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People will have to prove their travel is 'essential'

People will have to prove their travel is 'essential'

Wednesday 13 January 2021

People will have to prove their travel is 'essential'


Anyone who travels to the Bailiwick without a newly-created Essential Travel Permit could be fined up to £10,000, after new laws were rapidly drawn up to further reinforce Guernsey's borders.

The new measures will come into effect on Thursday this week and coincide with the introduction of 21-day tests for any travellers who refuse to take on-arrival and day 13 tests for Covid-19.

To secure an Essential Travel Permit, travellers will need to fill out a form, which can be found HERE. The States have said that applications will be answered in "between 48 to 72 hours" and people will need to have this permit before they travel, as it will be requested at the island's borders.

New legislation has also been enacted so that anyone who travels without an Essential Travel Permit could face prosecution, with Guernsey's Courts handed the power to impose fines of up to £10,000.

Royal Court

Pictured: Anyone who breaches the new requirements could face prosecution by Guernsey's Courts.

Those travelling as critical workers are treated as essential so do not need an Essential Travel Permit - they must instead apply for permission to travel through the critical worker application process.

The substance of what is considered 'essential' has been reviewed further. The current definition applies to those who travel:

  • for a compassionate purpose, including to support a dependent relative;

  • to receive medical treatment;

  • to accompany a child or vulnerable person into or out of the Bailiwick;

  • to undertake essential business activity which is critical to the business and cannot be carried out remotely;

  • to meet legal obligations such as attending court proceedings;

  • to attend or return from school, university or other further education;

  • for anyone ordinarily Bailiwick resident, to return home if they travelled off-island before the 12 January;

  • moving to the Bailiwick where a property has been purchased and the process of moving is already underway, or;

  • to take up employment where the position has already been secured with a local employer or where the work is essential.

Essential travel does not include travel:

  • to visit friends and family based in the Bailiwick;

  • to work remotely in the Bailiwick if that work is not critical work and approved through the critical worker application process;

  • to stay at a ‘second home’ where the person is not ordinarily resident in the Bailiwick.

States Chief Executive Paul Whitfield reiterated that those who travel with an Essential Travel Permit will still be required to adhere to all of the Bailiwicks other travel restrictions including self-isolation and testing rules.

Our aim here is to prevent people travelling unnecessarily, and that way reduce the number of passenger movements, which in turn reduces the risk to our community. This is our first priority. Covid-19 is having a huge impact on the jurisdictions around us and we have to treat the risk with the utmost seriousness. That means unless your journey is truly essential, do not travel.

Paul Whitfield

Pictured: Paul Whitfield said the CCA have made this decision to "protect the community at a critical point in the worlds response to the pandemic".

"We’re keeping this process as simple as possible, and we know there will be some people who feel they fall into a grey area and aren’t clear if their journey is essential. We would advise these people to make an application. Our officers will be applying a common sense approach to this. But it won’t be a soft approach, we will be strict in ensuring any journey that clearly isn’t essential is declined. We know that will leave some people unhappy and we sympathise but this is a decision the CCA have made to protect the community at a critical point in the worlds response to the pandemic.

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Posted by Brian Gaudion on
It makes me proud as a Guernsey man to see our authorities, making tough decisions in order to protect our island. If only other jurisdictions around the world had the same concerns for their populations, rather than wealth over health, they would be in a far better place.
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