St Helier Deputy Inna Gardiner, a member of The Safer Travel Guidelines Review Panel, said the panel welcomed the government’s decision to highlight 15 areas of concern across England and Scotland which have seen rising Covid cases as a result of the Indian variant.
As part of changes to the Island’s safer travel policy which came into force on Friday, England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will be classed as single regions, rather than broken down at local authority and lower tier levels as they have been previously.
England and Wales are broadly green, meaning arrivals will only have to isolate until their day zero test result.
However, 15 areas have been re-classified as red, comprising of ten in England and five in Scotland. These are mostly areas in the north of England, such as Bolton, and the Scottish central belt, including Glasgow.
Red arrivals need to isolate for ten days and take three tests.
Deputy Gardiner said the Indian variant had been raised as a ‘significant concern’ by the review panel.
‘We welcome the emergency brake, it is the right balance between allowing people to travel while citing particular areas of concern and protecting the Island from the Indian Covid variant,’ she said.
As part of the brake, the government has said there will be 48 hours notice for any other areas which move to red. These areas will remain red for a minimum of 14 days.
Deputy Gardiner added: ‘It is important that the situation is consistently monitored by the government and changes are made quickly in response to any rise in cases in a particular area.
‘There will be lots of people coming in and out of the Island throughout the [half term] week and I just hope we have the system in place to deal with any increase in cases,’ she said.