22 December 2020
Quarantine is our primary method of preventing the spread of COVID-19 on St Helena and is still the Island’s first line of defence in protecting its people.
From the Titan Airways’ Charter Flight in January 2021, all arrivals to St Helena can home quarantine at a property that has been pre-approved by a Proper Officer.
Home quarantine means that people are able to quarantine in their own home or in a home-based environment. This has proven to make quarantine less stressful and more comfortable for people.
Home quarantine has been adopted throughout the world and, although there is no zero risk option for containing COVID-19, home quarantine is widely recognised as the preferred option for quarantine because of the benefits it brings, not only to those in quarantine, but for communities as a whole. This is the same for St Helena.
Here we take a look at some of the benefits of home quarantine on St Helena:
Reducing the risk of infection
The risk factor of transmission between passengers after arrival and during quarantine would be lowered considerably due to having their own space at home for the 14 day period.
People who have previously quarantined here have stated that physical distancing within a large group of people at Bradleys camp was difficult.
Familiar Surroundings for relaxation
Quarantine in a familiar or private home environment means more relaxing activities to participate in (i.e. gardening, exercising, cooking or baking, home improvements etc.), all of which could provide therapeutic benefits for mental health during the quarantine period.
Lower risk of individuals breaching security
Home-based activities, providing relaxation and positive mental well-being, consequently could reduce the risk of individuals breaching or attempting to breach quarantine. Most people will arrive to St Helena from countries which have been in ‘lockdown’, therefore will be familiar with restrictions as well as being familiar with and understanding the need to stay home.
An effective Isolation method if anyone tested positive
In the case of COVID-19 test processing; if a person(s) were to test positive and did not require hospitalisation, their isolation at home would mean lower risk of spreading the virus as there would be less contact with less people.
More money for essential services
It costs SHG approximately £900 per person (around £30,000 in total) for the 14 day quarantine at Bradleys Camp. Due to flight passenger number restrictions (limited by capacity at Bradleys Camp) it also costs a further approximate £70,000 per flight rotation to subsidise empty seats. With more available seats, due to home quarantine, this could in turn result in a break even flight and finances could then be used for other essential services including Health and Education.
Friends and families reunited
The increase in availability of seats on a flight could mean families and friends can be reunited once again. There are people who have previously had to cancel their travel plans due to the added expense of quarantine or limited seat availability on flights.
Reduced costs for persons travelling
Those arriving are charged up to £560 per person for the 14 day quarantine at Bradleys Camp, if spent at home this money could be saved. Persons arriving to quarantine in pre-approved rented accommodation would still be required to pay the accommodation provider but would at least be in quarantine in a more home-based environment.
Bradleys camp would still be used should there be a case of someone not having any other accommodation option that meets the specified criteria for home quarantine.
Business opportunities on-Island
Persons/businesses with accommodation that meets the property assessment criteria could hire their premises for quarantine purposes. Businesses on-Island could also benefit by providing paid services to those in quarantine such as grocery and food delivery.
Those persons who arrive to the Island, whether visitors or locals, are entrusted with the responsibility to adhere to the ruling for any form of quarantine, for doing so ensures the effectiveness of these processes.
Following the rules helps to protect themselves while also keeping our community safe and COVID free.
#StHelena #COVID19 #HomeQuarantine
22 December 2020