Covid border testing likely to end by 1 November

BORDER testing for most arriving passengers is set to be removed by the start of November, the JEP understands.

Arrival testing has been in place since 2 July 2020
Arrival testing has been in place since 2 July 2020

A government briefing has been scheduled for tomorrow at which an update is expected about scrapping testing for passengers who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.

Arrival testing has been in place since 2 July 2020, when Jersey’s borders reopened after three months of travel restrictions during the first wave of the pandemic.

With testing regimes having recently been relaxed in several jurisdictions – including the UK and Guernsey – Jersey is expected to announce that it will follow suit.

The JEP understands that the existing testing regime is likely to remain in place until the end of the October half-term. Pupils return to school on Monday 1 November.

Jersey’s approach has remained a cautious one, acknowledging the numbers expected to travel to and from the Island over the half-term and a recent rise in cases in the UK, which reported 49,156 new cases on Monday, the highest figure since 17 July.

After the third wave of Covid infections earlier in the summer, Jersey’s tally of known active cases fell below 300 in late August and has subsequently remained relatively steady at between 160 and 320, with yesterday’s figure being 315, including four people in hospital.

Jersey’s vaccination programme has now seen 85% of over-18s given two doses of vaccine, with a further 2% of adults having been single-jabbed. In August the programme moved on to 16- and 17-year-olds, with 50% of this group now having had a single dose, and more recently to those aged 12 to 15, among whom 18% have received a single dose.

Once the anticipated changes are made to testing for those who have been fully vaccinated, border testing is likely to remain in place for those who have not received two doses of the vaccine. Under the current system, all those aged 11 and over have to undertake a PCR test on arrival at the Airport or Harbour, unless they produce evidence of a negative PCR test carried out within the past 72 hours.

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