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All new arrivals "should self-isolate until negative result"

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Friday 24 July 2020

All new arrivals "should self-isolate until negative result"

New arrivals should stay in government-provided accommodation until they receive a negative test result, according to a group reviewing the island's travel policy.

The Safer Travel Guidelines Review Panel, made up of backbench politicians, add that the economy may have trumped public health when the Council of Ministers allowed non-essential travel to resume earlier this month.

In an interim report, published three weeks after its launch, the panel says that the current rules – which say that arrivals from ‘green’ countries, including day-trippers from France, don’t have to self-isolate while they wait for their test results – are misguided.

Instead, they believe that guidelines should require all incoming passengers to isolate in "government-provided facilities" until they have received a negative test result.

But it adds that if the government is to continue with its position of not requiring isolation while awaiting test results, then "every resource" should be put into increasing on-island testing capacity and reducing test turn-around times.

Panel head Deputy Rob Ward said: “Our aim is to produce interim reports at speed in recognition of the rapidly changing situation regarding covid-19 and related travel rules. Our underlying aim is to provide constructive scrutiny that informs future decision making in this vital area of the island’s policy making.”


Pictured: The panel believe that every arrival into Jersey should have to self-isolate until they receive a negative test result.

The report adds: "Overall, the panel does not agree with the government’s approach to risk management and believes that incoming passengers should be required to quarantine or self-isolate by compulsion of law until they receive their test results, at least until testing can be undertaken on-Island, rapidly and at scale.

"The panel is especially concerned about the dangers of day travellers and very short stay visitors to the Island spreading the virus before leaving the island and being detected with it thus making track and trace almost impossible.

"We acknowledge that this is likely to lead to reduced passenger numbers under current testing timelines, but this is not a reason to place the health of the population of Jersey at greater risk. Instead, every effort should be put into providing test results within a timeframe that is acceptable to incoming passengers, rather than allowing these passengers into the community at large and risk an outbreak that could lead to increased restrictions on businesses and the community in Jersey in the future."

Other recommendations include:

  • When it comes to contact tracing, the time between follow-up text messages for those that do not respond should come down from three days to one day. 
  • The pre-departure registration and declaration forms that all passengers to Jersey need to fill in should be available in paper format.
  • The Council of Ministers should consider setting up a medical advisory body, separate to its Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC), so that medical advice is recorded in isolation.

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Posted by Peter Brookes on
Some common sense in the report. We are only looking at 26 hours isolation. Yes, it will stop the French day trip business, but day trippers don’t spend much, so economically that should be weighed up against the cost of a Corvid hospital admission. Sounds horribly clinical, but seeing as opening up to the UK and France is purely economical, maybe that’s how to look at it.
Posted by MarkWard49 on
There you go made up of back bench politicians. That tells me everything i need to know about the expertise of this committee. I think the word is NONE. These people would destroy the already fragile economy for what??
Posted by Denise Shrives on
I have to agree with Mr. Brookes sadly. One question I have is, how come folk can go to Pubs and Restaurants but not a funeral, how wrong can this be ? I feel sure that mourners would be happy to wear face masks and gloves, surely these could be handed out as folk arrived.
Posted by Tony Day on
No common sense at all in the report, and it is Covid-19 not Corvid, this is a small number of people who are Jersey's equivalent of little Englanders, the risks are very low now with the U.K and as time passes the mortality rate stands at 0.07% not the 1% assumed by Professor Ferguson. Life is never risk free.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
I find myself agreeing with the Panel. The UK "R" rate varies between 0.7 to 1.3 but the problem is France @ 2.6+.
I believe that we should STOP day trippers ; both to and from France until their situation improves. Concerned that it seems as though our contact tracing, needs more "teeth" as people who do not respond to the text message, are left for three days, without further contact, and then just a further text message; when does anything actually happen to ensure such persons take the required action.
Posted by MarkWard49 on
There you go made up of back bench politicians. That tells me everything i need to know about the expertise of this committee. I think the word is NONE. These people would destroy the already fragile economy for what??
Posted by Jon Jon on
Day trippers are a problem,they supposedly get tested when they arrive from France but are they contacted once they are back in France the next day?People going into isolation until their tests are back,what checks are done to see they remain in isolation,if they have a positive result are they shipped back home straight away?France is still on the green list,why? It shouldn’t be at the moment and probably a reason why Jersey hasn’t gone to level 1.
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