Condor Ferries and the States of Guernsey have worked together today to enable travellers bound for France to make their journey, following changes to French travel restrictions announced last night meaning certain travellers are authorised to enter France (including EU nationals or residents and some essential workers) provided they have a negative test for COVID-19.
The States became aware of this requirement overnight and teams including Public Health Services, the Scheduling Team, the Clinical Swabbing Team, Pathology Services, Ports and others worked together with Condor, who communicated with passengers travelling today to arrange urgent tests this morning at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital testing facility.
Condor delayed the sailing to St Malo scheduled for this morning in order to allow time for these travellers to be tested and Public Health Services to provide travellers with their result and the necessary certificate. Fewer than 40 passengers were booked to travel. All of the passengers who required a test for their journey had their results by 1pm, all of which were negative. They then returned to St Peter Port harbour and their sailing left at 1.30pm.
Paul Whitfield, Chief Executive of the States of Guernsey said: “We had very short notice overnight on the changes to the travel requirements for those entering France. Decisions on who can enter France are of course a matter for the French government. Our teams and Condor Ferries have reacted very quickly to do everything they can to make sure eligible travellers are able to meet these new requirements and make the journey. We know how important it is for people to get where they need to be for Christmas”.
Paul Luxon, CEO of Condor Ferries said: “We’re really pleased to have been able to resolve this so quickly for those customers who are eligible to travel to France. We know some are finding that even with a negative COVID-19 test, they do not meet the criteria set by the French authorities for entry and therefore regretfully cannot travel. We are very sorry for those travellers who are adversely affected by the imposed restrictions but we have liaised with passengers, put them in touch with Public Health and are carrying all those who are confirmed as able to travel”.