IEG Discuss Commencement of Phased Quarantine Approach

The Incident Executive Group (IEG) met on 1 September 2021 to discuss progress towards achieving the trigger points that are required in order to initiate Phase 1 of the modifications to St Helena’s entry and quarantine arrangements.

At this time, not all of the criteria for local trigger points have been met, therefore IEG have decided not to move to Phase 1 in October.  IEG will meet again at a later date to consider the progress against triggers and decide whether a move to Phase 1 can be agreed for travellers arriving to the Island from November.

The phased quarantine approach is a risk-based approach which takes into account the effectiveness of vaccinations in reducing the likelihood and severity of COVID-19 infection. Phase 1 would enable a fully vaccinated person to quarantine for seven days if they had spent the last 10 days within a red list country or five days if from a non-red list country. A non-vaccinated person would quarantine for the full 10 days if they had spent the last 10 days within a red list country or seven days if from a non-red list country.

The IEG discussed whether critical frontline healthcare workers would be allowed to enter St Helena and have a reduced quarantine period to allow them to provide critical health services.  Critical frontline healthcare workers are individuals providing, or directly facilitating, frontline health services and whose presence on St Helena is required to keep critical health services running.

These staff would undergo a reduced quarantine period of five days after having had a negative PCR test 72 hours before travelling to the Island, as well as receiving a negative result from a PCR test on arrival and undertaking daily lateral flow tests.  Staff members will only be released after five days following negative results on Days 1 to 4 and a negative PCR test result on Day 5. 

In the case where a staff member might be required to exit quarantine in an emergency situation they would adhere to COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures on the use of PPE. 

Operating the Health Service in a safe and efficient manner is of utmost importance, especially in the midst of a global pandemic. Therefore, to facilitate the continuation of critical frontline services, the IEG agreed that the Portfolio Director of Health & Social Care would be able to authorise reduced quarantine for essential frontline health workers on a critical needs basis. It was noted that this practice was fairly typical in other countries, even ones with no or low COVID-19 prevalence. This exemption applies only to health workers and not their families.

6 September 2021

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470