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Ministers meeting to consider France travel changes

Ministers meeting to consider France travel changes

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Ministers meeting to consider France travel changes

Tuesday 20 July 2021

Ministers with responsibility for key covid decisions in Jersey met last night to discuss whether rules applying to travellers arriving in the island from France should change.

It comes after the UK Government decided on Friday that the "persistent presence" of the Beta variant - which was first identified in South Africa and is believed to be more resistant to the vaccine - meant that anyone arriving from France should be forced to quarantine for 10 days.

That includes individuals who have received both doses of the vaccine.

The variant accounts for around one in 10 new infections in France - however, that includes the territories of Mayotte and La Réunion, where it is more dominant. The French Consul-general in London therefore said the scientific justifications for the change were not clear.

The change has also led to confusion among the many individuals planning to travel to Jersey from France in the near future.


Pictured: Jersey has direct links with Saint Malo. 

Last week, Jersey stopped classifying travel testing requirements by jurisdiction, instead opting to base them on vaccination status.

Currently, anyone arriving in the island who is double jabbed will need a test on arrival but will not need to isolate until the result. Those who are not fully vaccinated must isolate until their negative result. Regardless of vaccine status, individuals only need one test.

However, this does not apply to countries on the UK's red list - anyone arriving from a listed jurisdiction must undergo a test on arrival, Day 5 and Day 10, isolating until a Day 10 negative test result.

Yesterday, Competent Authority Ministers were still yet to decide whether the UK's decision on France should affect travel from France to Jersey.

A Government of Jersey spokesperson said: "Competent Authority Ministers will consider the evidence for a change in status for France tonight. Until then, no change will be made." 

The decision to allow most travellers to only undergo one covid test was made in order to free up covid testing capacity by prioritising the testing of islanders with covid symptoms.

A spokesperson told Express yesterday: "The change to the testing regime will reduce the testing volume for direct contacts by 66%. The actual number of tests will depend on the numbers of direct contacts identified at any one time.”

Following a question from Senator Kristina Moore in yesterdays States Assembly meeting, Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said he thought it would be unlikely there would be a change to policy for France specifically.

Deputy Renouf said he didn't believe there to be a "significant risk" from the country, particularly given that the rate of infection in France is lower than in Jersey, whose rates are higher than any country in Europe and the UK.

Despite this, he advised that everyone must "assess their own risk appetite for travelling."

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Comments on this story express the views of the commentator only, not Bailiwick Publishing. We are unable to guarantee the accuracy of any of those comments.

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Posted by Jon Jon on
If people want to travel it’s their choice but they have to accept the consequences!
Posted by captain sensible on
I believe that we are still intent on bringing in another return of French "essential workers" this week. Question is this advisable and do the people of Jersey have a choice over this proposed arrival?
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