Covid-19 testing tent is blown into harbour by force of storm

THE Covid-19 testing tent on the Crown Pier was uprooted during the force 11 storm just before midnight on Wednesday.

Yesterday morning Guernsey Harbour’s crane helped fish the structure of the marquee out of the sea, while divers remained on standby.

Team members from Guernsey Harbours, the Civil Protection Authority and the States’ Covid-19 response team all braved the storm to control the scene.

Covid response director Richard Evans confirmed the tent was severely damaged overnight, but he said most of the debris was cleared up before noon yesterday.

Test equipment remained on the pier after the structure toppled into the sea. Teams from various agencies were dispatched to rescue the kit at midnight.

Mr Evans believed the tests were fine, but the team are still working through the clinical implications to make sure they remain safe and effective.

He also believed the marquee was insured.

For the foreseeable future, free lateral flow tests will be available from the Guernsey Information Centre. More information about opening times can be found on covid19.gov.gg.

The storm caused more issues when a high speed gust shifted an empty 3.8 tonne shipping container from the top of another container to the top of a van parked in the Guernsey Harbours Compound.

Assistant harbour master Kieran Higgs said the area was immediately cordoned off and the shipping container was moved back at first light.

‘There was no pontoon or boat damage from the storm and Harbours had a very prompt response to all of the incidents overnight,’ he said. ‘The harbour is relatively sheltered from high winds. It was just the temporary apparatus on the piers that was in trouble.’

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