10 November 2020
Assistant Education Minister, Deputy Jeremy Maçon, has issued the following statement:
“I continue to take very seriously the questions and concerns students studying overseas and their families have about travelling back to the Island for Christmas. I would like to express my sympathy to all families for any anxiety which these uncertainties are causing.
“My department recently launched a survey to reach out to all Jersey students studying overseas to understand their intentions regarding travelling home for the festive period. This survey closed yesterday and we will use this information to inform our planning.
“Officers from my department form part of a ‘Travel Cell’ established to monitor closely the dynamic picture of Jersey’s connectivity as a second wave of the pandemic takes hold in the UK and across Europe. The Cell is meeting again this week and I hope to be able to advise you of an agreed plan by the end of the week. Contingency arrangements are also being worked up by the Government of Jersey for students who cannot self isolate at home. We are aware that some of the returning students may not be able to do this safely and the matter is being reviewed and the situation closely monitored.
“Discussions are also due to take place at the Competent Authority Board, on Wednesday, and this group of Ministers will be reviewing all the options available and steering the plan.”
At present Jersey still benefits from commercial travel options and capacity to and from the UK. However, the situation is subject to change, and the cross-government Travel Cell provides recommendations to Ministers across government on options for maintaining essential connectivity if commercial travel options diminish or cease altogether, as was the case earlier this year.
The lifeline contract with Blue Islands arranged by government earlier this year remains in place, which will ensure we retain air links if commercial air travel is not viable for a period.
As in March the Department will continue to assist individuals on a case by case basis as and when is needed.
The Department continues to engage with students who are registered with student finance.