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'Unease' over British & Irish Lions' return to Jersey

By Chris Jones
Lions training in Jersey /Credit: Lions Rugby

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Jersey’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Cell (STAC) said it could set a “dangerous travel precedent” by allowing the British and Irish Lions to return to the island following their series defeat by the Springboks in South Africa.


The Irish members of the tour party have been dropped off in Dublin with the English, Scottish and Welsh members of the party heading to Jersey to spend their isolation period as South Africa is on the UK’s red list of COVID-19 countries. Jersey was chosen as the pre-tour training base for the Lions who lost the final test 19-16 in Cape Town on Saturday to go down 2-1 in a series marred by the impact of the pandemic on South Africa.

The Lions were based in Cape Town for the majority of the tour due to the impact of a third wave of the pandemic on other areas of South Africa.

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The local BBC is reporting concerns as the Lions arrive for their 10 days of isolation that will see the party tested for Covid-19 on day zero, day five and day 10. Those who have not received two doses will isolate for five days from arrival.

However, the Islands government ministers have agreed a dispensation which means the Lions and their coaches will only be required to isolate until they receive a negative arrivals test if they are fully vaccinated.

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.

The Lions told RugbyPass: “The Lions will PCR test every day in Jersey over and above the other requirements.”


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