From Monday, all travellers from Jersey will have to present a negative PCR test before travelling to Guernsey
Any travellers not able to do so will be treated as Category 4 and will be required to self-isolate for 14 days.
The Civil Contingencies Authority has agreed this additional and temporary measure in light of rising cases in Jersey and the recent change in policy for direct contacts of cases in Jersey.
The requirement for pre-travel testing will begin on Monday in order to give those due to travel enough time to source a PCR test and receive the result.
However, the CCA has agreed that until then, it will suspend the ‘Blue’ channel from Jersey and treat all fully vaccinated arrivals and accompanying children as Category 2, until Monday.
This means arrivals, aged 12 and above, must test at the port in Guernsey on arrival and self-isolate until they receive a negative result, and they must test again on Day 7.
Currently around 9% of Jersey’s population are a direct contact of a case. As direct contacts, (including adults who are not fully vaccinated, those who are fully vaccinated and children) are no longer required to self-isolate and are permitted to leave Jersey after receipt of their first negative result, it is expected that nearly 1 in 10 Jersey arrivals will be a direct contact of a positive case.
Given the significant volumes of traffic between the two Islands, the CCA has decided to apply this additional measure, what has been described as a ‘Public Health Override’, requiring all arrivals from Jersey to receive a negative PCR test from a swab taken 48 hours or less before their travel.
The requirement, from Monday, for a pre-travel test will apply to fully vaccinated adults and all children aged 5 or older who accompany fully vaccinated adults. There will be no other travel-related testing or self-isolation requirements applied to those travellers. Unvaccinated or partially vaccinated adults and the children who accompany them are already and will continue to be subject to ‘Category 4’ requirements testing and self isolation requirements. This requirement will be regularly reviewed.
The interim measure of treating vaccinated adults and accompanying children as Category 2 will apply to those travelling between now and Monday and may require some passengers who have already completed their online Travel Tracker journey to enter a new journey.
Travellers who believe they are affected by this change and are not clear on what they should do can contact the helpline on 01481 717118 or email@example.com.
Those planning to travel to the Bailiwick of Guernsey by private vessel should note this change does apply to them, and that by arriving as a Category 2 traveller they will need to report to the testing facilities at either St Peter Port or Braye Harbour before travelling elsewhere (i.e. Sark or Herm) within the Bailiwick.
Deputy Peter Ferbrache, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority said:
“We have been carefully monitoring prevalence levels, travel numbers and other factors for all regions in the Common Travel Area, mindful that we may need to apply a Public Health Override if there were particular cause for concern. In the case of Jersey, we can see the high number of cases combined with the policy on direct contacts has the potential to mean a rise in the risk of importing significant numbers of cases.
"This decision is in no way a criticism of Jersey’s strategy. Jersey’s situation is different to ours and they are making decisions appropriate to their unique circumstances. However, Guernsey’s strategy is dependent on carefully managing increased travel, identifying cases and clusters at risk of spreading further and keeping them under control. That’s been effective for us so far with our case numbers low, numbers in self-isolation also low, and no hospitalisations, more than two weeks since we relaxed our border policy. But we must still tread with some caution and apply proportionate measures where we see the greatest risks, as we continue to manage our way forward.”