29 May 2020
The Government is introducing a trial programme of testing passengers for COVID-19 as they arrive at Jersey Airport.
This programme will begin on Monday 1 June for passengers arriving on the Blue Islands ‘lifeline’ flights, who will be given the option to take part in the trial. From today (Friday 29 May) the new process will be trialled on arriving passengers.
During the trial, passengers will have the option of being tested for COVID-19 when they arrive at the airport. They would then be tested for COVID-19 tests again on subsequent days while they remain in Jersey. Passengers who choose not to participate in the trial will be required to self-isolate for 14 days, as per the current guidance.
Participating passengers will receive an initial swab (polymerase chain reaction or ‘PCR’ test) to determine whether they are currently displaying the virus. They will then need to self-isolate until receiving the first test result (within 48 hours).
Passengers whose first PCR test is negative will then receive written permission not to self-isolate. However, that permission will be of limited duration and will be conditional on completing the full testing programme.
Passengers who test positive for the PCR test at any stage during the process will be required to self-isolate.
The next stage in the testing programme will be a finger-prick dual blood test, clinically called a serology test, to be taken on the fourth day after arriving in Jersey.
Passengers may then be required to take up two additional PCR tests on the fourth and seventh days after arriving. The combination of a series of PCR tests, plus a serology test, is a robust approach to border testing, as advised by Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC).
The trial does not alter existing restrictions on travel to and from Jersey. Pre-authorisation will still be needed for all forms of transport and will only be granted to those who meet the necessary travel criteria. Prior authorisation must be received from Jersey Customs and Immigration Service (JCIS) before booking flights with Blue Islands. Applications for travel authorisation can be made online.
All passengers with pre-existing Blue Islands bookings will be contacted by JCIS, before departure, to explain how the trial works and to ask passengers if they wish to participate. Those making new bookings will have the option to be included in the trial when applying for their pre-travel authorisation.