As of 1 December 2021, the following will come into effect:
Face coverings will be mandatory in any setting where there are crowds, it is hard to physically distance or there is poor ventilation.
All fully vaccinated arrivals who have been to a non-Common Travel Area (CTA) country in the 10 days before their journey to the Bailiwick will need to complete a PCR test on arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result.
All arrivals who have only been to the CTA will be legally required to purchase a pack of Lateral Flow Tests on arrival and complete the course of tests over the following 10 days.
Individuals who are a close contact of a confirmed/suspected case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant will be legally required to self-isolate, regardless of age or vaccination status. These contacts of cases will be required to self-isolate for 10 days, if it is confirmed to be Omicron.
This is in response to a combination of factors which include the new variant, rising cases and rising hospital admissions, an increased likelihood that we will be in indoor environments as winter approaches, and concerns some people are not following the existing guidance particularly with regard to staying at home if you are unwell, and reporting your symptoms.
The States of Guernsey receives its supplies of LFTs through two separate supply chains for use in two separate testing programmes.
The LFTs that are required to support our travel testing programme are sourced by the States of Guernsey from a commercial supplierat a cost. A proportion of this cost is recoveredfrom the arriving travellers who are required to use the tests - £25 per LFT packs of 5.
The LFT packs of 25provided to islanders free of charge for the community surveillance programmehave been received from the UK’s Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC)at no charge. While we are responsible for our own planning, response and recovery, the UK Government has been committed to supporting the wider British family, including the Bailiwick of Guernsey, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic when needed. Providing access to a supply of LFTs at a time of high demand in the marketplace, has been one part of the assistance provided and has enabled us to roll out a wide-reaching community surveillance programme. LFTs provided through this supply chain CANNOT be used by travellers, which is aligned to the UK’s approach where by community surveillance LFTs are free to the public but tests for travel (inbound and outbound) are only provided through private companies at a cost to the user.
This is primarily in response to the rising number of positive COVID-19 cases and the increase in hospital cases. Face coverings are an effective tool in reducing transmissions especially in environments where there is poor ventilation or no way of keeping your distance from other people. There are also concerns that some individuals are not following current guidance which asks them to stay at home if they are symptomatic, and are instead continuing in the community which is resulting in transmissions. It is very important that people stay at home if unwell and report their symptoms (even if you have taken an LFT).
The COVID-19 vaccine is designed to reduce morbidity (severe disease) and mortality (death). It will also protect our health and care systems in the Bailiwick. So being vaccinated means you will be more protected against becoming seriously ill, but it isn’t just about protecting yourself, it’s also about keeping the most vulnerable in our community safe. If you are vaccinated you reduce the risk of you transmitting the virus to others who may be more at risk. So by ensuring as many people as possible are vaccinated we are helping to keep everyone safe.
As well as reducing morbidity and mortality, the evidence so far indicates that vaccines are effective in reducing the transmissibility of the virus, but they do not eliminate the possibility. So it is less likely you will transmit the virus, but it is certainly possible, which is why even vaccinated people should follow the recommendations about face coverings and regular LFT testing.