Following the move to Level 2 of the Safe Exit Strategy, Simon Soar, Chief Executive of the Jersey Hospitality Association, has issued this statement calling for the island to allow visitors to return –
“The easing of some of the restrictions that have included allowing hotels to open and restaurants to serve their customers indoors is a welcome boost to the hospitality industry, but it’s no secret that businesses in this sector have been hit extremely hard during the Covid-19 crisis.
“Even though we are moving in the right direction, many businesses remain extremely concerned about the immediate future.
“Without a further change that would allow visitors from outside the island to come here, there remains the real possibility tourism businesses will close.
“Even with Islanders now able to take staycation breaks in Jersey, the industry remains in a dangerous position without the economic boost visitors will bring.
“The hospitality industry provides huge benefits to the island, but it desperately needs visitors to come here once again if it is to survive. Without hospitality, Islanders will not be able to enjoy the fantastic meals, attractions, venues and activities that make living here great.
“Our restaurants, cafes, pubs, venues, hotels and guest houses have all been working extremely hard to adapt to the new circumstances and get themselves ready for when things return to normal. They have shown that islanders and visitors can have an enjoyable experience while also remaining within the guidelines to ensure their safety.
“Last year nearly 800,000 people visited the island, spending £280 million, and it’s because we have so many visitors that we have such a wide offering that Islanders can also enjoy.
“Two thirds of the people that visit Jersey come from the UK and, with the right safeguards, we need to be offering them the chance to have a holiday in our beautiful island after months of lockdown.
“The Jersey Hospitality Association has welcomed the latest changes as part of the Safe Exit Strategy, but we are calling for inbound visitors to be allowed to come here as soon as possible and show that Jersey is open for business.”