Jersey break and travel corridors

After two weekend breaks in August visiting Swansea (Wales) and Plymouth (England) with their differing coronavirus policies (particularly mask/facial coverings), we booked a week’s holiday in the Channel Islands at short notice last Friday. British Airways had a sale that was too good to miss.

Since booking, I have looked for links for providing advanced passenger information and a pre-departure form of some sort, without success, and just assumed that the Channel Islands were part of the UK, and no information was required. There were no links on the BA web site.

Yesterday, I received an email from BA giving further information on our forthcoming trip, and buried in the information and links was one to the Government of Jersey, which contained extensive and comprehensive safe travel advice for visiting Jersey ( click here). It included a link to a pre-departure declaration form stating that everyone planning to travel to Jersey is required to complete an online registration form at least 48 hours before departure. 

The form requires passengers to declare their recent travel history, any symptoms that they have had, information for contact tracing purposes, and whether they intend to:

  1. self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, or
  2. undergo a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test on arrival in Jersey, or
  3. request exemption from self-isolation because they have been tested negative no more than 72 hours before arriving in Jersey. (Documentary evidence of the negative result will not be accepted at the border without supporting Government of Jersey approval, which must be obtained before arrival. Details of how to request approval are included in the pre-departure registration form and in the pre-departure negative COVID-19 test procedure section below.)
  4. Passengers must be available to the Contact Tracing Team and follow Public Health guidance for the duration of their stay in Jersey

So there we have it. We thought the Channel Islands were part of UK with no special restrictions. Had I not completed the forms, we would not have been allowed to fly. It turns out they are a Crown Dependency of the UK with an odd relationships, including the Bailiwicks of Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. Click her for detailed legalities.

Instead of the chaotic quarantine management systems of the four nations of the UK, Jersey has a very sophisticated management system with traffic light indicators for each passenger arrival’s 14 day travel history. Our travel history are green for both Newport and Newport, and must remain so until Friday. If there is an uptick in either City above 20 cases per 100,000 pop., our status becomes amber, and we would have to self isolate in our hotel for 5 days, leaving a 2 day holiday, and we probably would not go.

CategoryTesting and self-isolation requirements​
​Green​Compliance with basic requirements for arrivals.Day 0 test and no self-isolation requirement.
​Amber​Compliance with basic requirements for arrivals.Day 0 and Day 5 PCR test with self-isolation until Day 5 negative result.
​Red​Compliance with basic requirements for arrivals.
Day 0 test and 14-day self-isolation.

The following countries are assessed at a regional level:

CountryRegion (total in country)
EnglandLocal Authority (149)
ScotlandCouncil Area (32)
WalesLocal Authority (22)
Northern IrelandLocal Government District (11)
Republic of IrelandCounty (26)
FranceDepartment (104)
countries and regions for which travel history traffic light system is available

Travel history declaration 

As part of the pre-registration process, passengers are required to disclose their travel history for the 14 days prior to their planned arrival in Jersey. This includes their country of departure, and any other countries or regions they have visited or will have visited in this 14-day period.

Depending on the information provided, passengers may be required to self-isolate for up to 14 days on their arrival in Jersey and may also be asked to undergo an additional test 5 days after arrival.Country and region risk assessment

Search for a country or region – look up menu with drop down results

Green status

Day 0 PCR test: No requirement to self-isolate

  • Newport, Wales : Regional risk category with effect from 00:01 Wednesday 2 September 2020
  • ⠀Plymouth, South West England : Regional risk category with effect from 00:01 Wednesday 2 September 2020

Although it is worrying to check each day to see if our status remains green or has changed to Amber, this is an excellent system that could easily be adopted by the four nations of the UK.

Travel corridors can change at a few hours notice and we now have the situation where we have different quarantine arrangements for Scotland and England for the same destination (Greece), and whether the UK as a whole should follow Scotland, which has made a decision to add Greece to its own quarantine list, effective from 04:00 BST on Thursday. The Welsh government has adopted a more targeted approach to Greece by asking only arrivals from the island of Zante to enter quarantine. 

It is thought unlikely that Westminster will impose quarantine rules on travel to Greece, as the level of infection is below that which is considered dangerous. There were 14.3 coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in Greece in the seven days to 1 September, a similar level to that in the UK.

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