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Lateral flow tests to come into force this week

Lateral flow tests to come into force this week

Thursday 05 August 2021

Lateral flow tests to come into force this week


Fully vaccinated travellers into the Bailiwick will be provided with lateral flow tests on arrival from Friday, now that the testing packs have arrived in the island.

The £25 charge per pack of five tests will not be ‘switched on’ in the Travel Tracker until Monday 9 August, in order to give what the CCA has called "an appropriate lead-in time" for travellers.

The new requirement is being introduced for fully-vaccinated 'blue travellers' within the Common Travel Area. They will need to pay for their LFT kit on-arrival to avoid having to self-isolate.

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Pictured: Blue travellers are asked to take a lateral flow test on days 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9. Anyone who tests positive should then contact Public Health for a confirmatory PCR test. 

The Civil Contingencies Authority is continuing to "strongly recommend" that anyone who is not a local resident arranges to take a pre-travel test (either PCR or lateral flow) before coming to the Bailiwick.

Delays in the supply chain meant that the proposed introduction of lateral flow tests on Tuesday this week had to be delayed. By the time new measures come into effect, it will have been 14 days since the CCA announced and backtracked on mandatory pre-travel tests for fully-vaccinated CTA travellers.

That decision - although later rescinded - was made without consultation with the Scientific Technical Advisory Cell and would have stranded islanders in the UK if they tested positive for Covid-19 before returning to the Bailiwick. 

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Pictured: The introduction of lateral flow tests for fully-vaccinated travellers was meant to happen on Tuesday, 11 days after the States announced and then backtracked on pre-travel tests that could have seen residents stranded in the UK if they tested positive. 

It has been replaced now with self-administered lateral flow tests. Anyone who tests positive must immediately self-isolate and contact the clinical helpline to book a PCR test. The States has ordered around 165,000 lateral flow tests from the UK and is only accepting those purchased at the border "for consistency". 

Children aged 11 and under travelling with fully vaccinated adults will not receive, or be charged for, lateral flow tests.

At this stage, arrivals from Jersey will still require a negative PCR or observed lateral flow test within the 48-hour period before travel. This remains under continued review.

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