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Border testing celebrates one year in service

28 May 2021

This week marks over 400,000 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests being carried out, and one-year since the border testing programme was launched for flight arrivals.

The airport testing programme began on Friday, 29 May 2020, where passengers arriving via Blue Islands 'lifeline' flights were offered PCR tests upon arrival, and further tests while they remained on Island.

At the start of the programme, results took up to 48 hours to be returned from the UK. However, as testing was brought on-Island in September 2020, the results are now processed within an average of 12 hours.

The arrivals testing programme currently has 120 staff at the Airport, Harbour and Airport drive-through. The services are looking forward to welcoming new colleagues, along with university students and others who worked last summer, as they prepare for increased travel this summer.

Clinical Lead at the Airport Arrivals Testing Centre, Allison Mills, said: "It has been a challenging but rewarding year since we first began testing arriving passengers.

"I'm so proud of the team for all their hard work and dedication. Carrying out more than 400,000 PCR tests across the whole testing service is a big achievement, and we are prepared to welcome a greater number of travellers into Jersey over the next few months.

Programme Director, Rachel Williams, said: "This anniversary, along with achieving 400,000 PCR tests, comes at the same time as the new Safer Travel arrangements.

"Our COVID response has continued to develop in the past 12 months, and I'd like to thank the team for their continued hard work, professionalism and flexibility in responding to the changing situation. Testing, along with contact tracing, vaccinations and adhering to public health measures helps to keep our Island safe."

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