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Passengers from ‘red’ countries to face two weeks’ isolation

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PEOPLE arriving in the Island could be required to self-isolate for two weeks, even if they test negative for Covid-19, depending on which countries they have visited.

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A new ‘traffic-light’ system that categorises the risk of Covid-19 transmission in different countries has been introduced by the government and will help to determine the restrictions placed on incoming passengers.

According to a list published on the gov.je website yesterday, the UK, Isle of Man, Guernsey, all other Channel Islands, France, Madeira and Poland have all been assessed as green, or low-risk jurisdictions.

Countries assessed as amber – medium – risk include Canada, mainland Portugal and the United Arab Emirates. Meanwhile those viewed as red and high risk include the USA, Brazil, Sweden, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Those arriving from ‘green’ countries will not be required to self-isolate, unless they test positive for Covid-19, while travellers coming from ‘amber’ areas will need to self-isolate for five days, taking PCR swab tests on arrival and when the five-day quarantine ends.

Meanwhile those who have travelled from ‘red’ countries will take just one test but will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

A statement released by the government press office says: ‘Inbound passengers must disclose all countries that they visited in the 14 days prior to their arrival in Jersey.

‘Depending on country, some passengers may now be required to self-isolate for up to 14 days on their arrival in Jersey, regardless of a negative Covid-19 test result.’

It adds: ‘Countries will be categorised on a risk-assessment basis with the lists and passenger requirements published on gov.je. Passengers should be aware that the categories and requirements will be updated on a regular basis.

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‘As such, testing and self-isolation requirements may be different on arrival than at point of booking. Passengers will be subject to the requirements in force at the time of arrival in Jersey.’

A Government of Jersey spokesperson added: ‘The health and wellbeing of Islanders is our top priority and all arriving passengers must either undergo a test or self-isolate.

‘Some countries have higher rates of Covid-19 than others and so some passengers will be required to self-isolate regardless of their test result. These countries will be kept under regular review.’

The news comes as Blue Islands, which recently received a £10 million government loan, announced that it was due to reopen six regular routes, including some former Flybe services, to the Island.

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Until recently, the airline had operated as a Flybe franchise partner, enabling it to use the now-defunct airline’s branding and website.

It will begin services to Birmingham – one of Flybe’s busiest Jersey routes – from 31 August and Islanders will be able to fly to Exeter from the beginning of September.

A few months prior to its collapse, Flybe announced that it would cease flying between Jersey and East Midlands, with Blue Islands taking over the service instead.

Blue Islands has announced that this service will resume on 29 September.

Meanwhile, Bristol will be served from 3 August with three weekly flights and Blue Islands will continue its regular flights to Southampton.

The company’s chief executive, Rob Veron, said yesterday’s route announcements would not be the last.

‘We have been working really hard behind the scenes over the past few months with the aim of emerging, post-pandemic, stronger and better than ever,’ he said.

‘We look forward to serving the Channel Islands again with extensive Guernsey schedules to Jersey, Southampton and beyond, together with our services from Jersey to Bristol, Southampton and new routes Birmingham and Exeter.

‘Today is just the beginning. There will be more announcements in the coming days and weeks ahead. We are very much looking forward to welcoming our passengers on board soon.’

Ed Taylor

By Ed Taylor
Journalist

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