Monthly Airlink operated inter-island flights between Ascension and St Helena will recommence from Saturday 26 March 2022. The current schedule for these flights can be found here.
Given the ongoing COVID-19 situation, a number of protocols and procedures are currently in place in the three territories on the route. All passengers are encouraged to familiarise themselves with these prior to travelling.
Requirements for travellers to St Helena
All travellers ending their journey in St Helena must complete the ‘St Helena Pre-Arrival Questionnaire’. This form will ask for your personal details, contact details, your COVID-19 vaccination status, and your quarantine arrangements where applicable.
The questionnaire is available online at the point of booking with Airlink, or via the AIG Finance Office if travelling from Ascension, and passengers are encouraged to complete the questionnaire at least seven days before their intended arrival to St Helena. A physical copy is also available on arrival at St Helena airport.
Requirements for travellers to South Africa
Travellers aged five years old or more arriving into South Africa are required to produce proof of vaccination on arrival. Anyone who cannot show that they are fully vaccinated will need to present a negative PCR test result from a test taken within the last 72 hours.
Additionally, a completed Entry Traveller Health Questionnaire (THQ) must be produced. This is a one-page form that asks for personal details, contact details, your address in South Africa (e.g. your hotel), and other travel information, including COVID-19 related questions. The THQ can be completed up to 48 hours before travel or upon arrival into the country, and can be downloaded here. This form is also available on the Airlink flight from the cabin crew.
Upon arrival at South Africa, port health officials will screen travellers to determine if they are experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection. The screening will include a temperature test and a review of the THQ.
If a traveller is found to be experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 during the screening, further assessments will be conducted, which may include testing. If the test result comes back positive and the traveller is symptomatic, a decision will be made on whether isolation can be completed at the traveller’s accommodation or at a health facility.
Further guidance on what is required if a traveller tests positive can be found here.
Pre-departure requirements for travellers in South Africa
All passengers travelling to St Helena or Ascension will need to produce a negative PCR test result no older than 72 hours before departure from the country they have begun their travel journey from (e.g. South Africa, UK, etc.). Passengers flying with Airlink to both St Helena and Ascension will need to show this negative PCR test result at check-in at OR Tambo International Airport.
For passengers whose point of departure for St Helena or Ascension is South Africa, this will need to show a negative test result for a PCR test that was taken within 72 hours of check- in.
For passengers whose initial point of departure for Ascension is not South Africa (such as the UK), and so they are only transiting South Africa for a short period of time, this must show a negative PCR test result for a test taken within 72 hours of their departure from their initial territory. They should also provide evidence of travel from that territory, such as a plane ticket or booking confirmation, at check-in.
Passengers should also submit a signed EXIT Traveller Health Questionnaire to a port official. A temperature check will also be carried out by officials at the airport.
Quarantine protocols for arrivals to Ascension
All travellers to Ascension are currently required to observe compulsory isolation protocols on arrival. The length of quarantine to be observed will depend on the number of persons quarantining together and their vaccination status, and this requirement may be waived for passengers arriving from St Helena in certain circumstances.
In flight protocols
Passengers are required to wear a face mask at all times, observe best social distancing practises and carry out good hygiene by washing hands or using sanitiser regularly.
Between St Helena and Ascension, COVID-19 specific in flight protocols will be in place and must be observed by all passengers. These are designed to keep the passengers boarding the flight at St Helena separate from those who have travelled from Johannesburg.
As such, the two sets of passengers will be seated separately and will use separate toilet facilities. Johannesburg passengers will be seated at the front of the aircraft and use the forward toilet, whereas St Helena passengers will be seated at the back of the aircraft and will use the rear toilet.
All passengers are to avoid mixing with persons that did not board the flight at the same location that they did.
To limit interaction between St Helena passengers and the crew, there will be no trolley service on flights from St Helena to Ascension. Water and essential assistance can still be provided by the crew, but passengers are encouraged to consider bringing drinks and snacks on board with them if they so wish.
Passengers will be reminded of these protocols prior to boarding and following entry to the aircraft.
Arrival at Ascension
Upon arrival at Ascension individuals will be directed to remain seated to ensure separation of the two sets of passengers continues to be observed.
All arrivals should keep their face masks on whilst disembarking and during processing at the air terminal.
The cabin crew will advise the passengers in what order they will be disembarked from the plane.
The Johannesburg passengers will be led to an outside seating area of the air terminal and will then undergo testing from medical staff. From there they will make their way to their isolation accommodation and await the results of their tests.
Passengers from St Helena will be directed to enter a separate area of the air terminal for arrivals processing. Once completed, they will then travel to their isolation accommodation and await further instruction.
If all results from testing of the Johannesburg passengers are negative, the St Helena passengers will be granted permission to exit isolation. If any positive results are returned however, they may be required to observe a period of quarantine.
All travellers will be provided a pre-departure information pack with details of their travel and relevant COVID-19 information and requirements. However, further information can be requested by email through email@example.com, or be telephone on 67000 ext. 115.