Islands unlocked as the Bailiwick enters stage 3 of the exit from lockdown

It’s business as usual for the Bailiwick of Guernsey from today.

After almost exactly two months of restrictions, following the imposition of an islandwide lockdown on 23 January, the islands are now in a strong position of recovery. The housing market is buoyant and local businesses are able to carry on where they left off, with optimism for the resumption of a summer season akin to those seen before the pandemic.

During lockdown Swoffers achieved an extraordinary number of sales, including 13 on the open market. So far this year on the local market, there have been 10 sales over £1m, of which Swoffers sold nine.

‘It really is wonderful news and the island has done remarkably well, again managing to suppress and control the outbreak. Our Public Health team and the States of Guernsey responded swiftly and effectively, keeping islanders safe and businesses going during this second lockdown,’ said open market director Sophie Ephgrave.

‘Technology has been a god-send during the pandemic; during this second lockdown alone Swoffers agreed 13 open market sales, with a number using virtual tours. This is quite remarkable for any climate, let alone during a pandemic! We have to thank our buyers and sellers for not only their patience, but also their compliance with the varying stages of restrictions. It has allowed us to ensure the safety of everyone involved, whilst keeping going.’

A common concern currently is the shortage of available housing stock in the island. With a number of islanders agreeing the sale of their properties just before lockdown, many are now looking for somewhere to buy. Local market director Andre Austin moved to reassure those considering putting their house on the market.

‘It’s a little bit chicken and egg, but if more people considering a move were to take that leap of faith and put their property on the market it will help relieve that bottleneck and get the market moving again,’ he said.

‘We completely understand that people are worried that they will be left without a new home to move into, but please, have a chat with us, we are here to help. Our staff here at Swoffers are very experienced and have lots of contacts. There are solutions to be found and we are the people to find them.’

With a team effort under the guidance of Public Health, the island has just one active case of Covid-19 and our vaccination programme is on track for allowing the opening of borders on 1 July.

From today people no longer need to apply for an essential travel permit prior to arrival in the Bailiwick. Anyone wishing to travel between today and 30 April 2021 will be subject to a mandatory 14 days of self-isolation on arrival in the Bailiwick.

Non-essential travel on or after 30 April 2021 will be subject to border controls based on country/region categorisations. These will determine the self-isolation requirements.

If you are travelling from an areas with very low prevalence rates of COVID-19 this could mean that you are required to provide a test on or before arrival and be subject to passive follow up restrictions until you get another negative test result after a test on day 7.

For the latest advice from the States of Guernsey on stage 3 of the exit from lockdown, click here: https://covid19.gov.gg/guidance/stagethree

 


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