8 December 2020
THE TRUTH ON HOW IT’S BEEN SO FAR
Home Quarantine has been quite the controversial topic of discussion on St Helena in recent times. Although not everyone can Home Quarantine as of yet, there have been a number of individuals who have Home Quarantined arriving on the recent Charter Flights to St Helena. These include all arrivals from Ascension Island, arrivals travelling with children aged ten and under, and those with medical conditions whereby Bradley’s Camp has not been deemed suitable accommodation.
Here we examine how Home Quarantine has worked on St Helena so far, looking ahead to the New Year.
Home Quarantine from January 2021
The Incident Executive Group (IEG) have approved Home Quarantine for all arrivals to St Helena from January 2021, subject to a number of processes being in place. These include conducting a risk assessment, producing and adopting Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s), and improving security arrangements for those in Home Quarantine, together with an ongoing public information programme.
These pieces of work will be brought to the next IEG meeting on 14 December 2020.
Current Quarantine Numbers and Testing
There are currently 124 people carrying out their mandatory two-week quarantine period on St Helena.
All of these individuals, with the exception of arrivals from Ascension and children aged ten and under, were tested on arrival. All tests returned negative results.
Tests will be conducted again on Day 14 and no one will be allowed to end their quarantine period unless this test returns a negative result. The quarantine period can be extended if an individual does not test negative on Day 14.
Contrary to some of the murmurs in the St Helena rumour mill, there has been no evidence of a breach by any individual in Home Quarantine during this, or any previous round of arrivals to St Helena.
This is a credit to those who have, and are carrying out their period of quarantine. Everyone has a moral and legal obligation to keep St Helena, our families and friends, safe, and this is evident through the commitment of those who have been and are currently subject to two weeks of quarantine.
Remember, St Helena has strict punishments in place for anyone who would choose to breach quarantine and put others at risk.
It is a matter of trusting individuals, the majority of which are families and friends, to respect and adhere to the rules and regulations put in place to keep our Island and our community safe and COVID-free.
From January there will be additional security arrangements put in place to further ensure compliance.
Signage – Home Under Quarantine Notices
Many will have seen properties around the Island with highlighted or red tape and the below ‘Home Under Quarantine’ notice posted outside of their properties:
This means that the property in question is being used for Home Quarantine and therefore distancing should be kept and the property should not be visited.
While many properties have the notice clearly visible at the main entrance, driveway, or gate of their properties, there are others who do not.
There have been issues with the placement of the signage for properties used for Home Quarantine. Proper Officers have been tasked with ensuring all properties being used for Home Quarantine displays notices clearly and in relevant positions whereby it is evident that the property is being used for Home Quarantine. From January, placement of notices and tape will form part of improved security arrangements.
COVID-Free St Helena
While there are many opinions and ideas about the way in which the Island should handle and prepare for the current pandemic, one statement stands out above all – St Helena is still currently free of COVID-19.
This is a credit to the work that has taken place since the virus became known and the work that continues to take place to protect St Helena and our community.
Quarantine, whether at Bradley’s or in another approved property, is still St Helena’s first line of defence and this will remain the case unless significant changes take place in the future, like widespread verifiable vaccinations.
While there may be uncertainties felt by some within the community, so far it is evident that Home Quarantine, following testing on arrival, is working for St Helena with the Island and our people remaining COVID-free.
Thanks to all
St Helena’s current COVID-free status is a credit to everyone on-Island. From arrivals that undergo two weeks in quarantine, to those within the community who continue to listen to advice, respect people in quarantine, and follow guidelines on good hygiene practice, to the Media and other information providers who keep everyone informed and up to date.
Thanks to all for keeping St Helena COVID-free together!
#StHelena #HomeQuarantine #COVID-Free #ThanksToAll
8 December 2020