Jersey health advisers warned against Lions return trip

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Lions squad in trainingImage source, Getty Images
Image caption,
The players first came to Jersey in June and will return for a period of recuperation

Health advisers in Jersey have warned ministers against a decision to allow the British and Irish Lions to return to the island from South Africa.

The rugby squad are expected to arrive in Jersey on Monday, but will not follow the rules for red-list countries, which South Africa is on.

Jersey's Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) said it could set a "dangerous travel precedent".

The government has been approached for a comment.

The Lions have been permitted to return to Jersey for a period of recuperation following their final game against the Springboks in Cape Town on Saturday.

South Africa is currently on the UK's red list of "banned" countries, which Jersey follows.

It means people travelling from the country to Jersey must isolate for 10 days upon arrival, regardless of their vaccination status.

They also must be tested for Covid-19 on day zero, day five and day 10.

Visit 'unease'

However, an exception agreed by ministers means the Lions and their coaches will only be required to isolate until they receive a negative arrivals test if they are fully vaccinated.

Those who have not received two doses will isolate for five days from arrival.

All players and coaches will also be PCR tested for Covid-19 every day for their first 10 days in Jersey.

Minutes from a STAC meeting held on 28 June revealed the committee had "unease" about the proposal and it feared Jersey could be viewed as a "back door" to the UK.

"Whilst noting the proposal's intentions to assist the BIL [Lions], Dr Muscat [Dr Ivan Muscat, consultant microbiologist] remained concerned that the cell would be setting a dangerous travel precedent if it acceded to the terms of the proposal," it read.

Deputy Chief Minister Lyndon Farnham previously said it was "fitting" the Lions started and ended their campaign in Jersey.

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