Tourist trade will suffer

AS I experienced the four-hour delay on Saturday 28 August 2021, and read the authorities’ excuse for the delays, I felt I had to share the actual event.

Prior to leaving the UK I completed as much as I could of the Guernsey travel tracker. At the end of trying to complete this tracker it asked me if I had arrived in Guernsey. Obviously, the answer was no, as this was the pre-travel form. There was no mention that before leaving the port in Guernsey you would have to complete this. This can be difficult when you do not have roaming data on iPad or mobile.

On leaving Condor ferry, all car passengers were placed in nine lanes blocking the loading of the ferry for passengers returning to UK. These nine lanes are then reduced to three lanes, so a good hour-plus wait.

When you finally reach a member of the travel tracker staff, you are told if you do not have data or internet access, you must go through Customs control to join the queues for Covid testing, as we are told they have internet access.

Here you are made to wait another two-plus hours, only to be told as you have tried more than once to access your travel tracker you are now blocked, and you need to complete the travel tracker all over again using their own hand-held laptop.

There are several ways Guernsey could improve the travel tracker:

l Once the pre-travel form is completed as much as you can, passengers are given a reference number which staff could put into their laptop and retrieve the passengers’ details. Then all the information is available and there are no worries about the passengers not having data or internet access and being blocked out because they have tried to access their travel tracker form more than once.

l Ask all passengers to print off the pre-travel completed form when printing boarding passes.

l Give passengers the tests as they come off the ferry as this only takes 30 minutes to process, not four hours.

If Guernsey does not improve this service, the tourist trade will suffer. It is bad enough being charged for [lateral flow] tests when they are the same as ones used in the UK for free. We returned to the UK on the bank holiday Monday 30 August so only needed to do one test each, but my partner and I had to pay £25 each, when one box would have been more than enough for both of us and still have spare tests left over. You should not be making tourists help pay for your black hole in finances.

From a very disgruntled passenger.

T. LOHMEIER

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