Frequently Asked Questions
Please find below some answers to frequently asked questions as we move through our Bailiwick Blueprint.
If you have any questions, please do send them through to Chloe who will discuss with Public Health and get back to you. This page will be updated regularly with all answers to questions being published.
This page was last updated on 15 April 2021
Travel requirements once non-essential travel is allowed.
Anyone wishing to travel between 22 March 2021 and 30 April 2021 will currently be subject to a mandatory 14 days of self-isolation on arrival in the Bailiwick.
Non-essential travel on or after 30 April 2021 will be subject to border controls based on country/region categorisations. These will determine the self-isolation requirements.
If you are travelling from an area with very low prevalence rates of COVID-19 this could mean you are required to provide a test on or before arrival AND be subject to passive follow up restrictions until you get another negative test result after a test on day 7.
Turnaround times for COVID-19 tests taken on arrival
We are currently looking into the turnaround time for results of COVID-19 tests taken on arrival at the airport or harbour. Ideally, we are looking at a 6-8 hour turnaround time, however we will have this confirmed with Public Health and will update this page accordingly.
As well as UK country/regional categorisations, will you consider doing the same for European Countries?
Whilst we have focused on UK country/regional categorisations, this might be considered as we exit out of lockdown. Public Health review the prevalence rates of COVID-19 on a weekly basis. This already includes an analysis of the separate regions in France.
What happens if one of my hotel guests test positive for COVID-19 on arrival?
If one of your guests test positive following a COVID-19 swab at any time during their stay you will be contacted by Public Health.
The individual who has tested positive MUST self-isolate as required by Public Health along with other members of their family or group.
Public Health will provide full guidance to you about what you need to do in terms of cleaning your premises, ensuring the safety of other guests and meeting the needs of those in self-isolation.
Public Health will take the lead on contact tracing, which may, or may not, include other hotel guests, travellers who were on the same boat/plane etc.
If my hotel guest tests positive, I assume they have to stay in the Bailiwick until the Medical Officer of Health declares that they are no longer infectious and can return home. What happens if I have other travellers booked in the rooms in which they are self-isolating?
If a hotel guest tests positive, then they should remain in isolation in the same room until the Medical Officer of Health declares that they are no longer infectious. They cannot leave the Bailiwick to return home until they are released from isolation. If the room is already booked for another guest, then this guest should be found alternative accommodation.
How much do we know about vaccine passports at the moment?
The truth is, not very much.
This is a subject that is being considered globally as we are moving out of the pandemic situation into a place where COVID-19 is something that we consider as a virus we can deal with as part of everyday life.
We don’t know what evidence will be required for a vaccine passport, whether you must have had both vaccinations or whether one will suffice etc.
This is why we are pushing ahead with our vaccination programme to get as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible.
What will happen to the travel tracker?
We will update this answer as soon as we have more information.
Do we have to apply for an essential permit for travel after 22 March 2021?
On and after 22 March 2021, you no longer need to apply for an essential travel permit prior to arrival in the Bailiwick. This is because non-essential travel into the Bailiwick recommenced on 22 March 2021.
If one of our hotel guests or employees leave the island and return sometime in May or June do you know what they will have to do?
It depends on where they will be travelling back from and when – it will be directly related to the prevalence in the area of origin/travel history at that time. This will dictate any isolation requirements and the flexibility any individuals will have.
If one of our employees leaves and then are required to test upon arrival back on to the island, and it is negative, are they then free to carry on as normal without restrictions?
Up until early July it will depend on where they are travelling in from (point of origin and where their journey has taken them).
With regards to passive surveillance, it is intended from early July that there will be much greater flexibility with limited requirements – exact details to be determined.
There may be some high-risk travel areas that have some requirements for isolation. It is difficult to be certain due to the unpredictability of COVID-19 and new variances but it really is anticipated, at time of writing, that this will be by exception.
It has been suggested to us that, once we are again permitted to provide accommodation for guests who are self-isolating, there will be a limit/cap on the number of guests permitted.
No formal limitations have been set and, in the majority cases, hotels zone floors or areas to support individuals, couples or families isolating. The key is ensuring that the guidance and requirements for isolation is closely followed by the business and the guest, this is where our focus has been. The States of Guernsey is grateful for you providing this important offering and facilities as the Bailiwick continues to respond to COVID-19 and we collectively work to minimise risk in the community.
Further, the reason given is this will be imposed to ensure that there are no problems for isolating guests should one of them test positive for COVID-19 and be unable to leave on the agreed date of their reservation, therefore providing a potential problem for a new incoming guest, who would need to be provided with alternative accommodation, either within the hotel or another hotel.
This is a dynamic situation and it is difficult for Industry or Government to plan for every situation. If there was an occasion that a hotel was at full occupancy and someone tested positive, we would ask the accommodation provider to work with industry colleagues across the sector to source alternative accommodate for any inbound guest(s) arriving (to a similar standard). This is likely to be a more pragmatic solution than relocating someone in isolation or a staying guest who has proven positive after arrival or during their stay. If hotels are not at full occupancy then it provides more scope to manage this through flexibility with rooms and allocation. The question has been raised as to whether the States of Guernsey can and should hold rooms/units Spring and Summer to support such an eventuality - this is being looked into.
Please could I ask if you are aware of these conditions and also provide a written statement from the appropriate States Department, so we can fully understand what the terms and conditions are.
There are no set terms and conditions. The contract is between the visitor and establishment but, in such an eventuality the States of Guernsey would work to support/facilitate alternatives.
I understand that last summer in Jersey if you had a positive test on arrival you were accommodated somewhere Jersey provided. If you were seated next to or behind someone with a positive test you were put on the next plane home (even if you had a negative test). If visitors are going to be required to test on arrival, we will need to know what the procedure will be? Do visitors isolate in their accommodation until a negative test result and how is this managed? Are welcome packs required?
From the end of April, the Bailiwick hopes to be in a position to go back to category-based travel. The length of isolation and tests will be determined by category. Any passive surveillance after day of arrival test, will be explained by guidance, which will set out what inbound visitors are able and not able to do until a negative result is received ( this will only be applicable when travelling from a point of origin of really low prevalence). This is exactly the same process that was in place prior to lockdown.
Passive surveillance can mean being able to go for a walk, but not going to a crowded indoor venue or restaurant and to maintain good hygiene and social distancing. Visitors would be advised to eat/dine before travel. Welcome packs would be a good idea to support them in those initial few hours but not essential if this is not possible. The team will look to see what can be achieved on arrival at the ports. Guidance will be updated over the coming weeks.
In relation to travel from approximately July onwards, there are further considerations around whether we can adopt a PCR test approach before departure. These are early discussions in a dynamic situation. It is recognised that this would help carriers, hoteliers, self-caterers and guest accommodation – and capacity regarding our testing with increased volume of passengers – but no decision has been made as yet, though the science and level of risks is being proactively considered. In the meantime, the States of Guernsey is working closely with carriers to plan and map out different scenarios; we are grateful for the collaboration and these considerations are going well. Everyone is keen to maximise opportunity but to plan realistically.
If someone tests positive whilst isolating in a room or during a stay – can they be relocated?
This is achievable when supported by a method statement to support the quarantine of the said individual. It is preferable to keep them in the same environment but in exceptional circumstances, this can be achieved.