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Jersey lets French day-trippers use ID cards in bid to boost visitors

A decline in French visitors to Jersey has seen the island drop its requirement for passports to be shown on entry

French nationals travelling to Jersey for the day will be able to enter with a French ID card from this summer under a newly-announced pilot scheme Pic: Gary Le Feuvre / Shutterstock

French day-trippers to Jersey will soon be able to use their national identity cards to enter instead of a passport.
The pilot scheme will begin this summer.

It comes after the number of day-trippers to the Channel Island significantly decreased after Brexit amid new rules that required visitors to show their passports.

In February, French authorities said that they would stop funding a ferry service to Jersey if a deal could not be reached.  

The Manche department partly funds the Manche Iles Express ferry to provide a service between Normandy and the Channel Islands.

A government spokesperson said French nationals would need to show valid ID cards, and that “robust measures are in place to ensure the security of the border is maintained”.

Deputy Helen Miles, Jersey Minister for Home Affairs, announced the new scheme on March 7. 

“We are grateful to our partners in the UK and in Normandy for their help and engagement,” she said.

“It is important that we are all working together to enable French residents to visit our beautiful island and give them the flexibility they need to do so. 

“Jersey has a longstanding history and cultural links with France and my aim is to make sure we create opportunities for this to continue."

Manche department president Jean Morin said that the ferry services had been losing money ever since passengers had been required to show passports to enter. He had said that without an agreement, the ferry service had been at risk of stopping next year.

Read more: Ferry at risk, €100 fuel aid, toll badge scam: 8 French travel updates 

He welcomed the ID card scheme. "[Requiring passports] means we lose half our passengers. The economic model doesn't work, and we found ourselves in great difficulty. That's why this change in authorisation is vital for the ferry link with Jersey and Guernsey.

“We will never make money on these routes, but we must not make too much of a loss,” he said.

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