Jersey’s leading infectious diseases expert is urging islanders travelling to France this weekend to seek out “less busy towns and villages” or go south instead amid a covid spike in Brittany.
According to Deputy Medical Officer for Health Dr Ivan Muscat, who is leading Jersey’s pandemic response, the number of cases in the region stands at around 23.3 per 100,000.
This is close to ‘amber’ – meaning islanders need to undergo testing twice - under Jersey’s current ‘traffic light’ travel guidelines system.
Video: Dr Muscat sharing his advice on travel to Brittany.
While France as a whole still remains ‘green’, Dr Muscat said this morning that it was important islanders were aware of this in order to make an “informed decision” about whether to travel to Saint Malo and how much time they should spend there after sailings resumed.
He advises that those travelling to the port should instead consider driving straight to their final destination instead of stopping in the area or going further south.
For those still keen to remain in the Brittany area, Dr Muscat suggested seeking out “less busy towns and villages and destinations to reduce the risk of exposure”.
Currently, the government's scientific advisory team are closely monitoring the risk classifications of each country.
Amid concerns about the Brittany region, and some parts of Spain being harder hit than others, Dr Muscat said earlier this week that consideration was being given to ranking different regions separately when there is a high level of covid activity centred in one area, but not others.
Pictured: Consideration is being given to classifying by region under the government's 'traffic light' travel restrictions.
This, he said, could include splitting up the UK, which is currently all classified as 'green', as each nation has its own approach to managing the spread of the virus.
He noted, however, that it may be more challenging in areas like France or mainland Spain, as detailed and up-to-date regional breakdowns of case numbers can be difficult to obtain.
The warning comes after Saint Malo authorities decided on Wednesday to make masks compulsory within the ramparts – a tourist favourite.
It also follows an interim agreement being reached with striking dockers at the French port.
Pictured: Condor will be sailing to Saint Malo this weekend.
They had previously threatened to block boats from arriving, but said they would hold off on further industrial action between Friday and Monday, allowing Condor to operate its service from Jersey.
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