British & Irish Lions land Jersey Government with £22,000 bill

By Ben James

It has been revealed the Government of Jersey paid approximately £22,000 on daily Covid tests for the British and Irish Lions.

The squad stayed in Jersey on their return from South Africa following their series loss, as an immediate return to the UK from a red-list country would have meant a 10-day stay in a quarantine hotel.

As such, they returned to the place where they had spent a training camp - with a provision of daily PCR tests allowing for a less rigid quarantine regime.

However, it was Jersey's government and not the Lions who were footing the bill for those tests.

And the figure has now been revealed in a Freedom of Information request.

The squad were tested on arrival for free, like all other travellers, but all other tests they received were paid for.

In addition, they were were granted an exemption from the usual 10 day isolation period and received their second coronavirus vaccine while they were in the island.

Some politicians were quick to criticise this at the time, saying it "sends out all the wrong messages".

Environment Minister John Young said the move ‘does not seem at all right’ and suggested that the decision was ‘vote of no confidence territory’.

He added he had learned of the ministerial decision only through reports and had sent an email to States Members raising his concerns.

He said: "It defeats the whole point of quarantine rules that people have had to put up with for 18 months."

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