Testing Arrangements for Sea Arrivals – Update

St Helena Government (SHG) has changed the testing arrangements for sea arrivals. The majority of sea arrivals to the Island are visiting yachts and the MV Helena.  

St Helena’s COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures currently require all vessels arriving to the Island to provide proof of their last port of call and time at sea. This is to confirm that all crew/passengers on-board have had no further contact outside of the vessel prior to arrival.  Port Control clarifies this by carrying out routine checks and the inspection of the official documentation. The continuous time spent at sea from the last port of call will continue to be used to assess the quarantine and testing procedures for those arriving at St Helena.

Procedures for arriving yachts:

If a yacht has been at sea for 10 days or more upon their arrival

  • The Health Services Directorate will provide Lateral Flow Tests (LFT) to all arriving yachts via the Port Authorities/ Harbour Master 
  • The tests will be issued during normal SHG working hours only: Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm 
  • The test results received from the first test (referred to as the Day 0 test)   undertaken independently by arrivals on board is to be provided to the Harbour Master who will then advise the Health Services Directorate – test results to be communicated electronically or via channel 14 on VHF radio, tests will need to be kept until the following day for visual evidence as well  
  • The Health Services Directorate and Port Authorities will liaise with arrivals regarding timing for the second test (referred to as the Day 1 test) to be undertaken. The second test  will also only be issued within normal SHG working hours but will be carried out with the supervision of Health Services Directorate staff 
  • Once all on board have received two negative test results, they will be able to enter St Helena   
  • When planning the trip to St Helena yachts are expected to keep continuous contact with Port Control as SHG would like, when possible, to test groups of arriving yachts as opposed to individual arrivals, as this impacts local resources.

In consideration of the above there may be slight delays in testing to accommodate all arriving vessels. 

Failure to produce the vessel’s official documents from the last Port of call, means that all on board will need to remain on board under quarantine conditions for the full 10-day period.    

If a vessel has been at sea for less than 10 days – all persons will be required to remain on board in quarantine conditions until they meet the 10-day quarantine requirement. For example, if the vessel has been at sea for eight days prior to arrival, all on board will be required to quarantine for a further two days. Upon completion of the 10 days quarantine the testing procedure as above will be carried out for all on board.  

In the case of positive test results returned from person(s) on board the vessel – all persons will then be required to quarantine on board for a further five days – on the fifth day a further LFT will need to be taken by all on board, following the testing procedure.  To be allowed ashore, all on board must meet the requirement of two negative test results. On day six, all on board are required to test and return a second negative test result. Once all on board receive a second consecutive negative test result, they will then be allowed to enter St Helena.    

Passengers arriving on the MV HelenaThe MV Helena normally takes six to seven days to travel from South Africa to St Helena, these days are counted toward a passenger’s 10-day quarantine period.  Passengers travelling to St Helena will disembark the vessel and carry out the remainder of their quarantine period ashore. St Helena’s COVID-19 quarantine and testing protocols will be applied to passengers during this time.  


27 April 2022

St Helena Government Communications Hub

Telephone: 22470
Email: communications@sainthelena.gov.sh