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Warren Gatland’s Lions trip to Guernsey criticised by locals

Gatland

Warren Gatland’s visit to Guernsey has been criticised by some of the island’s inhabitants after the Lions coach didn’t have to quarantine on his arrival.

The British and Irish Lions head coach visited the small British Crown dependency island off the coast of France during the Easter weekend to check out the rugby and hotel facilities available.

Guernsey is being considered as a base for the Lions squad before they head off on their tour of South Africa this summer, as there are currently no active Covid-19 cases on the island of roughly 63,000 people.

‘It’s just such a smack in the mouth.’

Gatland’s visit to the coronavirus-free island has come under criticism according to the Guernsey Press, with Dan Meinke, who runs a boating service known as Island Rib Voyages, refusing to allow the Kiwi coach to avail of his services.

“For us it was too big a risk, we’re a small business of three or four people, if we catch Covid we’ve got to close our business down. So I refused it, and also from the personal side, I’ve got older parents to protect,” Meinke said.

“My wife hasn’t seen her family for over a year, like many thousands of other people over here, it’s just such a smack in the mouth.”

Lions

The Guernsey Press also got into contact with Gatland himself to ask whether the Lions would begin making plans to set up base on the island, but the New Zealander said it was too soon to make a decision.

While the trip has come under criticism, some locals have seen the potential positive benefits of the trip, as it would bring added exposure to the island which could result in a boost to tourism after the pandemic.

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