The States of Alderney has still not informed residents returning to Alderney from outside the Bailiwick how much they will be charged for a Covid-19 test.
From September 3rd travellers entering Alderney from a Group B country can choose to isolate for seven days. On day seven they can book a Covid 19 test and if the ensuing result is negative, move to passive surveillance. The alternative is to isolate for 14 days without a test.
Guernsey moved to this phase – Exit from Lockdown framework, Phase 5B – on August 17th. Residents returning to Guernsey do not have to pay anything for a Covid 19 test.
But confusion has reigned locally over what cost if any will be applied to those returning to Alderney.
When it was announced that Guernsey was moving to Phase 5B, Policy and Finance Committee Chairman James Dent said that there would be no charge for Covid-19 tests.
When Alderney announced that on September 3rd, it too would progress to Phase 5B, the Island Medical Centre initially indicated that on Alderney there would be a charge, most likely in the region of £100.
The charge for testing for UK residents visiting Alderney on compassionate grounds, and wishing to isolate for seven days, has been set at £130.
The latest Covid 19 newsletter failed to get to nail down the issue, merely saying there was ‘not expected’ to be a charge, despite social media rumour.
Now, with September 3rd approaching, the matter is still unclear. Residents are leaving the island for the UK without knowing whether to isolate on return for 14 days or to take a test after seven days, because they do not know the costs associated with the latter.
AYNEWS asked Mr Dent if he could definitively state that the Covid-19 test would be free of charge for Alderney residents.
‘In the newsletter it says with ref to 5b that “it is not expected there will be a charge for those who opt for a test after 7 Days.” – nothing has changed, despite rumours, There may well be charges for private tests.’
No information has been given either on where those tests will take place.
Dr Sally Simmons initially indicated that they may be held on the Butes, subject to arrangements with the police.
The States of Alderney did however pass on guidance on the use of transport from the airport or harbour to a person’s place of isolation.
Planning your transport to self-isolation
Public Health guidance encourages passengers to plan their transport. Those passengers arriving on island, whether via the Airport or Harbour, are encouraged to use their own transport to travel to their point of self-isolation. If this is not possible the next option is to ask a friend or family to transport them ensuring social distancing is adhered to and cleaning of the vehicle (touch point inside and out) at the end of that journey. Where the above options are not available our island’s Taxi Service provide this key self-isolation transport service.
Booking your Taxi to self-isolation
- Check with the Taxi companies the service is available and book in advance where possible.
- Where possible use contactless payment, or find out if you can pay electronically in advance, rather than cash exchanges.
- Passengers are asked to follow the advice of the driver. Passenger may be asked to sit in the back left-hand seat if travelling alone and follow notices displayed in the vehicle.
- Passengers arriving into Alderney should be taken directly to their place of residence. They should not stop at a shop or anywhere else on the way.
- Only one passenger is permitted per journey, unless it is a returning couple/family and they are going to self-isolate together. Waiting for your transport
- Be considerate to your fellow passengers and to transport staff.
- Do not congregate near entrances or exits while waiting.
- Be aware of pregnant, older and disabled people who may require a seat or extra space
- Be aware that not all disabilities are visible. Some may be exempt from wearing a face covering.
- Minimise the time spent close to other people, where possible.
- Sanitise your hands before entering the taxi
In the vehicle
- Social distancing advice should be observed at all times between the driver and the passenger(s).
- Passengers must wear a face mask throughout the journey. The driver may refuse for non- compliance.
- Keep the car windows down where possible throughout the journey to aid ventilation.
- Follow other instructions given by the taxi driver, such as sit in the back seat behind the driver
- Be aware of the surfaces you touch and try to keep this to a minimum.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Avoid loud talking, shouting or singing whilst using the service
- When finishing your journey wash your hands for at least 20 seconds or sanitise your hands as soon as possible. The States of Alderney do not endorse any particular company. Alderney’s taxi services are listed below in alphabetical order. This information is also provided to assist those who may not be familiar with the taxi companies available in Alderney.
- A1 Taxi: 824182, 07781 100412, email@example.com (minibus, MPV)
- Bill’s Taxi: 07911 730303 firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Horton, Alderney Tours – 07815 549191 email@example.com
- Island Taxis – 823823 firstname.lastname@example.org