The States of Guernsey is preparing its airport and harbour for the next stage of its exit from Coronavirus lockdown.
Stage 5C, which will be unveiled to the public at a press briefing on Friday, will see travellers from countries such as the UK tested for Covid-19 at booths at Guernsey airport. Those passengers will only have to quarantine until they receive a negative result.
Indeed, passengers through Guernsey airport may already have noticed reconfiguration work taking place near the cash points to provide a space for testing.
No date has yet been given for when the Bailiwick will enter 5C but a spokesman for the States of Guernsey said they wanted to be absolutely ready for when it begins.
In their Exit from Lockdown framework, updated this week, the States of Guernsey confirmed it was now working towards the next part of Phase 5.
‘Work is continuing on developing Phase 5c and building the resources needed which would enable travellers to enter with very limited or no self-isolation.’
It defines the requirements for those entering Guernsey from Group B countries as:
‘Test on arrival with self-isolation until first test result is known (24 – 48 hours) and then a second test on Day 7 with passive surveillance until Day 14; Passive surveillance is as for Phase 5b.‘
Guernsey is already in Phase 5B, which has seen passengers tested on day 7 after arrival and on receipt of a negative result moving on to passive surveillance.
Alderney transitions to Phase 5B on September 3rd. Preparations, including where Day 7 testing will take place and how much it will cost, are apparently ongoing.
Aurigny said there was a question mark over facilities for testing on arrival at Alderney’s airport.
This, said their spokeswoman, meant direct Southampton flights were unlikely to be reinstated during Phase 5C.
The airline’s schedule shows its target date for re-introducing direct flights from Alderney to Southampton has moved to 5th October.
Quizzed by AYNEWS on why the reinstatement had been moved, the spokeswoman said:
‘Unfortunately as there is no Border Control testing at Alderney airport and [because] we are not sure when this facility will be available there and if it will be, we are unable to offer direct services between Alderney and the UK under 5C.’
But James Dent, chairman of the Policy and Finance Committee, poured cold water on the claim. He said arrangements were already being made for testing at the airport whenever it should be required.
‘Firstly no date has been set for Phase 5C, secondly no decisions on how those regulations will be applied to Alderney have yet been made and thirdly arrangements are being made for those facilities in Alderney as and when there is a need for them.’