Travel restriction review following Brittany Covid-19 spike

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And the review comes as concerns have been raised that some foreign-registered vessels, including from France, could be landing in Jersey and at the Ecréhous without following correct Covid-19 procedures.

Honorary police officers have been carrying out regular patrols of the Island’s outlying harbours in an effort to ensure the rules are being followed (Full story in today’s JEP).

The government has also confirmed that day trips to the Island are permitted under the current travel policy, with arrivals for short stays warned their test results may not be ready before they leave. Like all travellers, they are advised to limit social contact while awaiting test results.

France remains designated as a ‘green status’ country under the government’s travel history policy, meaning that incoming passengers are tested for Coronavirus but are not required to self-isolate, unlike arrivals from ‘amber’ or ‘red’ jurisdictions.

But over the weekend it emerged that the ‘R’ rate for Brittany, which is home to the port of St Malo, had increased to 2.62 from 0.92 in just five days, meaning infection is now spreading more quickly and at levels considered to be dangerous.

A rise in the number of cases in the region by 123 was announced on 17 July. Brittany, a tourism hotspot at this time of year, was one of the less affected regions of France during the height of the outbreak between March and May.

France has made the wearing of face masks compulsory in all enclosed public spaces due to a fresh bout of Covid-19 cases across the nation, particularly in the west and south.

A Government of Jersey spokesperson said: ‘The Government of Jersey is reviewing the new infection rates for Covid-19 in Brittany following the region’s latest health bulletin.

‘There have been 123 new cases in the region since 15 July and this has resulted in a rise in its R rate. We continue to test all passengers arriving in Jersey, and track and trace the contacts of those who test positive for Covid-19.’

Condor Ferries declined to comment on the situation. A spokesman said: ‘It is [a matter] for the States who control the borders and testing, not for us – we are just the transport operator.’

Jersey announced a ‘traffic light system’ policy for incoming passengers shortly after it reopened its borders on 3 July, under which all arrivals declare each country they have visited in the last 14 days.

Arrivals who have visited green countries, like the UK, Poland and Madeira, have no self-isolation requirements but must take a PCR swab test on arrival in the Island.

Travellers who have come from ‘amber’ jurisdictions, such as mainland Portugal, have to self-isolate for five days after which a second PCR swab test must be taken.

Meanwhile, recent travel to red countries, such as the USA, Sweden and South Africa, requires two weeks’ mandatory self-isolation for arriving passengers.

Spain, with which the Island also has direct travel links, also remains ‘green’, despite a surge in cases which has seen its second city Barcelona forced back into lockdown.

Direct flights are currently operating between Jersey and the Spanish island of Majorca.

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