Incoming covid testing requirements for people travelling directly from China into France or the UK are viewed by Public Health as providing sufficient protection for the Bailiwick.
Dr Nicola Brink, Medical Officer of Health, updated States members on the “ongoing monitoring” of the disease yesterday afternoon highlighting over one million active cases in England.
She said that while China’s border relaxation is causing international concern due to high case numbers, the UK already represents “a local source for any potential new variants”.
France and the UK will this week require travelers from China on direct flights to take a pre-departure test.
From 8 January the UK Health Security Agency will also test a sample of passengers on arrival to identify any possible variants of concern.
Dr Brink says since it is “virtually impossible” to enter the Bailiwick without transiting through other countries first, a local testing requirement will not be introduced at this stage.
Surveillance undertaken by the UKHSA will also “provide information on the emergence of any new variants of concern and [Public Health] will be able to use this information in local risk assessments”.
Pictured: The latest covid trends, published yesterday.
Dr Brink added that while private jet travel may be possible, traveler numbers are expected to be “extremely low”
“To date there is no specific information suggestive of an identified new variant threat. As such, given the relative prevalence in the UK and very low travel volume direct from China (if any), reinstating new measures does not seem proportionate at this point,” she said.
“It is therefore the Public Health recommendation that we continue to monitor the situation closely and modify any response, as required, based on new and emerging evidence.”
As of 3 January, there were 385 known active cases in the Bailiwick, with nine people in hospital “with evidence of infection with the virus that cause covid-19”.
23 people have died as a direct result of covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
Pictured: Les Nicolles has experienced several outbreaks of covid since the start of the decade.
Guernsey Prison has had another outbreak of covid-19 in recent days, with daily covid testing now in force.
A Prison spokesperson confirmed today that “approximately 20 prisoners have tested positive”, and while visitations are still permitted those attending are asked to wear a mask and observe good hand hygiene or consider whether their visit can wait until after the outbreak has passed.
“The team is currently working through its business continuity measures it has in place for living responsibly with covid to ensure the outbreak continues to be managed properly, and at this time, there have been only slight changes to the regime due to the introduction of daily covid testing.”
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