We arrived at Heathrow at 3.00pm and the “meet and greet” man collected our car on time. Hopefully, he will bring it back next Friday for us – excellent system at reasonable price.
Flight to Jersey was uneventful – just a 40 minute hop across the channel. After collecting our luggage, we queued up for our covid-19 test for about 45 minutes until we reached the ten registration desks. We had registered 48 hours ahead of flying and had got a QR code with all our details, which speeded us up. A lot of people didnt have a QR code, so they had to be registered just before the testing stage. Although we had reported that we had spent the last 14 nights in Newport (13) and Plymouth (1), the clerk asked this question again, and it was clear that this information had NOT been captured on the QR code (an important glitch in the system). As we thought, these are listed green. Had we lived in Cardiff 12 miles, we would have come from an amber area and had to quarantine for five days, even if testing negative I think.
We then went through to the ten testing cubicles, each with a nurse in clinical gowns and full personal protective equipment. The nurse then checked personal details and explained the test. This was not a pleasant experience, involving a deep throat swab test making us gag several times, and swabs up each nostril (not quite so bad). The whole testing process took about 10-15 minutes.
Collected our rental car and drove across the island in the dark to our hotel in Gorey. Arriving at the hotel, we had to wear masks and were told that we would have to have our meals in our room until we had our test results. This involved ordering our breakfast for Saturday. Although having restricted movement in the hotel, we were still allowed to go out to eat, providing we practiced strict social distancing. Popped out for fish and chips which we ate at Gorey harbour.
Had a fantastic day sightseeing the north east corner of Jersey, and were just ordering Sundays breakfast when we received our negative test results by text within 24 hours – not bad – breakfast in the dining room on Sunday !!
Boris Johnson has rejected calls for coronavirus tests at airports, claiming that screening all passengers would create a “false sense of security”. The prime minister said that airport screening identified only 7 per cent of asymptomatic cases. There was no way to avoid the need for travellers who arrived in Britain to undergo a period of quarantine, he added. 93 per cent of the time you could have a real false sense of security, a false sense of confidence when you arrive and take a test. “That’s why the quarantine system that we have has got to be an important part of our repertoire, of our toolbox, in fighting Covid.”
We reckon they had at least 30 people at St Helier airport to provide this testing operation for 12-15 flights per day, and this is a very small airport. I’m not sure the UK government is capable of setting up and managing a large scale testing operation at all UK large airports, once they start to get busy and anything like back to normal – I agree it is the way forward , but as they are so useless………….Nevertheless, Boris will probably make a u turn on airport testing this week……and then make a hash of it, when all they have to do is replicate Jersey ‘s system.
There is also a follow up text system as part of Jersey’s approach. Every 24 hours, we get a text from the Jersey government asking how we are feeling, and if we have any covid symptoms. We are required to text “WELL” in reply, so we are confident has an excellent system.