Tuesday 14 November 2023
The Committee for Home Affairs has extended 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.
Following discussions with the UK Home Office, the Committee is extending the scheme until the end of September 2024 continuing to work closely 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 wanted to maximise opportunities for French nationals to travel to the island using their National Identity Cards before the UK's current roll out of the new Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) scheme includes the EU, which is expected to be the latter part of 2024. Once ETAs are introduced, 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:
'The pilot scheme this summer helped bring a significant number of French nationals to the island, which has clear benefits for our tourism industry. As such we were very keen to extend it for another year but wanted to ensure we had fully briefed and engaged with the UK about our plans. We hope this extension will provide a further and welcome boost for tourism, however it is important to manage expectations that we do not envisage being able to extend it past September 2024 due to the incoming Electronic Travel Authorisation scheme.'
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 will continue to do so during the extension.