Like the rest of Europe, Guernsey and Jersey have been impacted by
the coronavirus pandemic. As of 17 April, Guernsey has 236 confirmed cases
and 9 deaths, and Jersey has 223 confirmed cases and 10 deaths. The
Guernsey and Jersey Governments have each formed their own strategy to respond
to the coronavirus pandemic based on the specific circumstances of their
jurisdictions, including in particular local public health data. Both
have imposed strict rules, including lockdown and social distancing to
limit the spread of the virus. And like many jurisdictions, both
Governments have taken unprecedented action to limit the economic impact on
individuals and businesses.
This action includes measures to ensure that all islanders are supported during this difficult time, including EU citizens resident in the Islands. Such measures include the hardship fund in Guernsey, which provides emergency financial help for people who may not otherwise qualify for unemployment benefit, sickness benefit or income support; and the CRESS in Jersey, an emergency scheme to support registered people who have lost their full-time employment income because of the Coronavirus pandemic and would otherwise not have qualified for financial assistance as they have only been working in Jersey for less than five years.
Guidance documents on the various measures have been translated to ensure that the information is accessible to as many members of the Islands’ communities as possible. Helplines for financial support and coronavirus guidance are manned with foreign language speakers from the main EU national communities, including Latvian, Polish, Portuguese and Romanian, to assist those who would prefer to speak in their native language. The two governments have been working closely with the Honorary Consuls, as central contact points for their respective communities. The Jersey Government liaised with the Polish Government and the Polish national airline (LOT) to arrange a repatriation flight to Poland for those Polish nationals in Jersey who wished to return to Poland.