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Business tunnels to launch on 28 July

Business tunnels to launch on 28 July

Tuesday 21 July 2020

Business tunnels to launch on 28 July

The States have released guidelines for ‘business tunnels’ to accommodate essential business meetings on the island.

Additional commercial flights have also been allocated to allow for this travel, which will follow new rules established by the Civil Contingencies Authority. Aurigny will offer these flights on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning July 28.

Travellers making use of the ‘business tunnel’ will need to provide information about their whereabouts to Public Health and Law Enforcement, and will only be able to conduct business in designated locations such as meeting rooms separate from main office buildings. Social Distancing will need to be maintained, pens and other items must not be shared, and a record of contacts must be kept for the 14 days following the meeting. 

Where possible, travellers using the ‘business tunnel’ must provide at least seven-days’ notice. Those who wish to travel via private aircraft may do so, but will be subject to the same requirements.

The ‘Business Tunnel’ has been set up to ease the burden of travel restrictions on businesses who require the physical presence of representatives from outside of the Island. They are one of several ideas presented by the States of Guernsey to allow unrestricted or less-restricted travel where it is "safe and essential to do so."

This decision comes after a trial of a seven-day isolation period for travellers to the Bailiwick, with a test for the Coronavirus on the seventh day. Those who tested negative on that seventh day would no longer need to isolate, but would still be subject to some restrictions for a further seven days.

Health and Social Care President Heidi Soulsby said logistical issues with the amount of testing have shifted focus away from expanding this trial.

Heidi Soulsby coronavirus

Pictured: HSC President Heidi Soulsby has said that the seven-day isolation trial for travellers is unlikely to be expanded; focus has shifted to safely opening the borders in Phase Six of the lockdown exit strategy.

“There are capacity issues,” said Deputy Soulsby. “If we were going to bring it in, we would need to really scale up in terms of resources. Doing that now would distract from being able to move to Phase Six on September 1.”

The possibility of more ‘air bridges’ with other COVID-free jurisdictions has also been explored, following the popularity of the Isle of Man link. On Monday July 13, Chief Minister Gavin St. Pier spoke with the Icelandic Ambassador to London to discuss such a possibility.

“At the moment the only people exempt from testing on entry to Iceland are those from the Faroe Islands and Greenland,” said Deputy St. Pier. “In essence, we would be looking to be treated in the same way as those coming from a COVID-free area,”

“What we are trying to do is clear any policy obstacles, then it’s over to those who would want to see whether or not it would be commercially viable.”

Pictured Top: Additional commercial flights will be available to accommodate 'business tunnels,' to allow essential business meetings to take place safely.

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