The 'new normal' moves a step closer

SOME surprise announcements yesterday from the Civil Contingencies Authority – quite aside from a shock outburst from its chairman.

Changes to travel were fairly well trailed, but perhaps few were expecting such a radical move to enable non-vaccinated visitors to come to the island through the ‘blue channel’.

But rather more surprising, particularly in the way the news was delivered, was confirmation that booster vaccinations were poised to start, and that vaccinations would now be offered to 12-15 year-olds – both revealed through answers to questions from journalists rather than in the initial CCA announcement.

The travel changes appear to have been positively received – a sea change from the mood a few months ago when the CCA first moved to open borders.

‘This is not without risk,’ said Dr Brink. ‘We know that. But we’ve done well so far. We might see more cases, we might see a spike of infection. We don’t know what the future brings us. But we are in a really good position. We’ve got a highly vaccinated population.’

But once again, when scrutiny of the CCA and its actions is as high as it has been for quite a while, it was not a good look for the authority to be seen to be releasing such important information on the back of media questioning, rather than in its initial announcement.

Next the CCA and Dr Brink’s softly-softly approach can expect to next be tested in a few weeks’ time, over the formality and detail of the Travel Tracker and the purchase of lateral flow tests at the ports.

While yesterday’s news was a surprise and very welcome to Guernsey Football Club, as it very likely reopens the door for national league action to recommence, those two issues, and the probably significant challenges if an opposition player was to test positive on arrival, could significantly set back the club’s plans to get back on track.

But with more regular reviews to travel policy now likely, sports fans could have hope that if border restrictions continue to be eased, and whatever it looks like, the new normal cannot be too far away.

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