More than 350 people will have to be immediately retested, and unvaccinated passengers have been allowed to leave quarantine without a test result, as technical problems persist at the island’s main covid laboratory.
A backlog of 2,500 tests has built up since the Open Cell laboratory, which is based at the airport, began experiencing glitches on Thursday evening.
The figure was 3,000 as of yesterday, but some 500 fully vaccinated passengers have since left the island.
As some tests have been held longer than desired, the Government announced late last night that many people will now need to be retested over the next two days.
Meanwhile, around 250 people awaiting the results of their workforce screening test will be tested again during the next cycle.
The Government said that a risk-assessment was carried out in advance of announcing the retests and removal of quarantine for unvaccinated travellers.
UPDATE: Ongoing technical issues at the Open Cell testing lab have caused delays with test results. As tests have been held for longer than desired, some people will now need to be re-tested. The following temporary changes are with immediate effect: https://t.co/l4OqpLKlpm pic.twitter.com/4IqZQOHKat— Government of Jersey (@GovJersey) October 3, 2021
Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham apologised for the “inconvenience” caused by the glitch.
““Our aim is to get people who test negative out of isolation as soon as possible and this is the fastest way to do so while the technical problems remain,” he said.
It follows calls last week from the Chamber of Commerce for the Government to make a decision on whether to remove border testing for fully vaccinated islanders.
Senator Farnham said last night: “Ministers are currently reviewing the Winter Strategy and the Safer Travel policy, and a further announcement will be made in the coming weeks.”
Open Cell's flatpack Covid Testing lab was first brought to Jersey in August 2020, to speed up the Government's rapid testing regime.
Previously, tests had to be processed off-island. Introducing the lab meant that Jersey was able to increase on-island testing capacity to 2,000 daily and slash waiting times for results.
Since April, the lab has also been processing commercial tests, having struck a deal with local pharmacies. It pledges results in 12 hours or less.
Recently, the turnaround time for PCR test results has been around seven hours.
Everyone in need of a retest has been contacted via email. Retests can be booked online or via the covid helpline: 0800 735 5566.
The Government has reminded everyone in isolation that they are allowed to spend up to two hours outdoors, and can also receive support via the Connect Me service.
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