With the UK’s permission, Jersey will authorise French travellers to visit the Channel Island with only an ID card instead of a passport. Jersey is implementing a pilot scheme during the summer which should encourage day visitors again following Brexit complications that have seen a dip in tourism from France.

Since Brexit, which marked a sea change in the UK voting to leave the European Union, EU passports over ID cards have been required to come to the UK, including Jersey. However, the more relaxed rules allowing ID cards will spur French visitors to visit Jersey who probably do not possess a passport and change the downturn of tourists.

The reintroduction of passports post-Brexit complicated easy travel to the UK and impacted commercial opportunities from tourism as only 50% of people in France hold a passport. Prior to the changes that Brexit imposed, ID cards were accepted identity documents from French residents, but Jersey is part of the Common Travel Area and “respects the UK’s borders” and tide of new changes now.

The Minister for Home Affairs, Deputy Helen Miles confirmed her intention to launch the pilot ID card scheme for visitors travelling by commercial passenger ferries.

Deputy Helen Miles maintained that security that the passport epitomises would still be prioritised to ensure robust measures:

“We are grateful to our partners in the UK and in Normandy for their help and engagement, and to the Minister for External Relations and his department for their support. 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”.

From 26 April until 30 September 2023, French nationals can take a day trip to travel to the Bailiwick of Guernsey presenting their identity cards on one of two direct ferry services – Manche Iles Express and Condor Ferries. There are continuing talks to extend this easier entry.