Client Weekly Update – Friday 22 April


The list of common COVID-19 symptoms has been extended to include new symptoms, including a runny nose, headache, and sore throat.

The updated guidance, agreed by the Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, aligns Jersey’s list of symptoms with the NHS and the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) following the emergence of the newer COVID-19 variants.

The updated most common symptoms of COVID-19, (starting with most frequent to least frequent), are the new onset of one or more of:

  • a blocked or runny nose; sneezing
  • sore throat and/or hoarse
  • headache or dizziness
  • new, continuous cough
  • high temperature or shivering (chills)
  • shortness of breath
  • aching body
  • loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
  • loss of appetite
  • diarrhoea
  • feeling sick or being sick
  • feeling tired or exhausted

 Islanders who have any of these symptoms may have COVID-19 and are reminded to stay at home and book a PCR test.

Previously, the three main symptoms of COVID-19 were a high temperature or fever, a new continuous cough, and loss or change of sense of smell and taste. However, the new Omicron variants have altered the frequency of the predominant symptoms, so informing Islanders of the new distribution of symptoms will better alert Islanders of when to get tested.

Islanders are also reminded that COVID-19 infection may feel similar to a cold, flu or allergy, so they are encouraged to book a PCR test and stay at home to rule out the possibility of COVID-19.

Deputy Medical Officer for Health, Dr Ivan Muscat, said: “COVID-19 can affect people in different ways, and as new variants emerge the range of symptoms may also change. So, following the emergence of the Omicron variants we have updated the list of the commoner symptoms seen to ensure Islanders are aware of when they should consider infection with COVID.

“The spring season often causes people to suffer with allergies, it is very important not to confuse COVID-19 for allergies or a cold. If you have any of the listed symptoms, or if you are generally feeling unwell, the best thing to do is stay at home and book a PCR test.” Currently, there are 724 known Covid cases in Jersey.

Jersey on front line of economic sanctions

Jersey is on the ‘front line of the world economic conflict against Russia’, the External Relations Minister has said as he defended the government’s actions on oligarch assets held in the Island.

Senator Ian Gorst said Jersey was ‘one of the few places in the world to obtain a court order to seize financial assets linked to the Russian Federation His comments come after more than $7 billion worth of assets suspected to be connected to Russian oligarch and former Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich were frozen by the Royal Court last week.

The formal freezing order, known as a saisie judiciaire, was imposed on assets either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities that are suspected to be linked to Mr Abramovich. Last week, the police carried out a raid at Jersey premises suspected to be connected to the business activities of Mr Abramovich.

‘Co-ordinated efforts’ between Jersey and the UK also led to the assets of Mr Abramovich’s associates Eugene Tenenbaum and David Davidovich being frozen last week, said Senator Gorst.

Mr Tenenbaum – a financier and director at Chelsea FC who was granted high-net-worth residency status to live in Jersey – owns two flats near St Aubin’s Village worth a combined £3.5m. Meanwhile, Mr Davidovich reportedly told UK media this week that he was the director of MHC Jersey Ltd and the owner of one of Mr Abramovich’s super-yachts.

Senator Gorst said: ‘As with all new UK sanctions, they were immediately and automatically in force in Jersey. Both men’s names were published by the Government of Jersey, and notifications were automatically emailed.

‘These actions demonstrate that Jersey is playing its part and that our sanctions are not only working but are on the front line of the world economic conflict against Russia. Senator Gorst refuted comments from leading anti-Putin campaigner Bill Browder that more anti-money-laundering experts needed to be brought in to speed up asset freezes.

Senator Gorst said there were ‘severe consequences’ for those who failed to adhere to Jersey’s sanctions regime, adding that Jersey’s regulators had invested ‘substantial resource in financial crime mitigation in recent years, and we will invest further if required.

He said it was ‘simply incorrect’ to suggest that the court freeze ‘indicated a delay by the authorities to freeze assets under the sanction regime’.

Senator Gorst added that there was ‘evident confusion between asset freezes under the sanctions regime and court freezes’. Under Jersey’s sanctions regime, it immediately becomes a criminal offence to make any funds, economic resources or financial services available to anyone named.

Their assets must be frozen by financial institutions (and other entities), not by the regulatory authorities. ‘When Jersey’s Royal Court freezes assets, such as what happened last week, control of the assets moves from the designated person to the Viscount. The two processes are distinct,’ Senator Gorst added.

Senator Gorst said: ‘We are a responsible and internationally co-operative jurisdiction, and stand ready to take further actions, in lockstep with the UK and the wider international community.’

Mixed markets

FTSE 100 remains weaker today – down 40.04 points or 0.52% at 7587.91 today, with the European markets are also broadly lower today with shares in Germany off the most. The DAX is down 1.36% while France’s CAC 40 is off 1.28%.

Wall Street’s ended lower on Thursday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded lower by 368.03 points, or 1.05%, to close at 34,792.76. The S&P 500 dropped 1.48% to 4,393.66, and the Nasdaq Composite slid 2.07% to 13,174.65.

Asian markets finished mixed as of the most recent closing prices. The Shanghai Composite gained 0.23%, while the Nikkei 225 led the Hang Seng lower. They fell 1.63% and 0.21% respectively.

UK consumer confidence lower than ever

Fears that the UK may experience a significant slowdown in consumer spending have grown as it has emerged that the public is more pessimistic about the economy than they were when banks were on the verge of collapse during the 2008 financial crisis.

According to the most recent monthly assessment of attitude, confidence was in freefall due to soaring energy prices, increasing taxes, and a spike in the annual inflation rate to its highest level in three decades.

According to a separate survey conducted by the consulting firm KPMG, a third of consumers spent less in 2022, with steep declines in clothing purchasing and eating out.

Andrew Goodwin, chief UK economist at the consultancy firm Oxford Economics, said: “We shouldn’t be surprised if GDP falls in the second quarter given the likely impact of the extra bank holiday [for the Queen’s platinum jubilee] and the loss of support from Covid testing.

BoE policymaker: rates could rise

A senior Bank of England policymaker has said that the central bank may hike interest rates again next month to address the prospect of high inflation lasting until 2023.

Catherine Mann, a former Citigroup economist who joined the Bank of England’s nine-member monetary policy committee (MPC) last year, warned on Thursday that rising energy and food costs will continue next year, even if consumer demand slows.

According to some experts, the UK economy would shrink in the second quarter and possibly enter recession as a result of a drop in consumer and business confidence following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is expected to increase shortages of products and push inflation to new highs.

According to some experts, the UK economy would contract in the second quarter and possibly enter recession as a result of a drop in consumer and business confidence following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which is expected to increase shortages of products and push inflation to new highs.

Mann, on the other hand, believes the central bank must calm inflation expectations, which are likely to spur demand for greater salaries, driving inflation even higher.

When the MPC decided in February on a 0.25-point hike in the base rate, she voted with a minority for a 0.5-point rise. Last month, she joined almost all other members in voting for a 0.25-point increase in the base rate, bringing it to 0.75%.

Santander UK cutting opening hours

On weekdays, they will be open from 9.30 a.m. to 3 p.m., rather than until 4.30 p.m., beginning in July. According to Santander, the move is in response to long-term customer behaviour trends. In addition, 316 branches will operate on a half-day basis on Saturdays, ending at 12.30 p.m.

Consumer group Which? issued a warning earlier this week that bank closures are threatening to deprive the elderly and vulnerable of access to cash.

Another 120 have been announced in the previous four weeks, bringing the total to nearly 5,000 in the last seven years. This equates to 54 branches per month, according to the source.

If customers require support that is not available through other channels, Santander said yesterday that branch workers will be available for pre-booked face-to-face consultations between 3.00 p.m and 5.00 p.m.