22 March 2021
The Incident Executive Group (IEG) has agreed and approved the introduction of a ‘travel corridor’ between Ascension and St Helena, whereby passengers travelling to St Helena from Ascension, and vice versa, will be free from the mandatory quarantine requirements on both Islands. The Travel Corridor will take effect from the flight scheduled for May 2021. Ascension Island Government will release separate communications on the requirements for travel to Ascension Island and anyone travelling to Ascension will be informed of these during the booking process.
On 16 March 2021, the IEG met in order to discuss the terms and conditions of approving a travel corridor between St Helena and Ascension. A travel corridor is an arrangement in which two countries agree that people can travel directly between them, with specific exemptions from the rules and controls that affect travellers from other countries. Travel corridors have been widely introduced since the COVID-19 pandemic in an attempt to allow safe travel whilst still preventing wider communal spread between countries.
Travel Corridor Approved
A travel corridor is possible in this case as both St Helena and Ascension are COVID-19 free i.e. there are no cases of COVID-19 within the community. Both Islands are, therefore ‘Gold Standard’ countries i.e. countries of which there have been no reported cases of COVID-19 in the last 14 days.
Ascension Island has also implemented stringent measures as part of its COVID-19 response, this includes a testing and quarantine regime for any arrivals to the Island. Alongside these comprehensive measures, Ascension is also, like St Helena, in the process of vaccinating the entire eligible population.
On this basis, the introduction of the travel corridor was agreed by IEG, subject to conditions.
Conditions of Travel Corridor
The following conditions need to be met for anyone travelling to St Helena from Ascension to take advantage of the travel corridor:
- Passengers will need to have been on Ascension for at least 14 days (the current quarantine period) prior to travel to St Helena
- Passengers will need to adhere to PPE and handwashing recommendations and requirements on the flight from Ascension to St Helena
- The Titan Airways crew must test negative when re-tested on Ascension
- Ascension Island must remain free from community spread of COVID-19.
In extenuating circumstances only, passengers that may be arriving from Ascension that have not been on Ascension for what is the full quarantine period, would be subject to the following additional procedures:
- Passengers will need to present a negative COVID-19 test 72 hours before departure from Ascension
- Passengers would be kept separate from all other passengers on the flight from Ascension
- Passengers would need to complete the remainder of their quarantine period on St Helena, subject to normal quarantine rules.
The travel corridor itself, and the conditions applied, will commence with the arrival of the flight from Ascension in May.
22 March 2021