Sark welcomes visitors for the first time since border controls lifted

The first passenger ship to head to Sark since lockdown restrictions in March. Credit: ITV Channel

35 people made the first trip over from Guernsey to Sark this morning after border restrictions were dropped for Bailiwick residents.

Sark Shipping usually transports around 200 passengers on a summers crossing like today.

But social distancing rules mean the boats can now only carry a maximum of around 80 passengers.

For the first time in Isle of Sark Shipping's history we've had to introduce a check in procedure and allocated seating.

Yan Milner, Sark Shipping
35 people travelled over following social distancing guidelines on the journey. Credit: ITV Channel

While most travellers today were returning on the last boat tonight, businesses in Sark are determined to get as many visitors over as possible.

It's a great opportunity for Sark. We have a captive audience and I think people who would not have thought about Sark before may give us a chance.

Caragh Couldridge, Caragh's Chocolates
Volunteer gardeners have been preparing La Seigneurie Gardens for visitors. Credit: ITV Channel

Sark is an island which highly relies on its tourist season, and staff have already had to be let go at La Seigneurie Gardens.

There isn't any money in the bank and we've had to cut our staff down so we've relied on quite a number of voluntary members to come in and really work hard to get the gardens ready.

Charles Maitland, director of La Seigneurie Gardens

One of the island's biggest hotels is not quite ready to open yet, but has already been overwhelmed with the numbers of people in the Bailiwick getting in touch.

Stocks Hotel will reopen with fewer rooms available from 1 July. Credit: ITV Channel

Ever since we made the decision a week ago to reopen on July 1st we have been inundated with enquires. We've got more guests than we have got bedrooms and we'll ask them to please be patient as we're all getting used to the new way of working.

Paul Armorgie, Manager Stocks Hotel
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