11 September 2020
The Incident Executive Group (IEG) agreed for passengers from Ascension to quarantine in their own homes. These arrangements will be effective from the September charter flight arriving from Ascension Island on Tuesday, 15 September 2020. A Proper Officer will assess the homes that arriving passengers propose to stay in to ensure they are suitable for home quarantine.
Earlier this week Ascension Island Government (AIG) announced that their COVID-19 Response level had been escalated to Level 2 RED as a precautionary measure following two low-level positive test results. These were identified in individuals in quarantine that had not had any contact with the wider public. However on Wednesday, AIG reported that their response level had been returned to Level 1 AMBER after subsequent tests results indicated significantly reduced levels of the virus, to the point of non-infectious amounts, and were therefore deemed to be negative. Ascension Island has no cases of COVID-19, and is therefore COVID-19 free.
A risk assessment, requested by Elected Members, has also been carried out and the conclusion by the Health Directorate is that passengers arriving from Ascension Island are low risk. Robust measures for effectively managing arrivals on Ascension and on St Helena have been in place throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. These protocols have been developed in liaison with experts from Public Health England.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been developed by the Health Directorate on how home quarantine of Ascension Island passengers will be managed. This includes pre-flight, flight, arrival at St Helena Airport, transportation to homes, the home quarantine period and ending quarantine.
If an individual in quarantine becomes unwell, shows symptoms of COVID-19 or a test confirms they have the virus they will be asked to self-isolate. This means that the person should completely separate themselves from all other people including those they are quarantining with in their own household and have no contact with anyone else. They may need to move to another location, such as the Bradley’s Hospital, until they are well again. The amount of time someone is required to self-isolate will be determined by a Doctor after assessment of the situation.
St Helena Government (SHG) looks forward to the public’s support in maintaining the quarantine procedures.
The full procedures are available on the SHG website and can be viewed under download links at the following link: https://www.sainthelena.gov.sh/coronavirus-covid-19-live-qa/. An electronic copy is also available for viewing in the Public Library.
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11 September 2020