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Travellers urged to be patient as borders reopen

Travellers urged to be patient as borders reopen

Friday 03 July 2020

Travellers urged to be patient as borders reopen


Passengers arriving in the island from today are being urged to be patient if they choose to be tested upon arrival, with the Economic Development Minister warning the "thorough" process could take up to three hours.

Jersey’s borders opened to unrestricted travel this morning following a vote in the States Assembly on Wednesday with passengers having to go through pre-travel registration, swab tests on arrival and regular checks with the contact tracing team.

The previous government-approved 'lifeline' travel scheme has ceased operating, allowing airlines and ferry companies to start providing more regular services to and from Jersey.

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Pictured: Senator Lyndon Farnham urged all passengers to be patient.

The Economic Development Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, welcomed the move, but warned passengers they may face delays upon arrival due to the time it will take to process everyone and their tests.

"Today we see the beginning of the relaxation of travelling restrictions we are going to be welcoming many islanders back home, many friends and relatives will be coming over to catch up and some new visitors will be arriving in Jersey once again," he said.

"I’d like to extend a warm welcome but ask people to be patient, it’s important the testing and processing process is very thorough and it could take one to two, possibly three hours because we need to make sure everybody is accounted for. So I want to thank everybody in advance for their patience and we wish everybody a very pleasant on board journey."

Read below to learn more about the whole process passengers will go through...

Before travel…

All passengers coming to Jersey will have to complete an online registration form before they leave for the island. They will have to provide their personal details, as well a declaration of health and a list of the countries they visited before departing. 

They will also have to confirm whether they have covid-19 symptoms or if they have been in close contact with someone who is infected. 

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Pictured: Testing will be available at the airport as well as the harbour.

Upon arrival…

Unless they can prove they have already received a negative PCR test, conducted in their jurisdiction of departure within the 72 hours before their arrival in Jersey, passengers will have to choose between a swab-test at the airport/harbour or 14 days in self-isolation.  

It is expected that it will initially take up to 48 hours for passengers to receive the result of their test, although the government says it is working on reducing that period to 12 hours. 

While waiting for their results, passengers will not be forced to self-isolate.

They will simply be asked to spend as much time as possible in their accommodation, to limit social contact, “strictly” adhere to one-metre physical distance and avoid public transport where possible as well as indoor gatherings including bars and restaurants, “if at all possible”.

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Pictured: Passengers will not have to self-isolate as they wait for their results.

The results are in...

If the test is negative... 

Passengers will receive a text message and will be able to continue their holiday as normal, following Public Health advice. 

Government employees will keep in touch over text, and visitors will have to reply to any of the messages sent and report any new symptoms. 

If passengers develop any symptoms they will be asked to take a second test.

If the test is positive...

Visitors will receive a phone call from the Contact Tracing Team, who will trace their recent contacts and advise them on self-isolation for 14 days. 

Visitors who do not have access to a suitable location to self-isolate should tell the Contact Tracing Team or contact the helpline a the earliest opportunity.

Following an amendment to the Government's Safer Travel policy from Deputy Jeremy Maçon, visitors will also be asked to keep in touch with the Contact Tracing Team for 14 days.

If passengers wish to take part in the testing programme, they will have to take part in all aspects of it. Any failure to adhere to the full programme will result in a penalty fine of up to £1,000.

Video: Seymour Hotels has launched the Safe Stay Pledge'.

Meanwhile, local hotels have been changing the way they operate to make sure their customers and employees are as safe as possible.

Seymour Hotels has introduced the ‘Safe Stay Pledge’, which includes enhanced cleaning practices, as well as new social interaction and workplace protocols.

David Seymour, who said it was “critical” to reopen the borders today, said the pledge only enhanced the standards of the Group, which has “always set the most demanding expectations for cleaning and safety.”

“Our Safe Stay Pledge will seek to improve our established procedures and standards, to ensure both customers and employees are confident in the cleanliness and safety of our establishments now that lockdown measures have begun to ease.”

CLICK HERE for more information on the safer travel guidance.

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