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Deputy Chief Minister's Speech on the COVID-19 Winter Strategy

21 October 2021

I would now like to provide some important updates on our Safer Travel policy.

Our safer travel measures are an important safeguard to public health while maintaining the essential connectivity the island needs to support our social and economic wellbeing.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, our Safer Travel Policy has remained under constant review in order to ensure it always reflects the changing circumstances, emerging evidence and the reducing levels of risk.

The changes we are proposing today – that affect arrivals to Jersey - are based upon the mitigations we have in place, including our excellent vaccination (and booster) coverage, which is providing additional protection against the virus.

From Tuesday 2 November – that's immediately after half term – we will be easing testing requirements for passengers arriving in Jersey who meet the COVID Status Certification criteria – this means people who are fully vaccinated.

To be clear, anyone entering Jersey who is fully vaccinated – which is around 80% of arrivals - will no longer need to take a PCR test on arrival and will not be required to isolate.

Passengers who can show evidence of recovering from COVID-19 in the last 90 days will also not need to be tested or isolate.

However, any arriving passengers who are NOT fully vaccinated will still be required to have a PCR test on arrival and isolate until their result.

Travellers who have only received one dose of the vaccine, including young people aged 11-17, will require a PCR test upon arrival.

Those who have visited a UK Red List country in the preceding 10 days will still need to be tested on arrival and at days 5 and 10 - and isolate for 10 days.

We will maintain the option for unvaccinated passengers to undertake a PCR test within 72 hours of departure, which means they will not need to be tested or isolate on arrival in Jersey, subject to a negative result.

 From 2nd November there will be a simpler pre-departure registration form which will ensure a quicker arrivals process for all passengers.

It remains important for all passengers, whatever their vaccination status, to complete the pre-departure registration form within the 48 hours before their arrival in Jersey.

This is an especially important reminder that will help avoid delays as we enter half-term and the ports will be busier than usual at this time.

This is a gradual, risk-assessed, step-down approach which draws on what we know about the virus now and the protection afforded by vaccination.

Every passenger entering Jersey will need to meet safety criteria which provides a level of protection – whether that's vaccination, recent recovery, pre-departure test or testing on arrival.

 As always throughout COVID, we will carefully monitor the impact of these changes, and amend our approach accordingly if necessary.

 In addition, for Islanders travelling abroad to those countries that require a form of vaccination passport, we launched the Digital COVID Status Certification scheme. You will have seen from the news that we had to close the website that allowed Islanders to sign up. This is only a temporary measure and we're working on getting it fixed. It was not a hack, and if you have already signed up and got your certificate, your data is secure.

The scheme has been set up to allow Islanders travelling abroad to show digital evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination in the form of a QR code.

The codes are currently for use within UK domestic certification schemes and France's Pass Sanitaire scheme, however, working with the UK Government, we will very soon be joining the EU Digital COVID Certificate Gateway, which will mean that Jersey's QR codes can be used for travel in Europe and beyond.

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