08 July 2021
Ministers announce updates to Safer Travel Policy
Ministers have agreed updates to the Safer Travel Policy to better align to recent policy changes to isolation requirements for direct contacts, protection afforded to Islanders by our levels of vaccination and the current low rate of severe illness and hospitalisation.
From Tuesday 13 July at 00:01, the following changes to the Safer Travel Policy will come into effect:
- countries and regions will no longer be assessed based on a green, amber or red traffic light system
- testing and isolation requirements will be based on passenger vaccination status
- passengers who are fully vaccinated will only be required to have one test on arrival and will not be required to isolate
- passengers who are not fully vaccinated will be required to be tested upon arrival (day 0) and on day 8, and will need to isolate until their first negative test result
- children aged 11-17 will be required to be tested upon arrival (day 0) and on day 8, and will need to isolate until their first negative test result
- children aged 10 and under will not be required to complete a pre-departure registration form, undergo testing on arrival or be required to isolate
- enhanced testing and isolation will remain for the very small number of passengers who have visited very high-risk countries (those subject to the UK Government International restricted list) in the 10 days prior to arrival, regardless of vaccination status
- all passengers travelling to Jersey aged 11 years and over will still be required to complete a pre-departure registration form 48 hours before travelling
- passengers who do not wish to participate in the testing programme will be required to isolate for 14 days.
The current travel classifications that were issued on Thursday, 1 July will remain in place until Tuesday, 13 July at 00:01.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: "These further developments to our Safer Travel Policy are in line with the recent changes Ministers made to the reduced isolation requirements for direct contacts in the context of Jersey's vaccination coverage. As our vaccination coverage continues to grow, it's important we ensure that all our policies are reflective of the progress. With increased protection comes increased freedoms for Islanders and a simplification of the policy. As such, the new Safer Travel Policy means that travelling to Jersey will no longer be based on the complexities of where a passenger has travelled from, but a binary approach based on their vaccination status.
"We have an extremely low positivity rate through our borders with only 0.4% test positivity identified through inbound tests last week. We therefore know that the Safer Travel Policy has not exacerbated the level of transmission that we are seeing on-Island. Under our COVID Status Certification scheme, an increased number of passengers arriving in Jersey have been fully vaccinated, which also presents a much lower risk.
"As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic response, we need to ensure that we're balancing the ever-changing risk of the virus with the controls and restrictions that were imposed on Islanders at a time when the risk of severe illness and hospitalisation was greater.
"Ministers have acknowledged case rates will rise in the coming weeks, but we must reframe our thinking and look to vaccination coverage and the low rates of severe illness and hospitalisation. Our vaccination coverage continues to grow week on week and Ministers will keep monitoring our current policies in the context of this increased protection. It's essential that we ensure we're making appropriate and proportionate decisions that are relevant to our changing position."
Minister for Economic Development, Tourism, Sport and Culture, Senator Lyndon Farnham, said: "The updates to our Safer Travel Policy will be welcome news for many Islanders and visitors to Jersey this summer and is a logical extension to the route we are taking in the context of increased vaccination coverage. I am particularly pleased the new policy will enable younger age groups, who are eligible for vaccination, to travel on equal terms.
"It became apparent last weekend that the many thousands of people in isolation due to being identified as a direct contact was tipping the balance of harms for Islanders, businesses and schools. It is therefore important that we keep our policies proportionate and in line with our strong vaccination programme to ensure we're affording Islanders appropriate freedoms.
"I know that many Islanders are keen to travel this summer, and to be reunited with family and friends. I also hope the updates will be welcome news to our travel and hospitality sector, who have been heavily impacted by the recent restrictions. Other than for a very small number of people who may have travelled from a high-risk country on the UK Government International restricted list, the simplification to the policy means passengers arriving in Jersey will not need to worry about the country or region where they have stayed in the 10 days prior to travel."
Public Health are setting out the full guidance for Islanders and businesses to advise on the updated policies. This will be available on the
Government of Jersey website.