The Government has revised the rules around exercise for people who are in certain types of self-isolation.
The review reflects the challenges some people could face where the virus spreads amongst members of a household, resulting in the self-isolation period resetting with each new case, and therefore lasting for a considerable period of time.
From Thursday 11 March, where someone who has been told to self-isolate because they are a high-risk contact receives a negative test result for COVID-19, they and other members of their household will be able to leave their accommodation for up to one hour of exercise each day, so long as no one else in the household has tested positive for COVID-19.
When exercising outside, a face covering must be used and social distancing must be observed from other people they may encounter. Members of the same household are able to exercise together but must not mix with other households.
In the limited circumstances where someone travelling to the Island is permitted to isolate with a household, where their first and second tests for COVID-19 are negative, they are permitted to leave their accommodation for up to one hour of exercise each day, so long as no one else in the household has tested positive for COVID-19. From Thursday 11 March this will now include other members of the household.
As well as providing affected households with the opportunity for exercise away from the home, the change in the rules means that households in self-isolation who have a dog will have the ability to exercise them.
Should anyone else in the household go on to develop symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for the virus, then the whole household would have to self-isolate and they would not be able to leave their accommodation for exercise, including walking their dog. Someone else would need to walk their dog for them.
When collecting a dog from an isolating household, the dog walker should not have close contact with the dog owner or other household members and must not enter the house. A distance of at least two metres must be maintained from all household members. It is strongly recommended that everyone wear face coverings.
Where possible, the dog should be left for collection and returned to an area where isolating household members are not present, for example in a yard, garden garage, shed etc.
The lead and collar should be wiped with a sanitiser wipe on collection and return. The person walking the dog should wash their hands before and after handling the dog. As always when out, a two metre distance should be maintained from others and a face covering should be considered, particularly in crowded areas. The dog should be under control at all times to reduce risk of incidents that could cause close contact with other people – this may be best achieved by keeping it on the lead.
Taking anything from a house – a dog, laundry, any other object – where people with COVID-19 or who are at risk of COVID-19 are self-isolating creates a risk of further transmission. The guidance seeks to balance the animal welfare needs of dogs while reducing as far as possible the risks of further spread of COVID-19.