The Health and Social Services Minister is proposing that from Tuesday 13th October all passengers arriving from a region or country classified as green will be required to self-isolate until they receive a negative Covid-19 test result. This proposal will be considered by the States Assembly tomorrow.
The intention to introduce this new safeguard was announced by the Minister for Health and Social Services, Deputy Richard Renouf, on 24 September when new regional classifications were introduced for England. At that time Deputy Renouf said that once the turnaround times for test results were provided within an average of 12 hours, anyone arriving from green regions would need to self-isolate until they receive a Day 0 negative result.
From Monday 12 October, for the first time, all samples taken from arriving passengers will be analysed by the on-island lab and results provided within an average of 12 hours. This significant increase in on-island testing capacity will have been reached less than three weeks from the original announcement. A mandatory second test at Day 5 for arrivals from green regions and countries has already been implemented.
Deputy Renouf said: “Throughout this pandemic, we have adopted a clear and consistent ‘suppress, contain and shield’ strategy, aiming to keep the virus at very low levels, protect the health of Islanders and to adopt proportionate approaches which cause the least overall harm.
“Our Safer Travel Policy has been in place since 3rd July and, to date, has led to the safe resumption of commercial travel to and from Jersey. We have amended the policy, as required, to protect our Island and keep the community as open as is safely possible.
“We haven’t hesitated to make changes to the red, amber and green classifications in response to external Covid developments. This has helped us to maintain Jersey’s good position which Islanders have worked so hard to achieve together.
“The new requirement to isolate until a Day 0 negative test will help to maintain the confidence of Islanders and other travellers in Jersey’s rapid testing capacity, while also minimising any inconvenience. We have made this change as soon as practicably possible, once the on-island lab is able to analyse the swabs of all arriving passengers and provide results within an average of 12 hours. Announcing this now will give time for passengers, carriers, and ports to prepare for the change.”
Until the new requirement is in place, arriving passengers should follow the Safer Jersey Travel Advice while waiting for their test result, by limiting the time they spend away from their residence and avoiding social contact. They are also encouraged to avoid public transport, indoor gatherings, bars and restaurants for this short period.
Deputy Renouf added: “The numbers of positive cases of Covid arriving at Jersey’s ports are still low. However, we will need to remain vigilant as case rates rise across the UK and elsewhere. This new requirement for a short period of self-isolation for arrivals from green areas will help us manage the low risk of infection from people arriving in the Island.
“Thank you once again to Islanders for abiding by our guidance and ensuring we keep our Island safe.”
The requirement to self-isolate until the Day 0 test result will be effective from Tuesday 13 October. Until then, those waiting for their test result are required to:
- Limit time away from the home or from their accommodation
- Limit social contact with others
- Adhere to one metre physical distancing
- Avoid public transport, where possible
- Avoid indoor gatherings, including bars and restaurants, where possible
- Follow good hand and respiratory hygiene and remain vigilant for any known symptoms
Government of Jersey News Release.