Locate Guernsey Summer Update 2020
29th June 2020
Found in: Blog -
What a rollercoaster we have lived through since the first edition of “Better Times” earlier this year. Wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, we hope that you and your loved ones are safe and well.
Guernsey went into lockdown at very short notice on 25th March 2020 having been advised by the Chairman of the Civil Contingencies Authority and Chief Minister, Deputy Gavin St Pier that it was necessary to do so. His was a difficult decision and Deputy St Pier told the people of Guernsey at one of what became a series of regular media briefings: “When I was first elected to office in 2012, it never entered my head, that 8 years later I would be the one signing the Regulations imposing the most far reaching deprivation of personal liberties since the Second World War. And if you had told me that I would be doing so with absolute certainty that it is the right thing to do and without a moment’s hesitation, I would have laughed at you.”
At the first pre-lockdown briefing Deputy St Pier told the community “we’ve got this”; he, along with Dr Nicola Brink, Director of Public Health and Deputy Heidi Soulsby, Minister for Health and Social Care, became the public faces of a team effort. The island-wide mantra #GuernseyTogether bound the community in a focussed endeavour to support one another throughout this time and the residents of Guernsey have responded magnificently.
Paul Whitfield, Chief Executive of the States of Guernsey commented that Guernsey’s reputation had been built on stability, security and trust and that once again, in its response to Covid, the island’s trustworthiness had been proven.
Although islanders have suffered over the past three months with untimely deaths of older members of our community and extreme difficulties seen in the tourism sector, as I write this, just over three months after lockdown, none of us could have ever imagined how quickly and well the island would emerge from the crisis. Guernsey was the first place in the British Isles to be Covid-free and we are now into the second week of what we call Phase 5 – restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms and shops are all open again; our children have been back at school for 4 weeks; offices are open and travel between the islands of the Bailiwick (Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm and Jethou) is unrestricted; an air bridge with the Isle of Man has been agreed to commence in July and islanders can travel to the UK without the need to quarantine on arrival. Visitors to Guernsey are currently still required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival although a project to trial a new 7-day quarantine and test system is due to take place in early July.
The island has seen an increase in the number of enquiries from individuals and businesses seeking to relocate here and several people have actually made the move during the pandemic, observing all the rules for self-isolation on arrival. One of the many results of the Covid crisis globally is recognition by employers and employees alike that, thanks to modern technology, people can work from anywhere. Many of us around the world have appreciated the opportunity to work from home, to spend more time with our families and to make the most of a better work-life balance. People are emerging from lockdowns with a recognition that maintaining a more balanced life is important to them and they see that Guernsey offers the opportunity to live such a life very easily.
The property market continues to be buoyant and we have heard some wonderful testimonials from those who have arrived recently and who are delighted with their decision to relocate. The ease with which people can relocate to the island and live in property registered on our Open Market continues to be a huge draw alongside the safety, security, stability and convenience of island life. Our government-owned airline, Aurigny, continues to provide travel certainty for islanders.
The team at Locate Guernsey have adapted our plans for promotional events and activities in 2020 and are in the process of finalising details for our annual Showcase event which will take place online later this year. We are also involved in some other virtual events and further details of a webinar later this week.
As always, myself, Paul and Keith are here to provide further information to advisers, individuals and businesses who are considering a presence in Guernsey so please do feel that you can pick up the phone or drop us an email at any time. We are passionate about Guernsey and happy to help anyone considering making the move to our shores.