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FAQs

Health and treatment

Guernsey's Health Service is not part of the UK National Health Service. Medical insurance is strongly recommended.

Primary care doctors, dentists and other health professionals, such as physiotherapists, are in private practice and all patients are required to pay for treatment. This can be at a surgery, at your temporary residence or at the Princess Elizabeth Hospital including Accident & Emergency.

There is no reciprocal health agreement between Guernsey and the British Government. This means that UK residents travelling to the Islands will also be charged for medical treatment within a hospital. There are a limited number of exemptions for certain contagious diseases and compulsory psychiatric treatment.

There are also charges for the ambulance service and repatriation, to where you are ordinarily resident, if required.

Medical insurance is strongly recommended.
Policies should be checked to ensure that cover is provided for travel to the Channel Islands, and for stays in the kind of accommodation you have chosen including staying with friends and family.

For further information please contact the Health and Social Services Department on +44 (0) 1481 725241 ext 4544 e-mail:  MConsterdine@hssd.gov.gg or visit  www.gov.gg/tourist  


Countries which have an agreement are: Australia, Austria, Barbados, Iceland, Jersey, New Zealand,  Portugal and Sweden.

However, visitors from these countries will be charged for the same aspects of treatment as a local resident, which includes treatment by a GP and ambulance service.

Hyperbaric recompression chamber for visiting divers

Guernsey does not currently have a Hyperbaric recompression chamber. The current arrangements are that divers needing treatment would be taken to Jersey (normally by boat) where there is a category 3 chamber.

If it is not possible to access Jersey, or a category 1or 2 chamber is required, patients would be transferred to Plymouth , Poole or Brest, France.

For further information please contact Jon Beausire, Chief Ambulance Officer +44 (0) 1481 723866 chiefofficer@ambulance.org.gg http://www.ambulance.org.gg/

Access In Guernsey

Blue Parking Card

The blue parking card follows a standard design that has been introduced across the EU and in some other additional European countries, as well as in Guernsey. Under a reciprocal agreement, disabled visitors from any participating country will be entitled to local disabled parking concessions when they bring their badge to the island.

Wheelchair-accessible taxis

Please contact the Guernsey Information Centre or see the Visit Guernsey website for details.

Bus service

Guernsey has 'low-floor' buses, which are designed to carry disabled passengers and have kneeling suspension. Buses are fully accessible for the vast majority of wheelchair users (although it should be noted that one which is more than 75cm wide, or a wheelchair and occupant with a combined weight of more than 300 kilograms, cannot be carried).  For more information, go to http://www.buses.gg/

Radar National Key Scheme

The RADAR National Key Scheme exists in Guernsey and visitors are advised to bring their own. Alternatively, they are available from the Guernsey Information Centre Telephone +44 (0) 1481 723552

Equipment hire

Health Care Equipment Centre

T: +44 (0) 1481 729268

W: www.ambulance.org.gg/health-care-equipment-centre

Also available is the GuernseyAccess Guide: pdf icon Guernsey Access Guide [370kb]    or see the www.disabledgo.com for Guernsey website.   For travel information for people with reduced mobilities click here.

Travelling with pet cats and dogs

Travelling from the UK
A Pet Passport is not required for pet cats and dogs travelling directly between the United Kingdom and Guernsey.

Travelling from the EU
A Pet Passport is required for pet cats and dogs travelling from mainland Europe, including UK based pets that have travelled to Europe and return via Guernsey. Pets cannot travel in private yachts or by air. The only approved route to Guernsey is by Ferry from St Malo on Condor Ferries.

Ferry staff in Saint Malo are required to check the documentation of all pets and those without valid Pet Passports will not be allowed to board the ferry.

To obtain a Pet Passport pets must be microchipped before being vaccinated against Rabies and:

From 1st January 2012 pets must wait 21 days from the date of the Rabies vaccination before travelling. Dogs must receive treatment against tapeworms 24 - 120 hours (1- 5 days) before arrival.

For further information, please Tel +44 (0) 1481 234567 or email agriculture@commerce.gov.gg  
Alternatively, click here.

Visiting Beaches with your Dog

Dog owners can enjoy the vast majority of Guernsey's 27 beaches all year round.   Whether you are popping down to the beach to take the dog for a walk or enjoying a family day out with "Man's Best Friend", you are spoilt for choice between small sandy coves, shingle banks or large sweeping bays.

Between 1st October and 30th April there are no restrictions on any beaches that dogs can visit.  Outside of this period, there is legislation that does not allow dogs onto the following beaches:
Fermain
Petit Bot
L'Eree
The Northern end of Vazon
Port Soif
Cobo
L'Ancresse/Pembroke.

For further information, please contact either Guernsey's Environment Department or contact the Guernsey Information Centre on +44 (0) 1481 723552
 

Money matters

Sterling is the currency of Guernsey, which has its own notes and coins. UK and Jersey currency can also be used within the islands but Channel Island sterling will not be accepted in the UK apart from at banks which will exchange notes. Major credit cards are widely accepted throughout the islands. Some businesses will accept euros, although change will generally be given in sterling. It is advisable to check with the shop before attempting to make a purchase. There is no VAT in Guernsey but it is not a duty-free island. ATM machines are available at most high street banks in St Peter Port, the airport and selected sites, including supermarkets, garages and some out of town banks throughout the island.

Electricity

Electricity is supplied throughout the islands at 240 volts (50 hertz) You will need an adaptor if you are travelling from Continental Europe or further afield.

Public holidays

Public holidays are the same as England with the addition of Liberation Day on 9 May.

Customs allowance

Guernsey is not part of the EU; therefore the maximum allowances are:

Tobacco:

200 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or
50 cigars or
250 grams of tobacco


Alcohol:

over 22% by volume (spirits/strong liqueurs) 1 litre
or

under 22% volume (inc fortified and sparkling wine and other liqueurs) 2 litres
and

Still table wine 4 litres
plus
four extra litres of still table wine if no spirits,
liqueurs, fortified or sparkling wines
and
Beer or cider (or a combination) 50 litres
 


Other Goods:

a) If brought in from a place within the customs territory of the European Community, and provided all duties have been paid, goods to an unlimited value.

b) If brought in from a place outside the customs territory of the European Community by a person

- travelling on a commercial air or sea service, goods to a value of £390

- travelling by private aircraft or private vessel, goods to a value of £270

If you bring something worth more than the monetary limit, you will have to pay duty on the full value, not just on the value above the limit.

If you are travelling as a family or group, you cannot pool your individual allowances towards an item worth more than the limit.  You will have to pay duty on the full value of the item.

People under the age of 17 cannot have the tobacco or alcohol allowance.

Photo identification / passports

If you are arriving in the Channel Islands direct from the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, you do not need a passport. However, all carriers will require some form of photographic identification. If in doubt over acceptable forms of ID, please contact your carrier direct.

If you are arriving in the Channel Islands from outside the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, irrespective of your nationality, you must have a valid passport or travel document - European Economic Area and Swiss nationals may use their national identity cards. The European Economic Area consists of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Non-British /European Economic Area nationals travelling to the Channel Islands from outside the United Kingdom or Republic of Ireland, should check whether they require a visa. If a visa is required it must be obtained prior to travel from a British Consulate or British High Commission in their usual country of residence.

For further details on immigration, please contact the Guernsey Border Agency Office on 44 (0) 1481 741420 or e-mail: immigration@gba.gov.gg

Driving in Guernsey

Driving in Guernsey is probably a little different to what most visitors are used to. The roads are narrow, there are special rules, and not all the signs will be familiar to you. The maximum speed limit is 35 mph and less in many areas. However, these are maximum speeds, not recommended speeds and in many places a much lower speed is necessary for safe driving. Please take care when driving in Guernsey. We recommend that you read the leaflet 'Driving in Guernsey is different' which is available to download below and is also available from the Guernsey Information Centre. Drivers must be insured and have a full driving licence. In Guernesey we drive on the left, the same as the UK.

Currently all public parking in Guernsey is free. However, most on-street parking and car parks in principal shopping areas are marked disc zone and you must use a 'parking clock' to indicate your time of arrival, day or night. This parking clock can be purchased from the ferry operator,  the Visitor Information Centre, Airport Information Desk, the Police Station and other selected outlets.  Please note:  some parking areas are for 'small' cars only.  This is for cars that are less than 3.6 metres long.

pdf icon Driving in Guernsey is Different [791kb]

Motor caravans, trailers, caravans and trailer tents

In order to protect the special environment of the Island and because of the limitations of our roads, permission will not be granted to bring touring caravans to Guernsey.

Permission has been granted to allow a limited number of motorhomes to be accommodated on the three authorised camp sites on the Island - Fauxquets Valley Campsite, La Bailloterie Campsite and Le Vaugrat Campsite. A motorhome permit must be obtained in advance from the camp site operator and this must be available for inspection by Condor Ferries and the Guernsey Border Agency. Follow this link to view a copy of the procedure note for motorhomes.

Permission is not needed to bring a trailer tent to the Island.

Further details can be found here: pdf icon Motorhomes in Guernsey [18kb]

Telephones

The code for Guernsey is 01481 from the UK and 00 44 1481 internationally. Mobile networks require a roaming facility plus international dialling codes. 'Pay as you go' phones only operate in Guernsey where there is an agreement with the network provider. Please check with your provider if in doubt.

Licensing hours

Guernsey licensing hours for a café, bar or restaurant are: 10am - 12.45am Monday to Saturday and 12 noon - 12.45am on Sundays for persons over 18.  Christmas Day and Good Friday 11am - 2.30pm & 7pm - 10.30pm.  Under 18's are only allowed in pubs and cafés if the premises hold an Under 18's Permit (which means designated areas and times) or in restaurants.

Smoking ban

Smoking in enclosed public areas and workplaces is not permitted in Guernsey and Herm. This includes pubs, restaurants and serviced visitor accommodation (Hotels & Guest Accommodation). There is an exception permitting smoking in designated guest bedrooms, but such rooms are few in number so please check before you book.  Alderney has similar legislation with no smoking in hotel bedrooms.  Sark has a ban on smoking in all enclosed licensed and catering premises or any area within these spaces. Smoking is allowed in some hotel bedrooms but please check when booking.

Smoking is banned in all enclosed catering premises and all enclosed licensed premises on Sark or any area within these spaces.  Accommodations may allow smoking in bedrooms only if there is clear information on display to this effect.

Getting Married in Guernsey

For details on legal formalities,venues, caterers and other details for your big day, please visit www.guernseyweddings.co.uk/wedding_formalities.htm  Please note that visitors need to ensure that they have met legal requirements to marry in Guernsey.For further information, please telephone the Office of the Registrar General on +44 (0) 1481 72527

Satisfaction check

Customer feedback is vital to help us monitor and develop standards of accommodation, so your commendations, comments or suggestions are always welcome. However, should you encounter a problem with your accommodation it is essential you raise the issue with the establishment immediately, and also with your holiday provider if you did not book direct. This will give them an opportunity to put things right for you, and will usually achieve the desired result. If you are not satisfied with the response please contact the Quality Development Section immediately on 44 (0)1481 234567 or email qualitydevelopment@commerce.gov.gg .  Alternatively you can call in at the Guernsey Information Centre for assistance.

Please note that complaints submitted after a holiday is over are often impossible to resolve satisfactorily, and failure to follow these simple steps can prejudice any subsequent claim.

All establishments that offer visitor accommodation in Guernsey and Herm (excluding campsites) are required by Law to obtain a Permit to operate from the States of Guernsey, which must be displayed in a prominent position in the main entrance to the premises. Boarding Permits have conditions attached that require the provision of adequate fire safety precautions and public liability insurance cover, throughout the period of validity, as well compliance with the minimum requirements of the appropriate quality grading standard.