Arrivals into Guernsey to be tested for Covid-19

Passengers arriving into the island will be able to leave self-isolation after a week if they test negative for coronavirus. Credit: ITV Channel TV

A coronavirus testing scheme for people arriving into Guernsey will be trialled in July.

Between Sunday 5 and Friday 10 July, passengers will still be required to self-isolate for the mandatory 14-day period but will be able to leave quarantine if they test negative on the seventh day.

However, they will be asked to limit their contact as much as possible with others, such as avoiding eating in restaurants, until the 14-day period is over.

During this time, they will also be subject to 'passive surveillance' and asked to report any symptoms, regardless of how mild. Anyone who reports symptoms will be tested again.

The number of arrivals will also be capped at 1,376, and passengers will have to arrive on specific services from Aurigny and Condor Ferries to be eligible for the scheme.

Those travelling through Guernsey to reach Alderney and Sark will not be able to take part.

Guernsey's Chief Minister Deputy Gavin St Pier says the island must continue its "cautious, conservative approach", and that no further decisions would be made about progress to phase six of lockdown until the pilot has finished.

Condor says it will run two sailings between Poole and Guernsey at the beginning of July. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Following the announcement, Condor says it will run two sailings between Poole and Guernsey at the beginning of July.

Services will include a reduced number of passengers, with a ship that would usually carry 850 people carrying just 250 to allow for social distancing under States advice. The measures will remain in place throughout check-in, boarding and travel.

Passengers will have to wear face coverings and check-in times will be extended.

The sailings will run as follows:

  • Sunday 5 July: Poole to Guernsey, 11am-2pm, departing Guernsey at 3:30pm and arriving back into Poole at 6:30pm.

  • Wednesday 8 July: Liberation will depart from Poole at 8:30am, arriving in St Peter Port at 11.30am before returning at 1pm and reaching Poole at 4pm.

The company says these initial dates will allow them to test safety procedures, as well as tying in with the States' testing pilot.

It says a permanent restart to sailings would need quarantine and travel restrictions to be eased further.

Aurigny has also announced it will add additional services.

Aurigny will run more services to and from Alderney. Credit: ITV Channel TV

During the week of the testing pilot, the airline will operate an additional flight from Guernsey at 4:15pm and returning from Southampton at 5:30pm.

It will run on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday during the week beginning Monday 6 July.

Chief Executive Mark Darby says the 14-day quarantine period has been a 'real barrier' but hopes the pilot can be a positive step towards more regular services.

The States says discussions are also continuing with the Isle of Man about an 'air bridge', which would allow people from the Bailiwick to travel to and from the island without the need for quarantine.