Isolation arrangements for travelling French workers are robust despite a new variant of covid-19 being discovered in Rennes, according to the Government.
A number of construction workers regularly fly to and from Rennes Airport in a 19-seater Beechcraft 1900 aircraft.
Most of them are employed or contracted by Group Legendre, a large French construction company currently building the Horizon apartment blocks on the Waterfront, as part of a joint venture with the Government-owned Jersey Development Company.
They are exempted from the normal isolation rules to allow them to work straight away; however, they have to adhere to a specific set of criteria, which restricts them to their hotel when not at work.
However, a new variant of covid-19 has recently been identified in a care home just outside Rennes.
A significant cluster of the variant was discovered in Chantepie, in the south-eastern suburbs of the Breton city.
Pictured: Rennes is 80 miles south of Jersey.
A doctor in Rennes told the French media: “It’s a variant that we have isolated since October, and it is not the British strain.
“Visits and outings were immediately suspended, as were communal activities. All residents who tested positive, and were suspected of carrying the variant, were transferred to a dedicated area, reserved for covid patients, and staff isolated at home.
“A virus mutates. It is normal that it changes as it spreads. This one changes but less than that of the flu, for example; it is relatively stable genetically. A virus does not have no need to transfer to be super dangerous and this one is already super dangerous.”
In Jersey, a Government spokesperson said that the isolation regime in place for workers flying in from Rennes was robust but was always under review: “All critical workers must apply for permission to divert from the isolation requirements prior to arrival in Jersey,” she said. “Their application is supported by a risk management plan for each employee.
“Isolation exemptions only cover the time they spend at work. At all other times they must still isolate until the end of their agreed isolation period.
“The critical workers must isolate until their first negative, as a minimum, unless as part of an emergency role.
“The arrangements are under constant review based on the assessment of risk at the time.”
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.
Once your comment has been submitted, it won’t appear immediately. There is no need to submit it more than once. Comments are published at the discretion of Bailiwick Publishing, and will include your username.