States Assembly 24th March 2020


24th March 2020

The States Assembly met on Tuesday 24th March in Gloucester Hall in Fort Regent. The change of venue was to enable Members to practice social distancing in line with Government guidelines.

The States Assembly opened with the Bailiff, Timothy Le Cocq delivering a speech to members. He ended his speech by saying, "We have confidence, looking back into our history, to know that "this too shall pass", and whether it takes three months, six months or longer, life will return to a normal rhythm and pace. We must all play our part in helping that to happen and this sitting of the Assembly, in this format and this in this place is but one example of that."

After the Bailiff's statement the Assembly began Oral Questions where Coronavirus was the dominant topic.

Deputy Inna Gardiner asked, "Will the Minister advise what plans are in place to ensure that the ports that serve Jersey will continue to operate to allow the maintenance of supplies to the Island during the current Coronavirus situation?"

Deputy Chief Minister, Lyndon Farnham responded by saying the Government of Jersey had been working closely with the Ports of jersey and other key stakeholders to ensure the gateway remains open, safe and secure to be able to handle "lifeline freight". He added officers were also in daily contact with the department for transport in the UK to monitor the situation.

­­­­Deputy Kirsten Morel submitted a remote question and asked the Minister for Social Security "Given the likelihood that many families and individuals will find themselves struggling to pay their rent over the coming months, what measures is the Minister taking to ensure that no Islanders are left without a home during the coronavirus crisis?"

Deputy Judy Martin, the Minister for Social Security spoke of the emergency measures being put in place to assist Islanders at this time. This included the suspension of evictions for a 3-month period during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Deputy Mike Higgins also submitted a remote question and asked, "Will the Minister advise members how many people have been admitted to hospital to date with Covid-19 and what the estimates are for future such admissions on the basis of the models being used by the Government?"

The Health Minister Richard Renouf confirmed the number of people admitted to hospital stands at 2 as of 24th March 2020. 

Questions Without Notice was the next item on the agenda. 

The Minister for Health and Social Services Richard Renouf took 15 minutes of questions from Members.

You can watch Questions to the Health Minister here 

The Chief Minister John Le Fondré then faced 15 minutes of Questions without Notice.

 You can watch Questions Without Notice here 


The Assembly then moved onto Public Business.

The first items on the agenda were multiple proposals from the Social Security Minister Judy Martin. These 6 proposals were:

Each proposal was ADOPTED by the States Assembly. ­

 

The next proposal was the Draft Cremation Regulations. You can read the proposal here.

This was proposed by Health Minister Richard Renouf who outlined the temporary changes to the way cremations are approved. The changes are proposed in order to reduce burden on medical staff in the event of Coronavirus heavily impacting the Island. This measure would stand until 30th September 2020.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was the Unlawful Public Entertainments Regulations. You can read the proposal here.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Constable Len Norman, proposed changes which would grant the Bailiff power to withdraw permission or make changes to events which have already been granted permission. The proposal is intended to stop any events from taking place which could spread Coronavirus.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was a temporary amendment to the Draft Marriage and Civil Service Act. You can read the proposal here.

Minister for Home Affairs Len Norman proposed temporary changes to the way births, marriages and deaths can be registered. The aim of the proposal was to limit human contact for both the public and registrars.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was the Draft Criminal Procedures Act. You can read the proposal here.

Constable Len Norman, the Minister for Home Affairs, proposed the changes, which are designed to limit the number of people who need to attend court during a hearing. Like many others, this proposal is in response to Coronavirus and intended to only be used during this time.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was an amendment to the Draft Statutory Nuisances Regulations. You can read the proposal here.

Assistant Minister for the Environment, Deputy Gregory Guida, made the proposal which makes changes to the law that would provide powers to ban gatherings of a certain size and prevent these events from taking place. This proposition is in response to the Coronavirus situation and is intended to help combat any spread of the virus.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was a temporary amendment to the Draft Regulations of Care. You can read the proposal here.

Deputy Gregory Guida presented the proposal which would ease conditions normally placed on them, so they can respond appropriately to any situation that may arise from Coronavirus.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The next proposal was also a temporary Amendment to the Draft Regulations of Care. You can read the proposal here.

The proposal made my Deputy Gregory Guida outlines temporary changes to ways of working for care homes, including the reduction of checks on health workers if more are needed in the event of Coronavirus heavily impacting the Island.

Assistant Minister Gregory Guida responded to the concerns raised by Members such as Deputy Rob Ward and stated he would consider submitting an amendment to address these concerns in the forthcoming States Assembly to be held on Friday 27th March 2020.

The proposal was ADOPTED

 

The States Assembly will next meet on Friday 27th March 2020 in Fort Regent's Gloucester Hall in order to continue to adhere to social distancing guidelines. 


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