On Friday 21 June Guernsey’s government set out its planned changes to travel, which it expects to introduce on or close to July 1st. This is based on the current progress being made with the Islands’ vaccination programme which, like the UK, is progressing quickly. Guernsey expects to have all of its adult population vaccinated with at least one dose, and the most vulnerable with two doses, by this date.
The Islands will then move to a ‘traffic light’ system for travel rules which closely aligns to the UK’s own rules. Those who are travelling via the UK to Guernsey from other destinations around the world will need to check if they are coming from Green, Amber, or Red countries to determine what the requirements are for entry into Guernsey. It is important that travellers check the Green, Amber or Red testing and self-isolation requirements on gov.gg/coronavirus as these may, at times differ slightly from the UK.
But for visitors whose country of origin is the UK, or elsewhere within the Common Travel Area, there will be no testing or self-isolation requirement when they arrive in Guernsey. This includes UK visitors who have not had a COVID-19 vaccine.
All visitors will still be asked to provide details of their travel history in the 14 days prior to visiting Guernsey through the Islands’ Travel Tracker which can be found by visiting Travelling to and from the Bailiwick | States of Guernsey – COVID-19 (gov.gg).
The move to unrestricted travel for UK visitors, and fewer restrictions for those visiting from many other countries, reflects the changing focus for the Islands’ community which is now able to make its successful vaccination programme the first line of defence, and to take the next steps in learning to live responsibly with COVID-19.
Chief Minister of Guernsey, Deputy Peter Ferbrache said
“Islanders have worked together fantastically since our first COVID case in spring 2020, and thanks to them we have avoided some of the worst effects of the pandemic compared with many other parts of the world. But it’s still been challenging, and one of the hardest parts is how we have had to restrict travel meaning many Island residents have been separated from family and friends, and we have not been able to welcome the many visitors who normally come to our shores for holidays and business each year. It’s a part of Island life that’s been on hold, but finally we’re near the point we can un-pause and reconnect with the rest of the British Isles and the rest of the world.”
The Islands are home to a busy and diverse tourism industry with a wide range of hotels and accommodation providers, attractions, guides, restaurants and visitor-focused events. Since the beginning of the pandemic they have been supported by the local community through a successful staycation campaign and a busy food-and-drink trade, as Guernsey has been COVID-free for most of the past 18 months. For most of that period there have been no restrictions on the local community (no social distancing, no face coverings, no limits on business activity etc) because of the border restrictions which have carefully controlled incoming travel and the importation of COVID cases.
But despite the local support, tourism businesses have relied upon emergency funding from the Guernsey government to sustain them through this difficult period, and the sector is now bursting to begin welcoming visitors again and showing off their fantastic Island home.
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