15 July 2021
The last meeting of the Incident Executive Group in June resulted in changes being made to the Home Quarantine arrangements. The five metre boundary around each property is no longer required within the assessment of homes intended for Quarantine.
Why is it no longer required?
The five metre boundary line was primarily required as part of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) within the COVID-19 Response. This was to ensure a safe distance was kept between those in quarantine and persons visiting or living/working near the property. Public Health England states transmission of the virus requires close contact with an infected person and stipulates this to be:
• Having face-to-face contact with someone less than a metre away
• Being within one metre for one minute or longer with face-to-face contact
• Being within two metres of someone for more than 15 minutes.
Medical Evidence and Scientific based studies have now proved that surface transmission of the virus is considered very low risk. The SOPs for Home Quarantine on St Helena have proven to maintain these risks as very low therefore making it possible to lift the five metre boundary requirement. This will now enable a higher percentage of arriving passengers to home quarantine.
Requirements to be adhered to:
All properties intended for Home Quarantine still need to be assessed by St Helena Government Officials before being approved; this is to ensure all other requirements of Home Quarantine are met. Previously there were properties that met all other requirements of Home Quarantine but did not have a five metre boundary surrounding the property therefore could not be used e.g. properties in Jamestown. Persons are now able to quarantine in such properties. Quarantining in a home environment improves health and safety benefits as well as lessens additional costs for arriving passengers.
Social Distancing Requirements:
Persons entering Home Quarantine are not permitted to exit the place of quarantine for the 10-day period unless they have the approval of the Proper Officers. For example, a Proper Officer may instruct a person in quarantine to exit the premises in order to attend the drive-through testing at Bradley’s towards the end of the quarantine period. If such approval is given, the person undergoing quarantine will social distance (i.e. maintain a minimum 2m distance from others).
Members of the public are reminded that they are not permitted to enter the place of quarantine during the quarantine period.
Anyone that breaches quarantine requirements/rules (whether a person in quarantine or a member of the public) are subject to prosecution.
Notification of the properties under quarantine:
Prior to the arrival of persons entering Home Quarantine, any persons living in properties nearby will be notified through the property assessment procedures. Properties intended for Home Quarantine will still be marked with the appropriate signage posted within their property. The property will no longer be demarcated with hazard tape as previously done.
All persons are reminded that Home Quarantine is a vital process in the Island’s response to COVID-19, all persons within quarantine and the general public must adhere to the rules associated to quarantine in order to keep St Helena safe. If you have any further queries, please email: email@example.com
15 July 2021