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Sark opens border inside Bailiwick, Herm to follow

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TRAVEL to Sark can start next week, after the island announced that it was opening its border for travel within the Bailiwick.

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Details of how Herm is set to reopen is due to be published this week.

Sark’s Pandemic Emergency Committee issued its statement after Guernsey announced its planned move to phase four of the easing of lockdown.

The island has had no cases of coronavirus and the borders have been effectively closed to the rest of the Bailiwick since 24 March.

But soon that will change.

‘The PEC has agreed that travel between the islands will recommence in conjunction with phase four,’ a spokesman said.

‘It is expected that the first scheduled Sark Shipping passenger service will operate on 1 June, subject to approval of social distancing and hygiene requirements from Public Health.’

Bookings will start to be taken on Wednesday, but must be done over the phone and not through the website.

The sailing on Wednesday will be for authorised medical appointments only, but returning residents on that sailing will not have to self-isolate when in Sark.

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Shops and restaurants will be allowed to reopen, if they adhere to public health guidelines, and contact will be allowed between households.

But pubs and camp sites will be closed. Carriages and bicycles will have to be pre-booked.

Pleasure craft will be allowed to sail to the island, but only if they come from within the Bailiwick.

People travelling into the Bailiwick are still required to self-isolate for 14 days and those travelling to Sark will not be permitted on Sark Shipping.

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Anyone who wants to get to Sark from outside the Bailiwick must use a private charter and when arriving in Sark will be taken to their home by ambulance for the mandatory 14 days self-isolation.

In relation to Herm, island officials have confirmed they are working with the States and Travel Trident to allow the island to reopen under phase four. However it is not open yet and boaters are requested not to land there for now.

‘We are very proud that Herm looks absolutely stunning following months of hard work from our team and we can’t wait for you all to see it again, but things will be a little different in terms of our offering and ability to provide full services,’ a Herm spokesman said.

‘Please be prepared to take us as you find us; it won’t quite be the Herm you are used to this year.’

An announcement is expected this week with more details.

There has been no announcement yet from Alderney about what the changes might mean for travel there, but Aurigny has continued to fly there from Guernsey throughout lockdown.

Juliet Pouteaux

By Juliet Pouteaux
News reporter

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