The majority of businesses contacted by the Guernsey Press yesterday were confident that people who had two doses of vaccine at least two weeks before arriving from the Common Travel Area should be able to enter the community without being tested for Covid-19 or isolating.
Advice has been given to businesses about how to reduce the risk of Covid spread, and the majority were happy that it was sufficient.
However Marvin Odillard, who runs the Cornerstone, Cock and Bull, and Number 19 Bar and Grill, was concerned that his small staff team, who share a house, might not be able to cope if there was an outbreak at one of the establishments.
He is asking people arriving in Guernsey who are not tested at the border do not go into his bars or restaurants for the first seven days, even if they are double-vaccinated.
‘If people arrive and are tested, that’s fine. But we’ve got a small team across three sites and if one gets ill what should I do, close all three places at once? I’m just trying to be cautious so we can all enjoy the summer,’ he said.
Another restaurant owner, who did not wish to be named, expressed concern over the relaxation of travel restrictions and fears that case numbers would rise as quickly as they have in Jersey.
‘I am not 100% happy with this easing of restrictions,’ they said.
‘The majority of restaurants will remain open, and to be in the minority means that you run the risk of being closed permanently.’
Fat Rascal manager Steve Hopkins recognised that some people were nervous to eat out but was keen not to restrict others from coming to his restaurant.
‘The team is happy to operate, and we’ll be upping our sanitising and hand washing and following the States’ guidance,’ he said.
Guernsey Hospitality Association president Alan Sillett was not aware of any hoteliers putting their own additional restrictions in place for guests and said that while there was some nervousness about opening, people had to trust the Civil Contingencies Authority that now was the right time for this move.
‘Guests need to feel welcome because they will be ambassadors for Guernsey when they go home and talk about their stay,’ he said.
‘We have already had some guests arrive and they’re really disciplined with hand hygiene and social distancing, perhaps more so than islanders because we’ve been free from the virus for so long.
‘But people in the UK have had [non-pharmaceutical interventions] drilled into them for months now so they’ll perhaps do it more naturally than some of us.’
The States said that guidance it has issued for businesses has highlighted how fully-vaccinated contacts of a positive case are at low risk of contracting Covid-19. Such individuals will not be required to self-isolate in most circumstances.
. As of 3.30pm yesterday there were 15 known active cases. One was identified yesterday in a traveller who tested negative on arrival and developed symptoms three days later.
No change to Sark and Herm travel
Travel Trident and Isle of Sark Shipping are following government guidance and will not restrict fully vaccinated individuals from travelling to Herm and Sark.
Travel Trident’s Peter Wilcox said it would be helpful if people carried proof of vaccination on them, particularly if they were planning to stay overnight in Herm, but it was not a requirement.
‘We’ve not had a letter of instruction about how we can operate from 1 July, so we are following government advice and asking people to be truthful about their vaccination status and travel history,’ he said.