19 March 2021
Thank you, Chief Minister.
As you have said, our Safer Travel Policy will be reintroduced on Monday 26th April, two weeks after Stage 5 of the Reconnection Strategy begins.
This continues our phased approach of introducing reconnection measures gradually, and allowing suitable time to assess their impact on the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
From the 26th April we will be permitting travel to and from the United Kingdom and other Crown Dependencies only, and will be using the Red, Amber and Green ratings from our Safer Travel Policy which was put in place in July last year.
All other countries, including Ireland and mainland Europe will remain under the Red designation requiring 10 days isolation.
For the UK and Crown Dependencies, travellers arriving in Jersey from April 26th will have to provide their travel history in advance, through our online portal, and undertake PCR tests on arrival and on day 5 and day 10 following arrival.
Those entering the Island from Green countries and regions will be required to isolate only until they have a negative result from their arrival test.
Those arriving from Amber zones will have to isolate until they have received a Day 5 negative test result.
And those arriving from Red zones will need to isolate until they have a Day 10 negative test result.
Anyone who receives a positive test result will, of course, have to isolate for 14 days, in line with Public Health guidance.
The United Kingdom will continue to be broken down by local regions for Red, Amber and Green ratings, which will be kept under weekly review.
Travellers must check the rating of their starting location, so they know in advance how long they will be required to isolate after arriving in Jersey.
The Red, Amber and Green classifications will be reintroduced for travel to Jersey from all other destinations, including Ireland, mainland Europe and the rest of the world from Monday 17 May, which is when the United Kingdom also reintroduces international travel.
Not only does the reintroduction of our Safer Travel Policy allow visitors to enjoy our Island again – bringing much needed life to our Island hotels and restaurants – it also provides Islanders a welcome opportunity to travel again.
So many of us have felt isolated during the Pandemic, even with our friends and family around us.
Many of us know that that one of the joys of living on an Island is the ability to escape it, even for a few days.
I believe that this announcement will bring welcome news to those who have been wanting to see family and friends overseas, and to travel again for their own wellbeing.
Equally I hope that this announcement will give confidence to our much-valued hospitality industry, which has suffered significantly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Officials are in close communication with representatives of our transport providers and our travel operators, and I give them my sincere commitment to continue working with them as they navigate the process of the safe reopening of our island.
This commitment includes looking at the local restrictions we currently have on businesses here in the Island.
I have always maintained that we must open up our local economy as much as we safely can before easing our border restrictions.
Compliance across the local economy has been excellent and we see this through our very consistently low number of cases in the community.
Ministers have therefore asked STAC for updated advice following their meeting this coming Monday to see if we can relax these further.
If we continue to work together, I'm certain that we can get the internal economy back to normal sooner rather than later and with more and more islanders being vaccinated and with our most vulnerable islanders being vaccinated with both doses, we will be keeping a close eye on which metrics are the best signs of success in our battle against COVID-19 and we will use this progress to return to normality as soon as possible.
In finishing I would like to take this opportunity to remind islanders that our economic support measures remain in place and under constant review to ensure we are providing the necessary support to continue to protect businesses, jobs and livelihoods throughout the duration of the pandemic.
Many of the existing schemes are currently guaranteed until the end of April and I would like to reassure islanders that there will be no cliff-edge end to these measures.
Ministers met this morning to discuss how these would be extended and we will be making an announcement at the end of this month to provide the final details.
I'll now hand over to Dr Adrian Noon who will provide a short update on the ongoing work and progress of the Vaccination Programme.