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Ministers announce changes to Safer Travel Policy

10 May 2021

Following advice from Public Health, and in consultation with the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC), the Council of Ministers have agreed several changes to the Safer Travel Policy, which was reintroduced for inbound travellers last month. 

From Friday, 28 May 2021, the following changes will be made: 
  • Individual national classifications for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies 
  • Testing regime for Green arrivals will require two tests – one on Day 0 and one on Day 8. Green arrivals must still isolate until their first negative test result. The testing and isolation requirements for Amber and Red arrivals remain unchanged
  • At the earliest opportunity from 28 May, fully vaccinated passengers arriving from a green or amber area in the UK will have reduced testing and isolation requirements. Fully vaccinated arriving passengers will still be required to have a Day 0 PCR test but will not need to isolate.
  • Red, Amber and Green classifications for the rest of the world will also restart from 28 May. Jersey will align its RAG classification as closely as possible to the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre traffic light system.

The changes reflect the strong progress on vaccination in Jersey and the UK, which has allowed for fresh consideration of border risk within the Common Travel Area. The revised regional classifications are also intended to simplify travel to Jersey, providing greater certainty for travellers to the Island.  

Classifications for the UK will be reset on 28 May and retrospectively applied for 14 days. As such, to be classified as a Green arrival, travellers must have spent the previous 14 nights in Green regions based on the classification coming into effect on 28 May.

Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “Infection rates across the UK have been on a downward trend for the last couple of months, and this change to a national classification for the UK will be a welcome move for many Islanders and travellers visiting Jersey this summer. 

“The new national classification for the UK will replace our current Lower Tier Local Authority (LTLA) regional breakdown. Moving from a LTLA classification to a national classification means most areas of the UK will move to a more lenient classification. 

“Based on the current data, this would mean that England, Wales and Scotland would be classified as Green, and Northern Ireland would be classified as Amber. The classifications will continue to be reviewed and published each week.

“The decision has been made based on a number of factors, including public health risk, clarity for travellers and Islanders, and the short and long-term economic impact to the Island. The policies will enable strong connectivity with the UK over the summer. Ministers will review the position as we move through the summer months.”

Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: “Given the exceptional progress that continues to be made with the vaccine programme in both Jersey and the UK, we will be introducing a ‘green light’ status for islanders and visitors arriving from Green and Amber regions - if they have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

“It will be for those who have received both doses of an approved COVID-19 vaccine in the UK, with the second dose at least two weeks before arriving in Jersey.

“Reconnecting our Island and encouraging visitors to Jersey will not only allow families and friends to be reunited, but will also provide a much-needed boost to our hospitality industry who have faced immense challenges over the past year.”

Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “Having reviewed the risks for moving to national classification for travel, we are confident that our Safer Travel Policy, alongside other on-Island measures, including our vaccination and testing programmes, are robust.

“The success of the Vaccination Programme is testament to our shared values of keeping each other safe and allowing our community to once again thrive during reconnection.  As of last Wednesday, 43% of adults over 18-year were fully vaccinated, including Islanders who are most vulnerable and most at risk.   

“Another vital area of work which protects the Island is our expanded Testing Programme which now covers arrivals, symptomatic people, direct contacts, vital services and frontline staff, as well as community testing within businesses, schools and care homes. 

“By maintaining good practices and by taking advantage of the opportunities offered through vaccination and testing, alongside these new changes to the Safer Travel Policy, we can all look forward to an enjoyable summer, with safety at the heart of all we do. 

“Public Health will continue to collect data from arriving travellers on where they have spent the past 14 nights. This will provide surveillance for any hot spots so Ministers can apply a ‘brake’ system if needed. We will retain the ability to apply emergency reclassification of areas if we see a rise in infection rates or an outbreak that concerns us.”

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