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‘Business tunnels’ from next Tuesday

News | Published:

BUSINESS travellers will be allowed to come to Guernsey on a one-day return and without the requirement to quarantine from next week.

Deputy Gavin St Pier. (Picture by Sophie Rabey, 28488121)

The States has announced a Tuesday 28 July start date for the so-called ‘business tunnels’ initiative.

Aurigny has put on twice weekly additional commercial flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays to allow these high-end meetings to take place. There are a number of legal requirements surrounding the business tunnels.

Travellers will have to make an application for permission, and they are asked to give at least seven days’ notice before the date of travel.

On arrival a visitor can only go to designated locations, they must maintain social distancing and not shake hands, they must not share pens or phones, and they must keep a record of their contacts during the trip for at least 14 days. They will also have to wear a mask.

Deputy Gavin St Pier, the chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, said this exemption to quarantine was part of a careful, considered approach to moving to phase six.

‘It’s important to us that any lifting of restrictions on travel is safe, so that we don’t find ourselves needing to lockdown our local community which would have a big impact on the economy, but also on each of us as individuals. But we know the restrictions for travel create some very significant challenges, and we’ve sought to find temporary solutions for those.

‘Business tunnels are an example of that, and will mean that for those meetings that absolutely have to be done in person, there is a way of accommodating them without putting the health of our community at significant risk.’

For normal travellers the 14-day quarantine remains, until at least 1 September.

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A test pilot of a seven-day quarantine revealed a number of logistical problems.

The main issue exposed by the pilot scheme was that the number of passengers coming into Guernsey could outstrip the testing capacity.

In a normal September there would be roughly 1,000 people coming into the airport and harbour, and the current testing capacity at the lab is around 400 per day.

  • The email address for business tunnel applications is criticaltravel@gov.gg
Helen Bowditch

By Helen Bowditch
News reporter

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