St. Helena set to drop quarantine
The St Helena Government, through its Executive Council, has announced that, with effect from Monday, August 8, quarantine will no longer be a legal requirement on the island.
The Government said in a statement that by that date, all restrictions would be removed and people would be able to visit St Helena without needing to quarantine. This decision to remove quarantine follows the announcement made in May 2022 to reduce quarantine from 10 days to seven as a part of a roadmap towards living with COVID-19 on St Helena.
Elsewhere in the world, vaccines have enabled the gradual and safe removal of restrictions on everyday life over the past year, and this will remain at the heart of St Helena’s approach to living with the virus in the future.
A spokesperson said: “St Helena is extremely privileged to have had both access to vaccines and time to roll out a comprehensive vaccination programme during this year and as a result uptake has been very high, more than 95% of our population are fully vaccinated.”
Globally many communities have implemented processes and daily habits that allow people to return to a new normal while living with COVID-19. Over the coming weeks, the St Helena Government will be issuing advice and guidance to assist all on the island to develop and implement protocols and procedures to minimise and reduce the impact of community spread once the quarantine is lifted.
The Health Services Directorate has been doing a lot of background work to ensure that it is prepared for community spread of COVID-19.
A Recovery Working Group that includes representatives from key services, retail, Youth Groups and other NGOs, will meet on a regular basis to discuss planning to ensure the continued delivery of essential services following the removal of quarantine restrictions. This group will also be discussing how they inform their staff about any new arrangements for service delivery that will be required.
A Communications Plan has been drawn up and will be rolled out during the next six weeks. Information and advice, including travel advice, to assist both the community and people planning to visit the island, will be provided via the local media and other communication channels throughout the period leading up to the lifting of the quarantine requirements.