Wednesday 04 October 2023
The Committee for Home Affairs intends to introduce a year's extension to its scheme allowing French nationals to travel to the Bailiwick of Guernsey on a day trip using their National Identity Cards on one of the direct commercial ferry services.
However, further discussions are required with the UK before the Committee is able to announce the final details of the planned extension.
When in tandem with our Jersey counterparts, the pilot scheme this summer was deemed a success and saw an extra few thousand French nationals travel to the island. The Committee wants to maximise opportunities for French nationals to travel to the island using their National Identity Cards before the UK introduces its new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme, which is expected to be rolled out in the latter part of 2024. Once ETAs are introduced by the UK, it is our understanding that it will no longer be possible for French nationals to enter the Common Travel Area without a passport.
Statement from Deputy Rob Prow, President of the Committee for Home Affairs:
'We have been in discussion with colleagues in Jersey at a political and officer level and the UK Home Office, regarding the extension of our French day-tripper scheme. The pilot scheme this summer was deemed a success and we are keen to extend it for another year.
'I can confirm that it is our intention to introduce a similar extension. We have some further discussion to do with the UK on this and will seek to provide an update as soon as possible.'
For the purposes of background, key elements of the day-tripper scheme are:
- The scheme is only available to French nationals using a valid Identity Card.
- The scheme is only for direct sailings from Normandy or Brittany to St Peter Port Harbour, Guernsey or Braye Harbour, Alderney (after arrival, people can explore the Bailiwick of Guernsey, but must depart on the return sailing later that day).
- The scheme does not allow passengers to transit through the Bailiwick onwards to the United Kingdom, Jersey or the Isle of Man
- Carriers will only take bookings for French nationals travelling on day trips where a return ticket has been booked for return on the same day
The Guernsey Border Agency regularly reviewed the scheme to ensure compliance and would continue to do so in any extension.