New details on Lions Coach Guernsey visit contradicts earlier statement

Gatland enjoyed sandwiches at the rugby club, and had a meal in a private dining room with Guernsey officials at his hotel. Credit: David Davies/PA Archive/PA Images

The British and Irish Lions Head Coach, Warren Gatland had two meals with Guernsey officials on his visit at the weekend, despite earlier claims that he would remain in his hotel room for meals.

He enjoyed a selection of sandwiches at the rugby club with the Chief Minister, and he had a meal in a private dining room with Guernsey officials at his hotel.

This new information from Guernsey's government contradicts an earlier statement from the Director of Public Health, which was sent to media, detailing the arrangements which had been put in place.

This was a short visit over two days that was very tightly controlled. Measures including a post-travel test result, test on arrival, testing on each day, remaining in a hotel room with room service for meals and only leaving to visit a specific location or drive around the island in a car.

Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health, Guernsey (Statement Tuesday 6 April)

Gatland, who visited to view the island's sports facilities, was not required to isolate unlike the majority of other arrivals to Guernsey.

Part of Gatland's visit was to Footes Lane to look at the facilities for the Lions to train at in June. Credit: ITV Channel TV

Details of his trip have shown he had food at Footes Lane along with the Chief Minister, Deputy Peter Ferbrache and the Director of Public Health, Dr Nicola Brink. He is said to have been served a selection of sandwiches and "met with a small number of people in a large room, socially distanced.

While room service was the primary mechanism for meals during his stay, during one meeting at the club a selection of sandwiches were served as Mr Gatland met with a small number of people in a large room, socially distanced with hand sanitiser available.

States of Guernsey

On a separate occasion he had another meal alongside a small group of people "in a private dining room at the hotel" where he was staying

A further single meal was allowed to take place in a private dining room at the hotel where Mr Gatland was staying. This was for a small number of guests, including local sport representatives and the States Chief Executive to further discuss logistics of how a potential Lions visit could work.

States of Guernsey

His exemption to isolation rules has sparked controversy in the island, but the States of Guernsey says self-isolation requirements vary on an individual basis. They say that 50 such instances have been approved in the last two weeks on compassionate grounds.

Gatland is often tested for coronavirus due to his role and he had received negative tests after having the group meals. Credit: ITV News

The States says Gatland is often tested for coronavirus due to his role and he had received negative tests after having the group meals, " indicating no risk of infection to people" around him.

While there is no guarantee that the British Lions will visit the island in June, facilitating the visit in this manner was considered essential to give that opportunity a chance of coming to fruition.

States of Guernsey

The British and Irish Lions are still considering using the island as a training camp in mid June.