Ministers announce updates to the Safer Travel Policy and Jersey’s Reconnection Roadmap
Competent Authority Ministers have agreed to update the Safer Travel Policy and Stage 7 of Jersey’s Reconnection Roadmap. The updates follow advice from Public Health, and have been agreed in consultation with the Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC), in view of rising case rates of the Delta variant in the UK.
The following changes will come into effect for passengers arriving in Jersey:
- From Tuesday 29 June at 00:01, England as a nation will be reclassified as Red due to rising COVID-19 case rates. Until this time, England remains Green with emergency brakes in place.
- Additional emergency brakes will be issued for UK nations today to come into effect on Tuesday 22 June at 00:01. No further updates will be made before Tuesday 29 June. All existing emergency brake areas will remain in place until Tuesday 29 June at 00:01 when the emergency brake system will not currently be required with England being Red.
- From Tuesday 22 June at 00:01, children under the age of 18 will be classed as Green arrivals, regardless of their parents’ vaccination status or their 14-day travel history.
- Children aged 11 to 17 years old will be required to complete a pre-departure travel form and undertake a PCR test upon arrival (day 0) and on day 8, and must isolate until they receive a first negative test result. Children aged 10 or under will not be required to complete a pre-departure travel form or undergo testing.
The following areas of the policy remain unchanged:
For UK travel history:
- International classifications for the rest of the world will remain aligned to the UK Joint Biosecurity Centre traffic light system, except for countries where Jersey has direct connectivity. This means Green, Amber and Red classifications will continue to apply for international travel.
- National classifications for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, and the Crown Dependencies remain.
- UK nations will only be classified as Green or Red.
For UK and international travel history:
- Fully vaccinated (within the Common Travel Area) passengers arriving from any Red area can enter Jersey as a Green arrival under the COVID Status Certification scheme. This means a test on day 0 (arrival), with isolation until a first negative result, and a further test on day 8.
- Fully vaccinated (within the Common Travel Area) passengers arriving from any Green or Amber area can enter Jersey as a Green Light arrival, meaning a test on day 0 with no isolation.
- The testing and isolation requirements for unvaccinated passengers, those who are partially vaccinated and those fully vaccinated outside of the Common Travel Area, from Green, Amber and Red regions remain unchanged.
- A person is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after both vaccinations.
To qualify as a Green arrival, all travellers must have spent the previous 14 nights in a Green area. Based on current data, national classifications implemented for the UK on Tuesday 29 June, will see:
- England and Scotland classified as Red.
- Northern Ireland and Wales classified as Green.
49 additional emergency brakes have been agreed for areas of the UK where a rise in infection rate or an outbreak of COVID has been identified. The additional emergency brakes will come into effect on Tuesday, 22 June at 00:01 and will remain in place until Tuesday 29 June at 00:01.
All existing emergency brakes have been reviewed and will remain in place until Tuesday 29 June at 00:01 which brings the total to 103.
Stage 7 Reconnection Roadmap
Ministers have also agreed to delay Jersey’s Reconnection Roadmap for a further two weeks until Monday 5 July at the earliest. Until that time, nightclubs will remain closed, except when operating as food and drink premises, stand-up drinking cannot resume and a maximum limit of 20 people in homes and gardens remains in place, except for weddings.
Ministers will continue to review the position considering Jersey’s vaccination rate and active COVID-19 cases. Ministers will announce any revised guidance on Thursday 1 July.
Chief Minister, Senator John Le Fondré, said: “Our Safer Travel Policy continues to try to balance the need of connectivity to the Island and managing public health risk. The changes Ministers are implementing to the policy come as cases of the Delta variant in the UK continue to rise. Scotland has already passed the Red threshold and currently has a 14-day infection rate of more than 200. England has now also passed the Red threshold, with a 14-day infection rate of over 130.
“I understand the challenges that a Red classification for England may bring to many who were planning to travel to the Island over the coming weeks, but we must continue to assess the infection rates and take the necessary action to ensure Jersey remains a safe place to live and to visit.
“The UK and Jersey have now achieved almost 60% of full vaccination among over 18 year olds, and those vaccination rates continue to rise week-on-week both locally and nationally. We are very fortunate to be part of the UK’s vaccination roll-out and our rates are on par with the four nations and our sister Island in Guernsey. Our vaccination appointments are now open to all Islanders over the age of 18, and this week all appointments have been fully booked, which demonstrates a promising uptake among our younger Islanders.
“Each week we are fully vaccinating more and more Islanders, and, under our COVID Status Certification scheme, fully vaccinated passengers travelling to Jersey this summer are able to take advantage of reduced testing and isolation requirements, even if travelling from a Red area. My fellow Competent Authority Ministers are also pleased to be able to extend this policy variation to children and young people under the age of 18. This means families travelling to and from Jersey this summer, where both parents have been fully vaccinated within the Common Travel Area, will be able to travel to and from the Island with ease.
“England’s Red classification will be implemented from Tuesday 29 June to ensure returning Islanders and visitors to Jersey have time to make relevant revisions to their travel plans. Jersey’s main sources of travel connectivity are with England, and Ministers have taken this into account when allowing for the extended timeframe. Ministers have listened to the recent feedback from passengers and businesses, and we feel that this will minimise disruption, providing adequate time for arrangements to be made, while continuing to balance the risk of England’s increasing infection rates.
“I’d like to remind Islanders returning to Jersey via the UK from a country listed on the UK Government's Red list that they will be required to isolate in the UK on arrival, regardless of their vaccination status, and will not be able to immediately return to Jersey. This will mean entering Managed Quarantine at their own cost.
“We have an excellent testing and contact tracing system in place in the Island, which will continue to support quick identification of any cases for inbound passengers as we maintain connectivity while also protecting Islanders.”
Travellers still need to declare their 14-day travel history when completing their pre-departure forms, and all arriving passengers are advised to check the up-to-date classifications of where they have stayed in the past 14 nights. The testing and isolation requirements will be based on the highest classification of all the places a passenger stayed during that period.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, said: “As case rates increase in the UK and with more cases on-Island, it is prudent that we continue to monitor our position locally and not rush the final stages of our Reconnection. All the remaining components to Stage 7 pose a significant risk to the spread of COVID, and we must only continue once we know that risk has reduced. The situation will be monitored closely by our Public Health team and scientific experts, and Ministers will announce any update on Thursday 1 July.
“Vaccination remains one of the best interventions we have to overcome the virus and enable full reconnection. Our programme is now open to all Islanders over the age of 18. If you have not yet booked for your vaccination appointment, I urge you to do so.”