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Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Care

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As we announced last night, the first confirmed case of COVID-19 has now been identified on the Island.

The patient had recently returned home after a holiday in Spain. They developed symptoms, sought medical advice and were advised to self-isolate.

The patient was contacted last night and is receiving advice and support.

Contact tracing is underway.

The patient is currently defined as a mild case. They have not required any hospital treatment and are self-isolating at home until the symptoms pass.

It is important at this time to confirm that there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission. The patient's family are showing no symptoms.

Beyond that, I cannot comment more. You will, I am sure, understand the need for us to respect patient confidentiality.

This is a quite obviously a challenging moment for all of us and our Island community.

From the start, we have said this was an evolving landscape.

The first wave of responses that we took were designed to reduce risk and give ourselves space. We needed to give our healthcare professionals the time to prepare. They have worked valiantly and I thank them for this.

The situation has now changed. We have moved into the next chapter. We are finalising a further package of measures. A full announcement will be made this afternoon. I can tell you that everything is being considered and nothing is off the table.

Further to what I have stated at previous press conferences, we will now be moving to the next stage of our plans. It is important that I make clear to people that these measures will change our daily lives.

The fact that the first case has been confirmed on Island emphasizes how important it is that people follow the advice that we have already issued. This advice is in place to protect all of us in our Island community at this difficult time.

There is clearly much more detail to follow but I wanted to share this with you as soon as practically possible. The Chief Minister will be making crucial further announcements this afternoon.