A ‘day 7 test’ regime for those travelling into the Bailiwick is being reconsidered, due to concerns about the current 14-day isolation period and hesitation about fully re-opening our borders to the outside world.
Following a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Authority, it has been decided that work will be undertaken to investigate how a day 7 test regime would operate, after a pilot test in early July revealed potential capacity issues with full-scale roll out.
“If this did take effect it might have an impact on the introduction of un-quarantined travel, so we need to understand the implications of that,” said Deputy St Pier.
Work is ongoing to make sure that, when the island does relax travel restrictions or even re-open borders fully, it can do so safely.
“I must stress that absolutely no decision has yet been taken,” said Deputy St Pier. “That actually also includes in relation to September 1 as a date for un-quarantined travel.”
September 1 has previously been stated as the ‘no-sooner-than’ date for Guernsey’s borders to be re-opened in some capacity.
Pictured: After initially expressing concerns about the full-scale roll-out of day 7 testing, Deputy St Pier said it was back under consideration, and that a decision could be made in the next week or so.
However, in light of new information, including the recent increase in cases in the United Kingdom, other options are being explored to permit travel without a severe increase in risk to islanders.
These options include an ‘A and B countries’ approach, similar to what was seen before lockdown.
“Please remember what a strong position we are in,” said Deputy St. Pier. “We do not want to go backwards,”
“We have got completely unrestricted social, business, sporting and community life in the Bailiwick. And of course, the confidence that gives the whole community, especially vulnerable groups, is enormous.”
We continue to have no new or (known) active cases of COVID-19 in the Bailiwick. For details on the latest testing results and statistics, please visit our dedicated webpage: https://t.co/YpWbg8u3AS.#ReviveAndThrive #GuernseyTogether #WeveGotThis pic.twitter.com/yfrFE4fPGJ— States of Guernsey (@Govgg) July 23, 2020
Pictured: There have been no new cases of the coronavirus in the Bailiwick in almost three months.
Health & Social Care President Heidi Soulsby said concerns had been expressed about going from 14-day isolation to no border restrictions in one fell swoop.
"It’s whether we consider seven-days isolation as a bridge to fully re-opening [our borders]," she added.
Deputy Soulsby added that the seven-day isolation trial, which saw around 600 people tested and no positive tests, had taught them a lot.
"It was a pilot to understand what works and what doesn’t," she said. “If we do open [the borders] up, we need to make sure we don’t make a mess at the start and that it goes smoothly.
Pictured Top: Despite the issues presented during the trial of a ‘day 7 test’ strategy for incoming travellers, the Civil Contingencies Authority is examining options to see it implemented following growing anxiety over the 14-day isolation.