Seven days isolation for low risk travellers from next Friday

TRAVELLERS arriving from low risk locations could only be required to self-isolate for seven days from next Friday.

CCA chairman Deputy Peter Ferbrache. (29447536)
CCA chairman Deputy Peter Ferbrache. (29447536)

The Civil Contingencies Authority made the announcement today, meaning islanders from Category Three areas will only have the self-isolate for seven days, have a negative test and then undergo seven days passive follow-up

However plans to relax the restrictions further have been delayed until mid-May. And tests from that point will cost £25 per test.

Civil Contingencies Authority chairman Peter Ferbrache said they were aiming to reopen the borders and keep them open.

'We cannot guarantee that, as we know this pandemic can throw up surprises, but given the progress of our vaccination programme we believe this can and will be a one-way journey towards more open borders,' he said.

'We still intend to reduce travel restrictions further in July, by which time we hope to have the vast majority of adults in the Bailiwick protected with one, if not two, doses of the vaccine. When that happens our focus in terms of travel requirements will switch to look more at vaccination levels rather than prevalence levels of the virus as is currently the case. So in that respect I think we are seeing the beginning of the end of our very strict border restrictions, and a move towards what will be a more normal way of life going forward, where this virus is endemic, and where we no longer fear it as a potential cause of death but instead manage it as a part of life.'

He said that the most vulnerable in Guernsey's community were already protected, and in the UK, Isle of Man and Jersey the situation was rapidly improving.

'We need to be cautious, but not overly fearful now, as we give back to our community the ability to travel in ways they’ve not been able to for many months,' he said.

Currently all destinations are treated as Category Four, meaning arrivals are tested on their day of arrival and then self-isolate for 21 days or until they have a negative tests of day 13.

From 23 April, Category Three countries and regions will be reintroduced.

This means any country or UK region with a prevalence below 100 cases of Covid-19 per 100,000 population, which also satisfies other Public Health criteria, can be considered Category Three. Arrivals will be tested on arrival and on day seven, and must self-isolate until they receive a negative result from both tests. They must continue to observe passive follow-up rules for a further seven days. If they decline to have one of the two tests, they must self-isolate for 21 days.

It is the CCA’s intention that from the 14th May Category Two destinations will be introduced. That will apply to destinations with a prevalence of below 30 cases per 100,000, which also satisfied other Public Health criteria. They will be tested twice - on arrival and on day seven - but they will only need to self-isolate until their first result comes back negative. They can then leave their self-isolation and observe passive follow-up rules until 14 days after their arrival.

Category One will continue to apply to any country or region where an air bridge has been established. There are none in place currently.

Business tunnels will be resuming from 23 April for controlled, short trips.

The intention is that charges for Covid-19 tests should be introduced from 14 May, and all travellers will need to pay a fee of £25 for each test

This is to partially offset the cost involved in providing the tests which have so far been at no cost to travellers.

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