Guernsey Press

Manx passengers head home to self-isolation frustrated

FRUSTRATION, resignation and disappointment were among the emotions felt by Isle of Man passengers, as they departed on a repatriation flight following the suspension of the air bridge.

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They had their stay at the Fleur du Jardin cut short by the suspension of the air bridge, but Chris Heginbotham and Dawn Cummings were still smiling as they got engaged (Pictures by Adrian Miller, 28835599)

Rather than returning from a relaxing break, they are now undertaking 14 days of self-isolation.

There were about 120 Isle of Man residents in Guernsey on Friday when the Manx government announced it was suspending the air bridge after the news that seven linked cases of Covid-19 in Guernsey.

Air bridge flights had only restarted on Wednesday for the autumn half term, with people from both islands flying off for a break.

On Saturday afternoon, a final rotation of flights between the islands was put on, with the rest of the autumn timetable on hold for now at least.

Among the 100 people on the flight back to the Isle of Man was couple Kirsten Fleming and Colin Furner. They said they had enjoyed a great holiday at the Fermain Valley Hotel, with cliff walks and a sea swim. They had always been due to go back on Saturday, but were frustrated when they found they would now have to self-isolate.

‘If I knew I was going to have to self-isolate for 14 days, then Guernsey would not have been my first choice for a holiday,’ Ms Fleming said.

‘It was a shock. It would have been helpful to know [if there were cases]. There was no information about before we flew over in Wednesday. They [Isle of Man government] have had a knee-jerk reaction.’

She also noted that Guernsey residents, who had arrived in Isle of Man on Wednesday, had to been free to roam around the island for the last few days.

Fortunately her father is able to do their shopping, but she said her concern was not being able to walk their dog.

Amy Mackie had planned to fly home on Saturday after working in Sark for three months but now has to self-isolate for 14 days. (28835601)

Amy Mackie has been working at a hotel in Sark for the last three months and was always due to fly home on Saturday. She said working in Sark had been a great experience. She is now set for two weeks’ quarantine at her mum’s.

‘She will look after me, so it will be fine,’ she said. ‘The only thing annoying is I want to go for a drink with my friends.’

Couple Beckie Poole and Matt Lowe had their holiday cut short by four days due to the change in regulations. They hoped friends and family would be able to help them get food.

‘Hopefully we will be able to work remotely’ Ms Poole said.

‘We have had text messages from friends asking if we are OK. I think the biggest issue is that our plans have to be cancelled. We had a staycation booked, which will now not be able to happen.’

She said while they had a good time in Guernsey, they would not risk the air bridge again.

However at least one Isle of Man couple were going back with a smile on their faces.

Chris Heginbotham and Dawn Cummings got engaged on their Guernsey holiday and said it had been a brilliant trip. They especially praised the staff of the Fleur du Jardin for making their trip so good.

‘We heard on Thursday there were some cases, but it did not put us off the holiday,’ Ms Cummings said.

‘There is no point worrying about ifs and buts. We have been staying clean and just getting on with it. What will be most difficult is the 14 days. We’ve got lots of things to do at home and we have a well-stocked freezer and the dairy man delivers. It’s just things like fruit and veg and friends and family will help with that.’

The return flight saw 60 Guernsey people from the Isle of Man. They do not need to self-isolate.

But that was delayed until yesterday due to the weather in Guernsey on Saturday evening.

Aurigny has said there are no immediate plans to put on flights again, although summer 2021 flights were a possibility.