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Jersey pushes to include overnight stays in French ID pilot

Jersey pushes to include overnight stays in French ID pilot

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Jersey pushes to include overnight stays in French ID pilot

Wednesday 24 May 2023

Jersey's Government is looking to double the amount of time that French nationals can visit the island using just an identity card in a move hospitality leaders say they would "wholeheartedly" support.

Currently, as part of a six-month pilot that was launched last month, just French day-trippers can sail to Jersey without a passport. However, the Government would like to extend that period to 48 hours, allowing tourists to night stop.

Speaking before the Justice Select Committee in the House of Commons on Tuesday, External Relations Minister Philip Ozouf said that early indications of the pilot, which began on 22 April, was that it was working “extremely well".

“We count them in and we count them out – there are no issues of migration,” said. “We had Home Office officials over yesterday, who were very impressed with what they saw, as far as I understand it.”

Deputy Ozouf added that the Government of Jersey would like to see the length of time that French passengers with only an identity card can visit extended from one day to two.

This view was shared by Guernsey’s External Relations Lead Jonathan Le Tocq, who also addressed the committee. The island has introduced a similar pilot scheme for French visitors.

Deputy Ozouf told the UK politicians that the island had faced losing a “vital link” when Brexit rules meant that French visitors had to travel with a passport.


Pictured: The first French visitors arriving on the first day of the ID scheme pilot.

Not only do only 52% of the population carry one, he added, but also many French visitors add a trip to Les Iles Anglo-Normandes while visiting Brittany and Normandy.

He said that pilot scheme had been an important boost for tourism and hospitality in the island, as well as its fishing and farming industries.

Today, Jersey Hospitality Association co-CEO Marcus Calvani told Express he fully supported extending the pilot to allow overnight stays.

Marcus and Ana Calvani Credit Max Burnett.jpg

Pictured: Jersey Hospitality Association co-CEOs Marcus and Ana Calvani.

He said: “After many months of discussing this concept and how it might work with a number of Ministers, we are thrilled that the trial has been a success so far this season and applaud their work, but it currently doesn’t have any impact on our accommodation sub-sector so we would wholeheartedly support any move to extend the length of time visitors from France can come here, or indeed, anyone from the EU.

"This year was a stepping stone and it’s working. It’s proved that we can indeed be a bit more ‘Jersey’ in how we choose to run our island and take advantage of its unique location and situation.

"We encourage and champion any building of connectivity, movement and business that we can with France; they are our closest neighbour, after all.

"If there aren’t any problems, then let’s make this a real benefit and competitive edge for the Channel Islands by encouraging visitors to embrace our long history with France and the Continent.”

Ferry operator Manche Iles Express has said that it saw an 80% increase in bookings when details of the pilot scheme were released.


French ID card scheme: How did Jersey get it done?

Guernsey follows Jersey with 'no passport' scheme for French daytrippers

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Posted by Graeme Marett on
It's time for Jersey to manage its international arrangements independent of the UK.
Posted by Gary O'Brien on
It's time the French bent over backwards for the Jersey traveller like Jersey does for the French traveller. A level p[laying springs to mind. And how about not blocking our ports too?
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