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On-arrival testing facility being created at Guernsey Airport

On-arrival testing facility being created at Guernsey Airport

Thursday 27 August 2020

On-arrival testing facility being created at Guernsey Airport

Construction has begun at the airport for an on-arrival covid-19 testing facility, which should be finished by the middle of September.

The new construction will be used in the next planned stage of the lockdown exit strategy, which will see the introduction of on-arrival testing for travellers coming to or returning to Guernsey.

Plans for Phase 5c were published earlier this week, although a date is yet to be set for when it will come into place.

As part of the changes, anyone coming from countries listed in 'Group A' or 'Group B' will be offered a test as soon as they arrive in the island. While 'Group A' travellers will still have to self-isolate for 14 days regardless, those travelling from 'Group B' will have the chance to leave quarantine after 24-48 hours if their results come back negative.

Guernsey airport

Pictured: Travellers will be tested on arrival in Phase 5c.

RG Falla began building the new facility at the beginning of the week and it is expected to be complete within three weeks. 

Arrivals landing at the airport will have to walk through the testing facility on their way out, and partitions will be put up to give travellers space and privacy while being swabbed.

The States' Chief Executive Paul Whitfield referenced upcoming infrastructure works at the airport at the most recent press briefing.

A Spokesman for the States confirmed the construction project was an on-arrival testing facility and that more details will be provided at tomorrow's press briefing. 

While Guernsey's preparations seem to be well on the way for Phase 5c, Alderney is much further behind. The island hasn't yet moved to Phase 5b - the stage Guernsey is currently at - with plans to do so on 3 September.

Meanwhile, all Aurigny flights linking Alderney directly with Southampton have been pushed back even further, to 5 October.

alderney airport

Pictured: There are currently no testing facilities at Alderney's airport.

When asked why the changes to the schedule had been made, while Guernsey's Southampton route is still running, a spokesperson for the airline said: "Unfortunately, as there is no Border Control testing at Alderney Airport and we are not sure when this facility will be available there and if it will be, we are unable to offer direct services between Alderney and the UK, under 5c."

However, Chairman of the island's Policy & Finance Committee said arrangements for testing facilities were underway.

"Firstly, no date has been set for Phase 5c, secondly no decisions on how those regulations will be applied to Alderney have yet been made and thirdly arrangements are being made and those facilities will be provided in Alderney as when there is a need for them."

A corona virus briefing has been scheduled for tomorrow at 13:00, where the panel is expected to give more information on the move the next phase. However, the States has emphasised that no decision on a set date for the changes has been made yet.

Pictured top: An on-arrival testing facility is being built at Guernsey Airport.

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