Students to get priority on extra Christmas flights

ARRANGEMENTS to bring Guernsey students home for Christmas have been announced, with special flights set up from six UK airports.

Students are being given priority for some additional Aurigny flights so they can come home for the Christmas period. (28851345)
Students are being given priority for some additional Aurigny flights so they can come home for the Christmas period. (28851345)

From today, students will be given priority booking on additional flights laid on by Aurigny from Manchester, Gatwick, Southampton, Exeter, the East Midlands, and Bristol.

The flights will run from Tuesday 1 December and Sunday 6 December, with return flights roughly a month later, from Sunday 3 January to Sunday 10 January.

An email has been sent out to all students who receive States funding, plus the additional 150 students who have made contact with the education department.

The email provides a promotional code that will allow students to access the flights for the next seven days, and after that week-long exclusive period the flights will be opened up to the general public.

Students have also been sent a letter that they can pass on to their university if they require help in explaining to their tutors that there are significant differences between the way Guernsey is managing the pandemic and the set-up in the UK.

This follows feedback from some students concerned that their university may be reluctant to help facilitate an early finish to support their need to travel home.

The UK government is still looking at a range of options to get UK students home for Christmas in a safe way that will not cause further outbreaks of the pandemic.

One idea that has been floated by UK ministers is whether universities could be put into lockdown for two weeks with students told to remain on campus and all teaching would be carried out online. It is unclear at this stage whether Guernsey students would be allowed to skip that requirement. The additional flights to Guernsey have been scheduled so that students can self-isolate for 14 days before spending Christmas with loved ones.

Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen, the president of Education, Sport & Culture, was unequivocal that students must keep abreast of the latest quarantine rules.

‘Any student coming home for the Christmas holidays will of course have to follow all self-isolation requirements.

‘Whilst we don’t know what those legal requirements will be in December, given the fast-changing circumstances of managing the pandemic, we have made it clear to students that they must ensure they are aware of the latest self-isolation rules before they travel.’

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