YOU book and pay for a dream cruise around the British Isles, you have evidence showing that you have been fully vaccinated, but half an hour after booking you get a phone call saying that your reservation has been cancelled and your payment returned.
Why? Because you are not a resident of the United Kingdom.
After consulting several cruise companies, it has become apparent that the UK government rules surrounding the kickstart of cruising in the British Isles this summer allows only people resident in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to join them. Residents of Crown Dependencies Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man are therefore effectively banned from cruising around Britain.
Not wishing to disappoint fellow Islanders who enjoy travel as much as I do, but this issue may not only be restricted to cruising. In our ‘new normal’ we need to provide clear details of residency before countries will assess our eligibility for entry and the Covid-related processes we have to follow when we get there. Having a Crown Dependency address is not helpful in this time of enhanced scrutiny.
The new world discussion (one I have already experienced) goes like this: ‘So, you are part of the UK?’
‘Well, it’s complicated.’
‘I’m terribly sorry, but we can’t assess you as you don’t have an address we recognise in our system, so unfortunately you cannot visit us.’
We are hearing more and more about vaccine passports and certificates. This may be part of the solution, but I ask all those involved in development teams to be very careful to ensure that a Crown Dependency vaccine certificate looks and feels exactly like that of a UK vaccine certificate, or I suspect it may have little use other than reducing quarantine time for residents returning to the islands. Vaccine certificates are really only useful if they can assist on both the outward and inward journey.
Can I ask our External Relations Department to work hard to sort out these travel anomalies, locally, with the UK and wider world so that at some time in the future we can all say bon voyage again?
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