I’ve been talking to people, it seems very strange that we’re at this stage of the evening. And we you’re not going to want to release any information about particular areas, the old man that people might need to report if they’d been in there for contact tracing, why not have even if it’s not a complete list, stop issuing what you can at this stage to the public, so they can now prepare to contact my mom one and make arrangements.
Howard Quayle 28:49
Well, it’s protocols, Paul, that we are team prepare a list of factually, what are areas and you have to remember, just because you might have been at a distance from someone who may have had COVID are frontline team and 111 know where the areas are. And they’re building a picture and will of course, you know, hopefully this evening, we will issue a list of all of the media outlets and on our social media and our government website, advising people bus that has to be done when we know the real facts, not panic people, and then realise later on actually a certain venue isn’t a serious place that we have concern with. I don’t know, David, or what have you. Yeah, if
David Ashford 29:31
I if I may pull contact tracing identifies high risk venues. So it’s not just about someone having been at a venue, it may be a low risk venue. So in which case, it wouldn’t need to actually go out and actually ask people to be tested. So we’ve been through this with the previous clusters that we’ve had, and it’s exactly the same process being employed today. So it is absolutely essential that contact tracing do the proper investigatory work, identify those venues that are high risk. And then we can publish the list of high risk venues. And if we want to do any surveillance, testing what we feel we need to do surveillance testing off the back of it, but it’s a very defined process. It can’t go off speculation on social media, or individual people saying, I think I was with someone in this area, it needs to be done in a proper forensic way. And that’s why we have the actual manpower within contact tracing. Once that is completed, then the list will be published. And the public can rely on that as being an authoritative list. And I’ll bring the Director of Public Health in.
Henrietta Ewart 30:32
Yes, sir minister is very well described the process we use, and it links with the comment I made earlier about the importance of being systematic and focused on this. And following through the lines of transmission. If we just at this stage notified, a selection of areas that may be of concern or interest, we would have our testing procedures swamped by people who are at potentially much lower risk or no risk at all. And that would stop us actually following through the high risk transmission lines. So as the minister says that, that is why we need to keep focused and not make announcements prematurely. The other thing to note in that regard, of course, is that, as always, if people develop symptoms, that could be COVID-19, they should, as soon as possible, contact 111 for advice, and testing, if appropriate. So that doesn’t change. And you should do that on the basis of symptoms, regardless of where you think you may or may not have been. And whether you think that venue might have been a place where you might have been exposed, you need to notify 111 on the basis of symptoms regardless about Thank you.
David Ashford 31:45
I’ve been talking to
Paul Moulton 31:46
concerned and he gave me the list of where he’s been. If nothing else, it and it’s it’s information that surely needs to be the public domain as soon as possible. But so be it. My next question, just make it very clear, I think the past has been stated that the the crews on board are stupid, don’t mix. That’s the max crews in the UK crews. And they clearly do again, I’ve been getting more information today. Do you accept that and therefore it’s been incredibly easy opportunity, which has proved today that this is where we’re going to get this cross infection issues or at least the possibility of getting it the ukri Uk crew mixing the crew which can pass on COVID Do you accept that and should that not be looked at straightaway? Well, obviously
Howard Quayle 32:28
Paul, the the team are looking into see how this infection has happened. There are protocols in place to ensure the protection of Allah man and crews mixing with the off Island crews and also the protection for people travelling on the steam packet coming across contact with crew members of the elements team packet company. So those protocols are there. They’re in writing, and I’m sure it will it will be looked into but I can’t comment on anything that may be ongoing at this moment in time. But But thank you for that. Okay, next we’ll move on to Josh Stokes from ITV. Granada. Good afternoon, Josh fast am I? Good afternoon, Chief Minister, you
Unknown Speaker 33:10
said COVID met twice today. But no rule changes will be made. What will it now take for any rules to change? It’s already down to community transmission? And
Unknown Speaker 33:17
Unknown Speaker 33:18
you add a bit of detail on a rules that may change if this cluster is to develop? because presumably Sophie distancing will be one of the first things to come in.
Howard Quayle 33:26
Yeah, well, obviously, it will depend on if we get an unexplained case where we don’t know where it’s come from. I suppose if you look at our previous experience, when we had to go into lockdown, we had sort of 1886 what was known as the 1886 outbreak where we knew where the case had come from. There were no unexplained cases, it was a pattern that we were able to clamp down on pretty handy and no one had come forward, who we couldn’t understand where they had got COVID from then later on, sadly, early on in the year, we had another case where there was unexplained circumstances where people presenting themselves, I mean, we were forced to implement a short circuit, great lockdown to to clear that situation. So at this moment in time, the six cases on top of the initial case, have all got a clear relationship, shall we say, and we don’t feel there is a need to take any do anything further. However, that said, it’s still early days, we have a significant number of contact tracing to do and we will have to await the results of off those tests to see if we need to make any further decision. I don’t know David or doctor yours. If you want to add to that.
David Ashford 34:40
I’ll bring the Director of Public Health and if I’m a chief minister.
Henrietta Ewart 34:44
Yes, I don’t really have anything very much to add to that. I think chief minister’s put that very clearly. Thank you.
Howard Quayle 34:50
Okay, Thanks, Josh.
Unknown Speaker 34:53
My second question, given how quickly guernseys numbers have shot up towards the start of their second lockdown surely the need to Least Sophie distance must have been considered today’s how close was comin to bring in any sorts of rules today?
Howard Quayle 35:06
Well, obviously we were very concerned when you’ve got six cases that have come on in from a community spread from bots, we could follow the link. So we were concerned. But at this moment in time, we have clear procedures on how we will react to certain situations. At this moment in time. We didn’t feel the need to make any changes. But obviously, we can never say never we are meeting tomorrow, in the morning to review what’s happened overnight with the results of the cases that we’re waiting for. Should we need to do anything? Obviously, we will be doing another briefing to get them to give you all an update. Okay, thank you. Well, thank you all very much. And thank you very much for your questions. human behaviour is the frontline in the fight against this virus. The actions each of us take, make a difference. If you develop any COVID symptoms, please self isolate immediately, and contact the 111 service for advice. Please don’t dismiss symptoms. We would much rather be safe than sorry. Please be responsible and stay safe. do what is right for you and your family. I’ll speak to you all again tomorrow. Good evening. And thank you very much for joining us.