01 July 2020
The States Assembly has today voted on the testing programme that will allow Jersey to open its borders to unrestricted travel from Friday 3 July.
From this date, the necessary travel scheme will no longer operate, and airlines and ferry companies will be free to begin providing more regular services to and from Jersey.
There will, however, be a strict process that people arriving in Jersey must follow, which involves pre-registration before travelling, followed by either swab-testing or self-isolation on arrival. Anyone who fails to pre-register can expect to face significant delays when arriving in the Island.
The Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “We brought our proposition to the Assembly with the health and wellbeing of Islanders at the forefront of our minds. Today’s debate has been an emotional one, and I understand the genuine concern among some Islanders. I want to reassure them that we have a robust system in place, which will test all arriving passengers who have opted not to self-isolate.
“We are in a very good place now, with no known active cases, and we want to protect that situation as far as possible. But we must also enable our valued hospitality businesses to get back to work, employ people and provide the services that can be enjoyed by both Islanders and visitors.”
Now that travel restrictions have been lifted, the following process must be followed from this Friday:
Before leaving for Jersey passengers must:
- Complete an online registration form, giving their personal details, plus a declaration of health, countries visited before departing, whether they have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone who is infected.
On arrival in Jersey, either:
- Provide documentary evidence of a negative PCR test, taken within 72 hours of arriving in Jersey
- Be swab-tested at the airport or harbour, then while waiting for the results you should limit the time spent away from your accommodation, limit social contact and, where possible, avoid public transport and indoor gatherings
If your test result is negative:
- You will be texted with your result and you can continue as normal, following Public Health advice
- A text messaging service will keep in touch, and you should reply to any messages
If your test is positive:
- You will receive a phone call from the Contact Tracing Team, who will trace your recent contacts and advise you on self-isolation for 14 days
If passengers wish to take part in the testing programme, they must take part in all aspects of it. Any failure to adhere to the full programme will result in a penalty fine of up to £1,000.
Ministers accepted an amendment asking that anyone entering Jersey during the Safer Travel period must engage with contact-tracers, every day, for 14 days.
An amendment asking the Council of Ministers to publish a list of countries designated safe for travel, including the prevalence of COVID-19, the reproduction (‘R’) number and the testing regime of each country, was passed by the Assembly by 41 votes to 5.
Three amendments were rejected: one asking Members to delay the change until 10 July was defeated by 29 votes to 15. Another proposing that arriving passengers should self-isolate until a negative test result was defeated by 29 votes to 18. And an amendment asking all future changes to the Safer Travel Period to be lodged at least one week before debate was also rejected by 26 votes to 22.