Covid-19 is having a profound impact, worldwide. Yet, despite the unprecedented demands this has imposed on businesses and the radical responses almost all businesses have been forced to make during this crisis, Jersey businesses have found new ways to work. To not only survive but also to continue to thrive, they have been remarkably innovative, implementing new ideas and services and have taken advantage of the world-class infrastructure and corporate services the Island offers!
Long before Covid-19 and all the now well-known features of lockdown were part of our daily life, Jersey was internationally known as a place to do business. Being a world leader in digital infrastructure, ranked 3rd in the world for broadband speed, with a 100% pure 1GB fibre (FTTP) available to every broadband user, and with 95% of the Island covered by three 4G mobile phone networks, its acclaim is hardly surprising. Jersey’s fast, secure and very reliable internet speed has allowed businesses, employees and families to not only stay connected while working remotely or from home, but also stay well entertained whilst stuck indoors too!
This world-class infrastructure has been, and continues to be, a key factor in Jersey’s ability to conquer and prevail against the impacts of Covid-19 and has allowed businesses, where necessary, to restructure at speed enabling them to continue trading during these challenging times.
Even those businesses that had never traded online before Covid-19 started doing so, including; cafés, hotels and restaurants offering delicious takeaway options, local farmers and farm-shops opening online ordering and delivery services, and fishermen finding new ways of selling their catches, straight from their boats and equally successfully online and with delivery options too! Businesses have invested in contactless payment methods and even found ways to source, build and distribute PPE clothing! New businesses have also emerged during this time and are already seeing the results of their hard work, as are other, longer established businesses, whose dedicated staff, have shown tenacity and unwavering loyalty in the face of the crisis and have been the key to their continued success…
Schools have also had to find new ways of ensuring Jersey’s young people continued in their education and engagement with their teachers and schools, with online lessons, smaller group tutorials and one-to-one mentoring sessions very quickly becoming the norm for online ‘homework’. And even more remarkably, Jersey’s Digital Academy very quickly developed a new course for students in years 12 & 13 wanting to continue studying digital-tech during the lockdown. This massive restructuring and development of education in Jersey has certainly been a remarkable success in what might otherwise have been very dark and unproductive times for Jersey’s young people.
Jersey’s parliament, hosted their first ‘online’ assembly in early April. The virtual sitting made Jersey’s States Assembly the first parliament in the Commonwealth to hold a full virtual legislature meeting, with all members able to participate and vote, allowing our political and democratic processes to continue, undeterred by Covid-19.
Jersey’s Government has also adapted quickly to the developing situation with staff quickly redeployed to help in the Island’s efforts to prepare for, and manage, the worst effects of the virus. An Emergency Resource team was formed within 3 days, bringing together individuals from across Government to help to fill 300 critical roles at very short notice, ranging from; ambulance drivers to crematorium assistants, helpline advisers to cleaners, procurement to security guards, paramedics to firefighters and, more recently, COVID-19 testing and tracing teams!
Jersey has certainly witnessed some incredible stories of innovation and resilience in the face of Covid-19, and the Island’s reputation as an ideal place to do business has certainly been confirmed by its response to the pandemic. But it wasn’t all just about business. The local community spirit also shone through with locals offering their help and assistance to others, speaking very eloquently of the Island’s generous, kind-hearted nature.
If you would like to know more about Jersey’s response to Covid-19 or would like to read the latest news and blogs about life in Jersey see our News section.
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