Restrictions are starting to be lifted on The Islands of Guernsey and we are hoping to be able to welcome visitors soon.
We’ve waited a long time to be able to write this post for you. The Islands of Guernsey are preparing to welcome you back to our shores. Here is an update on travel restrictions and future travel opportunities to Guernsey, including the Islands’ exit from lockdown strategy.
We're Getting Ready To Welcome Visitors
Last year on 20th June 2020, the Bailiwick of Guernsey came out of lockdown and lived a summer of no restrictions in what was referred to as the Bailiwick Bubble. With no signs of COVID-19 in the community, locals were able to enjoy live events, restaurants, bars and the wonder of island-hopping as part of the Bailiwick Staycation Club. The one thing that we could not do was openly welcome visitors to the islands without a period of isolation. This bubble continued until 27th January 2021 when the islands were plunged back into lockdown after a growing cluster of unexplained cases were discovered on the island through the regular testing processes. This lockdown was named Stage 1 of the new simplified Bailiwick Blueprint, the Islands’ version of the roadmap out of lockdown.
The beauty of a small community, with a strong pull together spirit, meant that we were able to progress to Stage 2 on 8th March. This allowed schools to reopen, many businesses to reopen with restrictions and households to form bubbles. Stage 3 very quickly followed 2 weeks later and as of this week, from 22nd March, the Bailiwick has once again had the majority of internal restrictions lifted on the islands, whilst border restrictions remain in place, recreating the Bailiwick Bubble once again. Not only is inter-island travel now allowed, non-essential travel to the islands is also now permitted, albeit with a 14 day self-isolation rule still firmly in place.
The 30th April will mark the return of regional / country prevalence restrictions in relation to testing and self-isolation on arrival, meaning that some visitors will have different restrictions based upon their originating country. Some may not have to self-isolate for the current compulsory 14 days. These details will be determined closer to the time. This coincides with the anticipated completion of the administration of the first dose of vaccine for priority groups on the islands.
The 1st July 2021 has been named as the earliest point that our borders will be able to reopen completely with no country or regional variations. This is subject to the progression of the local vaccination programme, as well as the developing situation in the rest of the world. At that point, the requirement for a single test at the border or pre-travel, may be retained. This will be dependent on Public Health concerns at the time.
Over the coming weeks, we will continue to update you on opportunities for visiting the Islands. To enable you to tentatively plan, there are currently flights on sale to Guernsey from London Gatwick and Southampton with our local airline, Aurigny, up to October half term 2022. Blue Islands have flights on sale for travel up until March 2022. Condor Ferries have also published their upcoming schedule, should you choose to sail.
Our hospitality industry is ready and raring to welcome you once again. Hotels, restaurants, museums and other attractions are looking forward to being able to welcome visitors once again. There are also a variety of live events and festivals planned across the islands for the second half of the year. You can browse options here and more will be added in the coming weeks.
As much as we have loved the strong #GuernseyTogether spirit within our Bailiwick Bubble, we have missed hosting visitors and know that parts of our hospitality industry have sadly but inevitably suffered like many over the past year. Thankfully though, we have had a thriving Staycation market - locals have been able to holiday in the Islands of Guernsey over the last year.
We know many of you love our Islands and we have been looking after them while you’ve been away.
While we can't welcome you today, we all look forward to welcoming you in the near future with open arms.