Ascension Island and St Helena have agreed to establish a travel corridor between the islands. Subject to conditions, the travel corridor will enable passengers from either island to forego quarantine / isolation on arrival. For the time being, UK originating passengers will undergo Compulsory Isolation on arrival in Ascension as usual.
Both Ascension Island and St Helena remain free from COVID-19 with established strict protocols in place to manage arrivals. Additionally, both islands have made significant advances with their campaigns to administer the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine.
The following conditions must be met to enable St Helena originating passengers to forego Compulsory Isolation on arrival in Ascension:
From the March Titan flight, procedures to ensure the separation of passengers from the UK and St Helena – both before and during the flight, and on arrival in Ascension – will be bolstered and testing of all UK arrivals will commence. This will include changes to how passengers are processed on arrival to the airport terminal on Ascension. All passengers on the March Titan flight, irrespective of originating country, will be required to complete Compulsory Isolation as per the current established process.
From the May Titan flight, arriving passengers whose flight originated in St Helena will not be required to complete Compulsory Isolation on Ascension, subject to the above conditions being met.
The following conditions need to be met for anyone travelling to St Helena from Ascension to take advantage of the travel corridor:
In extenuating circumstances only, passengers that may be arriving from Ascension that have not been on Ascension for what is the full quarantine period, would be subject to the following additional procedures:
I boarded the Titan flight at Stansted, will I need to quarantine / isolate on arrival in Ascension?
Yes. All UK originating passengers will be issued a CV08 which is the legal notice to say you must undergo Compulsory Isolation on Ascension. You will receive a briefing on arrival to Ascension which will detail the rules to follow.
I boarded the Titan flight at St Helena, will I need to quarantine / isolate on arrival in Ascension?
You should arrange for accommodation for Compulsory Isolation as usual. If you arrive on the March flight you will be issued a CV08 which is the legal notice to say you must undergo Compulsory Isolation on Ascension. You will receive a briefing on arrival to Ascension which will detail the rules to follow.
If you arrive on the May flight, the presumption is that you will not need to undergo Compulsory Isolation. Compulsory Isolation will be necessary if a UK originating passenger on your flight tests positive on arrival in Ascension Island.
In order to prepare for this circumstance, you should arrange accommodation for Compulsory Isolation. You will initially be issued a CV08 which is the legal notice to say you must undergo Compulsory Isolation on Ascension and be required to undergo isolation until test results of UK originating passengers have been completed.
If test results return a positive case of Covid, St Helena originating passengers will need to complete a period of Compulsory Isolation. If test results are negative, St Helena originating passengers will be contacted to advise if / when their period of Compulsory Isolation concludes.
I’m flying in on a military flight from the UK / US, will I need to quarantine / isolate on arrival in Ascension?
The new travel corridor is only between Ascension and St Helena. Only St Helena originating passengers will be potentially exempt from completing Compulsory Isolation. Any arrivals on the RAF or USAF flights are subject to Compulsory Isolation under established processes.
Will I have to take a COVID-19 test on arrival at Ascension?
All UK originating passengers and crew will be required to take a COVID-19 test. The test is not invasive and consists of a nasal swab to collect DNA. St Helena originating passengers will not be required to take a COVID-19 test on arrival.
I took a COVID-19 test before boarding the flight in the UK, will I need to have another test?
Yes, a test will need to be taken on arrival at Ascension. Due to the overnight stop in St Helena, passengers could have incubated the COVID-19 virus in their system and become infectious.
What will be the arrival process at Ascension?
A test will be carried out. The test is not invasive and consists of a nasal swab to collect DNA. St Helena originating passengers will exit the plane first and be escorted into the arrivals terminal where a briefing will take place, CV08 notices issued and once ready, passengers will be allowed to collect baggage and make their way to defined Compulsory Isolation accommodation.
UK originating passengers will deplane last, being escorted to the outdoor pen holding area. Separation will be maintained between St Helena and UK originating passengers at all times. Passengers must follow the directions of RAF base personnel and SH Police at all times. Once St Helena originating passengers have departed the terminal, UK originating passengers can make their way into the arrivals terminal where a swab will be taken. Once ready, passengers will be allowed to collect baggage and make their way to defined Compulsory Isolation accommodation.
Once all the tests are processed, St Helena originating passengers will be contacted to advise if they are to continue isolating (if positive results are found) or can be released from isolation (if all results are negative).
How do we know it is safe to not have all arrivals quarantine?
St Helena is free from COVID-19. All UK passengers and crew must undertake a COVID-19 test on arrival. If all tests come back negative, there is a very high level of surety that the virus has not been transmitted to other passengers during the flight.
I didn’t agree to have the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine and am concerned for my health. Will new arrivals have to distance from me until 14 days after arrival?
New arrivals will not be required to distance from those already on Ascension outside of Compulsory Isolation. All eligible adults are encouraged to receive the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine. The World Health Organisation state that it is safe to receive and provides a very high level of safety from COVID-19.