We’re writing to you today because we know that even after considering this guidance you may still have questions, particularly around our testing and contact tracing strategies. Firstly, we want to explain our testing strategy, as this may help reassure you and guide what measures you decide to introduce in your business. Testing at the borders or self-isolation is no longer required for fully vaccinated arrivals from the CTA – their fully vaccinated status means they are at LOW risk of catching or transmitting Covid- 19.
Restrictions do remain in place, however, for those travellers who are unvaccinated or part-vaccinated who will be required to test and self-isolate in accordance with the country/regional categorisation. Children between the ages of 12 and 17 who travel into the Bailiwick with a fully vaccinated adult are required to take a test on their arrival in Guernsey and to self-isolate until receipt of a negative result with a further test on Day 7.
Border Agency staff continue to proactively check on any individuals mandated to self- isolate, to ensure the self-isolation requirements are being met.
In addition, a surveillance testing programme is still in operation across the Bailiwick. This involves regular testing of employees and contractors operating in sectors where there is a higher potential risk of onward transmission of COVID-19. This includes, for example, testing of some supermarket staff.
The levels of testing will remain very high for a jurisdiction of our size. We can test as many as 2,000 individuals per day. In the weeks ahead of 1st July, we have only needed to test at levels significantly below this capacity. No border testing programme has ever been expected to catch every single case, and our strategy does not and never has relied on this alone. Border testing is one tool used in combination with other testing in the community and in particular testing of those who develop symptoms. By using the testing where it is most effective, we will continue to have good visibility over how many cases there are in our community. Currently the number of positive cases remains low.
For those who work locally and are fully vaccinated, we have also said that there would not be a requirement to self-isolate if you are contact traced (though there may be some restrictions depending on your occupation, such as health workers, which Public Health would discuss with you if you are contact traced). We appreciate that this still leaves concerns for some businesses if many staff members are not yet fully vaccinated. While it is not a requirement to restrict access to your business premises for any specific group of customers, we realise some businesses have chosen to do this – for example, asking customers not to attend if they have recently travelled.
Businesses should keep in mind what is likely to be considered a ‘contact’ of a positive case. While some discretion needs to be applied by the contact tracing team depending on the individual circumstances of a case, generally someone would be considered a close contact if they have had: