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WATCH: Travel testing stepped up again

WATCH: Travel testing stepped up again

Tuesday 30 November 2021

WATCH: Travel testing stepped up again

Tuesday 30 November 2021


Ministers have stepped up the border testing regime again in response to the Omicron variant threat – but decided against making masks compulsory in public spaces.

From Friday, all passengers arriving in Jersey who have been in countries outside the Common Travel Area – the UK, Ireland and Crown Dependencies - will have to take a PCR test at the border and isolate until their result.

The new rule applies regardless of vaccination status or previous infection history.

Competent Authority Ministers – the group legally responsible for emergency decision-making in Jersey – made the decisions at a crunch meeting last night in response to growing international concern about the newly-identified Omicron variant. 

Omicron (B.1.1.529) is the most heavily mutated variant of covid yet, and it’s feared that it may be more transmissible and less receptive to the vaccine.

It has not yet been detected in Jersey, but the Government announced in a press conference this afternoon that it will be sending more positive covid tests for sequencing, particularly those of inbound travellers.

If anyone tests positive for the Omicron variant, their direct contacts will be asked to isolate for at least 10 days and undergo enhanced testing, with a PCR on day 0 and day 10, and lateral flow tests every day inbetween.

"Like Delta, we do expect this variant to reach us," Health Minister Deputy Richard Renouf said.

Today, Ministers also called for organisers of Christmas parties and festive gatherings to check the covid status of attendees using proof of recent lateral flow tests.

Mask use remains “strongly recommended” in Jersey, but has not been mandated in public spaces or in schools, as education unions had called for. They remain compulsory at the ports and on public transport, however.

In contrast, students and staff in Guernsey schools and colleges have been told they must wear face coverings in communal areas from today, and from tomorrow (Wednesday 1 December), face masks are to become mandatory in most public settings. The UK Government has also mandated mask use.

Yesterday afternoon, it was announced that Jersey would be following UK vaccine experts' latest advice, and extending the option of a third dose of the covid vaccine to 18 to 39-year-olds.

The island will also be offering a second dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to all 12 to 15-year-olds no sooner than 12 weeks after their first dose, and a fourth dose to all severely immunosuppressed individuals no sooner than three months after their third dose, in line with advice issued by the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) today.

Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré said that the Government's measures for keeping covid under control would be kept "under regular review over the coming weeks to ensure they are proportionate to the changing situation."

Elsewhere in the conference, it was announced that flu vaccinations would be moving out of Fort Regent. 

Dr Muscat explained: “Flu vaccination rates are now decreasing at the Fort as we work our way down the age groups. Because of this and the importance of increasing our covid vaccination rollout flu vaccination will now continue at GP surgeries and pharmacies for those who have not yet received it. By doing this, the Vaccination Centre can focus on administering covid-19 vaccines at pace, which is important in the Omicron context and as we enter the social festive season.”

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Comments

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Posted by Sheila Young on
Are we waiting for numbers to get even higher before masks are made compulsory in public places? Hopefully people will use their common sense and wear them without waiting to be told.
Posted by Jon Jon on
So not doing much then, with covid numbers high in schools why are they ignoring teachers comments on this, walk out Teachers if I were you. As for masks, while we see how this new variant works out ,masks should be in places for lateral flow tests,howmany will take them and just say yea all negative even if they receive a positive with no symptoms.
Posted by Steven Simon on
Unbelievable, so the whole of the UK is wearing masks as is Guernsey but no we are gonna wait until it’s over here then we’ll react. CAM stands for Competent Authority Ministers are you sure?
Posted by John Smith on
If you want to wear a mask wear one - leave it as choice. If you’re that worried stay at home. Learn to live with it like anything else and stop making everyone over anxious.
Posted by Sheila Young on
Many people are being made more anxious about masks not being compulsory.
Posted by Keith Marsh on
Competent Authority Ministers ~ someone is telling porkies !
Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, England & Guernsey are ALL making mask wearing mandatory in certain locations which include shops, banks, post offices etc ~ does CAM really know better ~ pull the other one.
They just need to grow some.
Posted by Private Individual on
Fauci himself has said that wearing masks does nothing to stop the spread of the virus.

Some of the people writing on here need to broaden their ill-informed narrative and look out into the bigger world. Instead of pointing the finger of discrimination at people wanting to make their own choices in life, it would be far better to engage in an informed debate about treatment programs for infected people and the best way to save lives through treatment if unfortunate enough to be infected.

Booster jabs are being forced on the population as a way of controlling the virus, this is because anyone who was vaxxed 6 months ago is now effectively un-vaxxed, which is why the virus is being caught by so many people again.

The government has responded with a well-measured response which should be applauded for once.
Posted by John Smith on
How do so many people accept the illogical approach of other jurisdictions. You have to wear a mask in a shop but not a pub or nightclub. That makes no sense. Keep it personal choice and if you're that worried stay in your bunker and fret.
Posted by Bob Boatybob on
Wearing a mask protects others and it shows a complete lack of consideration for other people not to wear one. Should be made compulsory. Also do they realise that our cases per 100000 are higher than most areas in the Uk if not the highest.
Posted by Jon Needham on
I really do not understand why masks are not mandatory. They are proven to be an effective barrier against infection and should be worn in schools and the work place in addition to retail outlets etc. It just makes sense.
Posted by Jon Needham on
I really do not understand why masks are not mandatory. They are proven to be an effective barrier against infection and should be worn in schools and the work place in addition to retail outlets etc. It just makes sense.
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