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Zero cases "was never a pre-requisite for air bridge"

Zero cases

Monday 07 September 2020

Zero cases "was never a pre-requisite for air bridge"

Local officials will remain in "close contact" with their counterparts in the Isle of Man following the Manx's first Covid-19 case in more than three months, with our Chief Minister saying the air bridge between the two islands remains intact.

The positive test was reported over the weekend but its impact has been downplayed by the Isle of Man's Chief Minister Howard Quayle, who said the risk to the wider community is "extremely low".

The positive test result came from a resident who was in self-isolation after travelling back to the island. 

Howard Quayle Gavin St Pier Isle of Man Guernsey chief minister

Pictured: Deputy Gavin St Pier and other senior figures remain in close contact with the Isle of Man's Chief Minister Howard Quayle, left.

Chairman of Guernsey's Civil Contingencies Authority Gavin St Pier said the recently-forged air links between the two islands are predicated on more factors than just the absence of positive cases. 

"When we launched the air bridge in June, we did so because there was significant alignment between our governments’ approaches to managing the risks linked to Covid-19," he said.

"It was not a decision based purely on the fact that at that point neither island had had a confirmed case for several weeks, but rather because we both have very similar measures in place for border controls from other locations, and robust testing and contact tracing capabilities.

"Maintaining zero cases was never a prerequisite of the air bridge."

Aurigny Jet Embraer 195

Pictured: Aurigny has been the sole operator for flights between Guernsey and the Isle of Man, which is the only place we can visit without border restrictions.

Most significantly, Deputy St Pier said there does not appear to be any evidence of community transmission.

"It would appear that the Isle of Man’s quarantine and testing regime has worked to identify and contain this case," he said. 

"On that basis, there is no reason there should be any impact on the air bridge at this point.  We maintain an open and transparent relationship through close contact with our colleagues at all levels in the Isle of Man and we will of course continue to monitor the position.

"This case re-emphasises once again the need for any of our own residents to seek advice and testing if they experience any covid-related symptoms."

The air bridge is currently scheduled to come to an end on 20 September, with all bar one of Aurigny's outgoing flights sold out. 

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