Guernsey’s Civil Contingencies Authority confirmed it will introduce lateral flow tests on arrival for adult ‘blue channelers’ – those travelling from within the Common Travel Area who have received two vaccine doses plus 14 days having passed since their second jab. The measure will come into force from Tuesday 3 August, provided the necessary testing packs arrive in the anticipated timeframe.
Non-residents arriving are being recommended to arrange a pre-travel test, either a PCR or lateral flow, to protect them and their families from costs and difficulties they would experience if they tested positive after landing in the Bailiwick and protect their fellow travellers. They will still be required to isolate as per current rules.
Arrivals from Jersey will also still require a negative PCR test within the 48-hour period before travel - although the CCA said this will be kept under review.
Fully vaccinated travellers will be charged £25 per travelling adult for a pack of five lateral flow tests they will receive on arrival.
This charge will be collected at the point of the traveller completing the States of Guernsey Travel Tracker tool - and is necessary for them to be confirmed as a ‘blue channeler’.
Travellers are asked to take the lateral flow test every other day, to help protect themselves and the wider community. Anyone who receives a positive result from a self-administered lateral flow test must immediately self-isolate and contact the clinical helpline to book a PCR test. The CCA also said any symptomatic people must contact the helpline and not use lateral flow tests.
Children aged 11 and under travelling with fully vaccinated adults will not receive, or be charged for, lateral flow tests. Young people aged between 12 and 17 travelling with fully vaccinated adults already receive, and are charged for, PCR tests on arrival and day 7, and this will continue.
CCA chairman Deputy Peter Ferbrache said it had listened to concerns about previous plans to require a pre-arrival test for everyone travelling into the Bailiwick.
‘We are by no means perfect and, as has happened on occasion throughout the last 18 months while trying to manage this pandemic, we won’t get every decision right.
‘Where we get things wrong or change direction we will say so and hold our hands up, and having reflected on our decision of last week, and importantly having had the opportunity to examine other options in more detail, we listened to our community and found a better way forward.
'However, we recognise this has impacted some members of our community, to whom we apologise.’
Living responsibly with Covid included travel, with trust being placed in the community.
‘Paying for the test will be a condition of travelling into the Bailiwick and therefore compulsory if you are a blue channeler, and travellers must use the authorised tests we provide, rather than any they might bring themselves. We will keep the need for lateral flow testing on arrival under review in the coming weeks,' he added.