31 August 2018
The Chief Minister wishes to confirm the validity of the Attestation certificate, which provides British citizens living in Jersey with some subsidised health treatment while on holiday in France. The certificate has been properly issued to all British citizens living in Jersey, since its inception in 1980.
The 1956 Convention on Social Security between the United Kingdom and France applies to Jersey and is implemented by virtue of the Social Security (Reciprocal Agreement with France) (Jersey) Act 1980. The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all British citizens living in Jersey are provided with a certain level of emergency treatment free of charge while staying in France for under three months.
The Convention applies to all those defined as “citizens of the United Kingdom and Colonies”, and United Kingdom citizenship includes all British citizens in Jersey.
The term ‘Channel Islanders’ refers to the minority of Jersey residents who were born in Jersey, have non-UK-born parents and grandparents, and who have not lived in the UK for more than five years. This section of the population was referred to in the 1980 agreement to make clear that such ‘Channel Islanders’ would have the same rights as other British citizens.
When the 1956 Convention and the 1980 Act are considered together, they apply to all British citizens living in Jersey, whether they enjoy that right through EU freedom of movement, or under the 1980 Act.
Senator John Le Fondré said: “Now that we have established the facts of the matter it is clear that we can continue to issue valid Attestations to all British citizens living in Jersey. I am disappointed that a number of articles have been published that have created unfounded concerns among islanders who may rely on this reciprocal agreement, especially when we are working hard to manage anticipated changes as a result of Brexit.
“This issue demonstrates the importance of having the proper information before making comments that create unnecessary worry. This government takes action based on evidence, and the clear evidence is that the Attestation system has been working properly for 38 years.”
It is important that islanders understand the limitations of the Attestation. Travellers are always advised to take out travel insurance as the Attestation certificate only covers 80% of emergency inpatient care for people visiting France for less than three months.
It does not cover the remaining 20% of emergency inpatient care, or any costs incurred from accident and emergency, outpatients, non-emergency inpatient care, doctors’ visits, ambulance costs, travel back to Jersey, repatriation or the costs for people staying in France for more than three months.