Coronavirus travel health

Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha on the TravelHealthPro website

See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

International travel

Flights to and from St Helena and Ascension remain very limited. The St Helena government, with the support of the UK government, has organised charter flights from the UK to St Helena and Ascension to maintain essential access to the islands. Check with your travel company for the latest information on any new scheduled commercial flights. There is no flight access to Tristan da Cunha.

Entry and borders

See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Returning to the UK

Travelling from and returning to the UK

Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.

UK rules say some people are required to show proof of a negative COVID-19 test to your airline before being allowed to board. However, you do not need to take a test if you began your journey to the UK from St Helena and Ascension because travellers starting their journey from there are currently exempt.

Be prepared for your plans to change

No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.

If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.

Plan ahead and make sure you:

  • can access money
  • understand what your insurance will cover
  • can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned

Travel in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

There is currently a travel corridor between St Helena and Ascension. Individuals who have been resident on St Helena or Ascension for 10 days or more prior to their flight will be able to travel between the two islands without the requirement for quarantine. On Ascension, medical clearance by the Senior Medical Officer is required on arrival before quarantine is exempted.

In St Helena, those arriving by air (except travellers from Ascension) must quarantine in a property deemed by the authorities to be appropriate for quarantine or they will be taken to a government quarantine facility where they will spend 10 days. They will be tested for COVID-19 on arrival and again after 10 days. Any breach of quarantine may result in a fine of up to £5,000. There is no requirement for face coverings and there are no social distancing measures in force. Once new arrivals have completed quarantine, and tested negative for COVID-19, there are no local restrictions on travel within St Helena. Visitors can use taxis, public transport or rental cars to explore the island.

Given its extreme isolation and lack of visitors, there is currently no social distancing on Tristan da Cunha.

On Ascension you must wear a face covering from your port of arrival until you reach your isolation accommodation. Once new arrivals have completed compulsory isolation and tested negative for COVID-19, there are no local restrictions on travel within Ascension or a requirement to wear a face covering or socially distance.

Ascension’s Public Health (Coronavirus) (Temporary Measures) Regulations 2020, enables local authorities to enforce public health measures. The penalties for breaches of these Regulations consist of a fine of up to £5,000 and up to six months in prison.

Accommodation

Limited accommodation is open on St Helena.

On Tristan, the only accommodation is government guest houses, which have to be arranged via the Tristan da Cunha Tourism Department well ahead of any proposed visit.

On Ascension, all accommodation available to rent privately remains open as usual and is suitable for use during any period of compulsory isolation.

Public spaces and services

Public places and services are open as usual and there are no restrictions on large gatherings. However, should Covid-19 present itself on any of the Islands, the authorities have the power to close public places and limit public gatherings.

Healthcare in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

St Helena has had no COVID-19 cases in the community. All new arrivals (apart from those travelling from Ascension who have been resident there for 10 days) will be tested for COVID-19 at the beginning and end of 10 days quarantine. If at any point during your visit you think you have COVID-19 symptoms you should contact the hospital on 22500. If you need regular supplies of prescription drugs, you should make sure you bring adequate supplies with you. The one pharmacy is located in the Jamestown hospital.

Tristan da Cunha is COVID-19 free, and has had no cases. Healthcare is limited. There is a small hospital but no ICU and no ventilators. The nearest comprehensive hospital facilities is in South Africa.

Ascension has had no COVID-19 cases in the community. If you think you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should call the Hospital on 66252 to inform them of your symptoms, recent travel and provide details to enable contact tracing to begin. Clinical testing will be undertaken on arrival, prior to release from compulsory isolation and on anyone who displays symptoms consistent with COVID-19. Testing will be arranged by the Hospital and conducted in your compulsory isolation accommodation. If you need regular supplies of prescription drugs, you should make sure you bring adequate supplies with you. There is one pharmacy on island located within Georgetown Hospital.

Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health.

View Health for further details on healthcare in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

See also the guidance healthcare if you’re waiting to return to the UK.

COVID-19 vaccines if you live in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Information on the vaccine programmes for St Helena and Ascension can be found at: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/coronavirus-covid-19/ and http://www.ascension.gov.ac/covid-19-booster-vaccines-arrive-at-ascension. On Ascension, all those aged 12 and over deemed medically suitable will be offered a vaccination as part of the island’s COVID-19 plans. Those administered with a vaccine on Ascension will be provided with written proof of their vaccination details by the Senior Medical Officer at their port of departure.

As further information is available about the national vaccination programme, this page will be updated. Sign up for email notifications.

The UK Government has been supplying vaccines to the people of the UK’s Overseas Territories. The Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is the UK authority responsible for assessing the safety, quality and efficacy of vaccines. MHRA has temporarily authorised under Regulation 174 of Human Medicines Regulations 2012, the Pfizer/BioNTech and Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine for supply in the UK, Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories for use in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.

Local authorities in Tristan da Cunha do not have supplies of any vaccine at this time.

Further information

Check the St Helena Government website for the latest updates on its response to the coronavirus outbreak, including travel restrictions.

If you need urgent consular assistance, the first point of contact is the Police Station as follows:

St Helena – 290 22626

Ascension – 66412

Tristan da Cunha – 5111

The nearest British embassy, high commission or consulate is in South Africa. All telephone numbers are available 24/7.