Although many said flying was not ideal under the current circumstances – they now have to wear a face mask to travel – they still felt their departure from the island was essential with reasons for their UK-bound flights, including medical, work and as a necessity.
Nicole de la Mare, a teacher, had come back home to Guernsey in April following the closure of all schools, including her own, Shoreham Academy near Brighton.
‘It was nice to be back home but now I’ve got to go back as the schools reopen on 15 June,’ she said.
‘I’ve been working remotely here, so it’ll be nice to see the kids when I return.’
She said she had her face mask ready and was prepared for the unfamiliar.
‘I came here via Gatwick, and even then it was deserted,’ she said.
‘Being here has been good as it’s somewhere that I’ve felt completely free – it’ll be very different to that in the UK.’
Her parents, who had come to see her off, said it was good to see things finally opening up but they still worried.
‘It’s been nice to have her here while all this has been going on,’ said Jeff de la Mare.
‘Though it’s worrying when we’ll get to see her again.
‘Luckily she doesn’t have to quarantine in the UK but coming back to Guernsey she would have to and it is hard, perhaps more intelligent screening can be developed in the future, so that [Covid-19] test results can come back quicker and quarantine isn’t necessary.’
Fellow passengers, girlfriend and boyfriend, Libby Morgan and Jean-Paul Baudains, were parting in the UK after Mr Baudains had taken up a job in the Bahamas to work as a first mate on a yacht.
‘I didn’t really want to travel at all,’ he said.
‘I just know it’s a good opportunity and that I should, even though it’s sad to be leaving.’
Miss Morgan added that because his job was no longer in Guernsey and she was not local herself, she would also have to go back to the UK.
‘I’m going back to London and it’ll be weird,’ she said.
‘There’s not just the pandemic there but also protests and I’ll feel like I’ll have gone back a phase with the coronavirus, because everything is so normal here but it won’t be in the UK.’