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Travel

Coronavirus: All cruise ships to Guernsey cancelled – but are they on lockdown?

All cruise ships to Guernsey have been cancelled until the end of April at the earliest due to the latest coronavirus travel measures. The first cruise ship of the season was the Fridtjof Nansen which was meant to have arrived on March 20. However, it was cancelled earlier in the month following the advice from Guernsey’s Public Health.

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Now, nine other cruise liners that would have docked in Guernsey in April have been cancelled.

Three others have also cancelled their visits in May, with many more expected to follow suit.

The largest marina facility in the British Isles, Guernsey Harbours said in a statement: “Due to the global outbreak of Covid-19, travel restrictions imposed by the States of Guernsey require all persons arriving in the Bailiwick from anywhere else in the world to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

“These restrictions mean that all cruise ship calls are currently cancelled until 30 April at the earliest.

“Some cruise operators have suspended operations past 30 April.”

P&O Britannia, which was the largest of all the cruises set to visit on April 18 with 4,000 people, has temporarily suspended all new cruise operations.

They said in a statement: “We shall be bringing our ships and all guests who are currently sailing back to Southampton and will constantly monitor the situation over the coming weeks.

“As ever, our priority remains the health and wellbeing of our guests and crew.

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“We wholeheartedly wish you well in the coming months and hope we will have the opportunity to welcome you on board with us again as soon as the situation has improved.”

The Channel Islands include Jersey and Guernsey and are in the English Channel of the French coast of Normandy.

Although not a part of the UK, the UK is responsible for the defence and international relations of the islands.

Jersey’s Deputy Chief Minister, Senator Lyndon Farnham said that the small island nation could follow the UK and go into lockdown but hasn’t as of yet.

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In a tweet he said: “It is time for Jersey to follow UK.”

The most recent government advice in Jersey is to keep a distance of at last two metres between people.

People arriving from the UK have also been told they must self-isolate for 14 days, regardless of whether they are ill or not.

The borders on the Isle of Man closed to non-residents yesterday at 9am.

The Manx government confirmed on Twitter that all schools on the island would be closed by the end of March 23.

The small island between The United Kingdom and Ireland has had 13 confirmed cases so far.

However, the Isle of Man has not confirmed a full lockdown like that of the United Kingdom.

Guernsey has seen a rapid increase in coronavirus cases after 20 positive tests were recorded.

Guernsey’s most senior politician Gavin St Pier, president of the Policy and Resources Committee said yesterday that an island-wide lockdown is not the answer to covid-19.

According to Guernsey Press he said: “We have already understandably seen an increase in mental health issues in the last few weeks.

“Perversely, social distancing risks substantial social isolation and all that follows in terms of increased alcohol and drug dependency, depression and anxiety resulting in more suicide, self-harming, domestic violence and divorce.

“Social isolation will damage us all and potentially create a longer term social problem to add to our more immediate public health and economic problems.”

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Travel

Benidorm closes all beaches as woman arrested for sunbathing near Majorca seafront

The Costa Blanca resort is following the examples of thousands of local councils throughout the mainland of Spain, the Canary Islands and the Balearics following Spain’s declaration of a State of Emergency. The police and council staff have been out and about over the last few days putting up barriers and no entry signs to the beach fronts, preventing thousands of tourists from going on the sand or into the sea.

Benidorm had originally vetoed swimming but has now extended the ban to going on the entire beach areas.

The Mayor of Benidorm, Toni Pérez says ordering the beach closure is one of the hardest decisions a mayor could take but they had no choice given the seriousness of the situation.

“We are sure we have everyone’s understanding from those of us who are currently in Benidorm, ” he said.

In the south of Tenerife, the popular beaches in Playa de las Americas and Los Cristianos are deserted this morning after the local council put up barriers to comply with the new coronavirus restrictions.

Meanwhile, a woman has become the first person in the Balearics and possibly in Spain to be arrested for flouting the new State of Emergency ruling after sunbathing on the grass near the seafront!

She was taken into police custody following complaints from local residents in Palma, the capital of Majorca which, like the Spanish mainland, is under strict curfew conditions.

The Spanish Government has BANNED the use of all outdoor spaces and parks, as well as many beaches, as part of the containment measures to stop the flow of coronavirus.

The furious woman was arrested by Spanish police and put into a police van after she refused to pack up and go home peacefully. Local people and residents are only supposed to be on the streets with good reason, including to visit a supermarket, chemist or bank, to look after an elderly resident or to go or return from work.

The woman now faces a fine for civil disobedience and not complying with the State of Emergency.

Police said she and friends were sunbathing on the lawns near the seafront. When officers arrived, they were lying on towels and having a drink.

“The officers spoke to those present and communicated verbally and informatively that they should leave the area and remain at home,” says island newspaper Ultimahora.es. “A woman, far from complying with the instructions of the authorities, confronted them and told them that she wanted to get a tan.

“After several verbal attacks on the police officers and because of her attitude, she was asked to identify herself but refused.”

Civilians who refuse to comply with the orders of the State Security Corps and Forces in relation to the measures adopted in the framework of the State of Emergency may incur a crime of disobedience or resistance to authority.

“Fines of between 600 and 30,000 euros can be imposed and a public address system is being used to warn people in Spanish, Catalan, English and German.

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