While those vaccinated with the UK, Ireland and the Crown Dependencies – the Common Travel Area – will, from Tuesday, have greater freedoms on arrival if they have been ‘double-jabbed’ at least two weeks earlier, there will also be a significant widening of restrictive measures for those coming from areas of the UK worst affected by the virus.
With effect from Sunday morning, the whole of Scotland will be classed as red, while 28 more districts in England will be subject to Jersey’s emergency brake, taking the total of affected districts in England to 54.
Changes to Jersey’s Safer Travel Policy were announced the day after the government confirmed that some freedoms due to take effect on 14 June were to be delayed by at least a week, causing further frustration for the hospitality industry.
Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham said: ‘When making decisions about our Safer Travel Policy, ministers try to balance the need to maintain connectivity with the UK with managing the risk to public health.
‘While there has been a slight uptick in known active cases in Jersey, we know that the people who are testing positive are, in general, younger and therefore less likely to become seriously ill with the virus. The vaccine is working to protect the more vulnerable.’
The government is seeking to maintain the Island’s travel links as much as possible in the belief that being fully vaccinated provides high levels of protection, even in the face of the more transmissible Delta variant that is now dominant in the UK.
From Tuesday, anyone fully vaccinated, who is arriving from a red region, will be tested on arrival in Jersey and will only need to isolate until they receive a negative result from this test. They will also have to attend a follow-up test on day eight.
From the same date, there will no longer be an amber category for the UK nations, with all areas not covered by the emergency brake treated as green. For those who are fully vaccinated, this means one test on arrival but no isolation requirement, while those yet to be fully vaccinated will have tests on days zero and eight, with mandatory isolation until a negative result from the first test is received. Amber regions will still be in place internationally.
Different arrangements will continue to apply to under-18s, with those arriving from red areas subject to the most restrictions: a ten-day isolation period and three tests. Children arriving from other areas will need to isolate until they receive a negative result from their test on arrival, with a follow-up test on day eight.
A government spokesperson said: 'If you are fully vaccinated within the Common Travel Area returning from any red region internationally, then you will be given green light status on arrive into Jersey.'
Senator Farnham said ministers believed that moving to green and red areas, without the amber rating, would make the system simpler and clearer without posing undue risk for Islanders.
‘Bearing in mind the efficient testing and contact-tracing processes in operation here, we believe these changes are proportionate and will maintain connectivity while also protecting Islanders,’ he said.