Jersey schools to close over coronavirus

Most schools and colleges in Jersey will close from Monday to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Schools are expected to be closed for two weeks, meaning pupils will not return until 20 April at the earliest after the Easter holidays.

Staff and selected year groups with upcoming exams will still be able to come into school, the government said.

Education Minister Senator Tracey Vallois said the decision had “not been taken lightly”.

Jersey’s government said it was considering keeping “specialist settings” open for children attending and was making plans to organise childcare for “essential workers”.

Senator Vallois said it was “an extremely challenging time for everyone” but added “abiding by these measures will save lives”.

Dr Ivan Muscat, the island’s deputy medical officer, said the government was considering increased self-isolation measures for those returning from the UK with no symptoms.

A total of five people have tested positive for the coronavirus in Jersey.

‘Cashflow difficulties’

It comes as the government announces £180m will be made available to support businesses in the island.

It will include help for small traders facing “cashflow difficulties” as a result of the coronavirus.

Senator Lyndon Farnham, the Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture said: “Support for business is support for people, protecting jobs, lives and livelihoods. We will stand firmly behind our economy, our businesses and their employees.”

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