|Media Release issued by the States of Alderney today – Wednesday 8 April 2020|
Lockdown continues but Alderney seeks exemptions for home deliveries of prepared meals
The Lockdown is set to continue for the time being on the advice of the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink.
Gavin St Pier, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, said: “‘Our objective has not changed, we must reduce the spread of this infectious disease and make sure our health infrastructure, which includes our frontline nurses, doctors and health and social care workers, are not overwhelmed.
“The best way we can all do that, and help save lives, is by staying at home.”
Changes to the guidance mean that non-essential retailers throughout the Bailiwick are also permitted to carry out home deliveries from midnight on Wednesday (April 8), provided this is done in line with guidance to mitigate the risk of spreading the coronavirus.
Alderney’s Operational Group led by CEO Andrew Muter advised that there should be some flexibility in the lockdown restrictions imposed two weeks ago. The Policy & Finance Committee backed the idea and work continued over the weekend to identify which restrictions could be changed.
The option for non-essential retailers to deliver goods ordered online or over the phone allows a little more normality to return without a significant increase in the risk of spreading the virus. But there is no general relaxation of the rules on takeaways as specifically requested by Alderney.
However, Alderney’s restaurants can apply for an exemption so they can reopen their kitchens for home deliveries only – to do this they will have to demonstrate they can apply social distancing rules in their kitchens. Social distancing of at least two metres must be maintained if more than one person is working in the kitchen. They must also have a safe and hygienic process in place for deliveries.
Restaurants seeking an exemption from the current restrictions in order to provide delivered takeaways should email firstname.lastname@example.org setting out details of how they would meet the requirements as set out below ‘Takeaway Exemptions’ and “Home Deliveries – Revised Guidance (emailed to you yesterday – to download, click here. )
Kitchens may be subject to checks. Mr Muter will then liaise with the Committee) for Health and Social Care to seek the exemptions.
“We think the availability of prepared food makes a significant contribution to Alderney’s ability to weather this storm,” said Mr Muter. “There is pressure on our meals on wheels service which is working at its peak capacity and there are many people on island who struggle with cooking their own meals and will be delighted that a delivery service will be available again.” Ends
Operation of takeaway services from Restaurant premises in Alderney
Current restrictions effective from 29th March were introduced to minimise contacts between households and to restrict business to those things which are essential. The Guidance makes it clear that Restaurants, cafes and takeaway food premises may not operate, along with other nonessential businesses listed.
Other businesses could only continue where a maximum of two people are allowed on the premises at any one time and that strict social distancing was maintained. Hygiene guidelines must also be adhered to. Adherence to the Guidelines is a legal requirement unless an exception is granted.
The Policy & Finance Committee of the States of Alderney supports the principle that people should stay at home other for essential purposes. The Committee nevertheless accepts that there are circumstances in which the availability of takeaway meals provide a wider social benefit which could make an essential contribution to the way that the Island is sustained during the continuing restrictions.
The justification for seeking exemptions to the current restrictions is based on:
· The proportion of older population who have the resources to be able to afford takeaway food which forms part of their continuing ability to live independently of other support
· The useful support takeaway meals provides for some shift workers in essential roles (particularly the Care Home) who may not have had time to organise shop deliveries
· Some restaurants have offered at-cost and free prepared meals for vulnerable members of the community which is a important aspect of community support
· There has been a significant increase in demand for the voluntary Meals on Wheels service which has now reached its capacity and a continuing role for takeaway deliveries would help to prevent additional demand
· Operational restaurant kitchens provide some resilience for the Connaught Care Home and Mignot Memorial Hospital in the event that staff or kitchens cannot operate because of C 19
· The continuing operation of restaurant kitchens helps some businesses to continue in operation, thus helping their longer term sustainability.
However, there cannot be a blanket exemption because restaurant kitchens must be able to demonstrate that
· The size and layout of their kitchen can provide for social distancing (ie. maintaining a distance of 2 metres at all times) if more than one member of staff is present at any time
· That the takeaway meals can be delivered safely without compromising hygiene or social distancing guidelines
The States of Alderney therefore intends to seek exemptions for those restaurants which can demonstrate that they meet the criteria above and wish to re-open for the purpose of providing delivered takeaway meals.
In order to apply for an exemption, please provide the following information:
· A description of the size and layout of the kitchen which will be used
· Details of the number of staff using the kitchen at any one time
· A description of the way in which social distancing will be maintained and where any specific risks around maintaining social distance lie
· A description of the way on which the handover for deliveries will be organised and hygiene practices to be used.