Foreign travel advice

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Important COVID-19 Travel

Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays or leisure purposes. Check the rules in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Do not travel unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. In England, from 8 March you must complete a declaration form for international travel (except for travel to Ireland).

Check our advice for all the countries you will visit or transit through. Some countries have closed borders, and any country may further restrict travel or bring in new rules with little warning.

To enter or return to the UK from abroad (except from Ireland), you must follow all the rules for entering the UK. These include providing your journey and contact details, and evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before you travel. When you arrive, you must quarantine and take additional COVID-19 tests. This will take place in a managed quarantine hotel if you enter England from a red list travel ban country, or enter Scotland.

Summary

If you are arriving in the UK from St Helena, Ascension or Tristan da Cunha on or after 4am on 18 January you will need to self-isolate on your arrival, unless you have a valid exemption. Check the latest guidance for England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Travel to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha is subject to entry restrictions

  • All arrivals to St Helena are required to have had a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before travelling to the island. Only Saints and their dependents, long-term entry permit holders and those in service to the Crown in right of the Government of St Helena and their dependents are permitted to enter the island. All arrivals are subject to compulsory quarantine for 14 days and will be tested on arrival and at the end of quarantine.

  • Visitors to Tristan are currently restricted to returning Tristanians and expatriates on contract to the Government of Tristan da Cunha. Tristan da Cunha has banned all visits by cruise liners and yachts. The only boats going to Tristan da Cunha are the supply vessels from Cape Town which undergo strict quarantine/sanitisation procedures before leaving Cape Town. These vessels only run 8 times per year.
  • For those eligible to visit Ascension, everyone must self-isolate for 14 days on arrival unless otherwise directed by the Senior Medical Officer.

See Entry requirements for more information before you plan to travel.

Preparing for your return journey to the UK

If you’re returning to the UK from overseas, you will need to:

If your return journey to the UK transits another country, you should check whether it is subject to a travel ban or any other additional requirements. If so, contact your travel provider.

Check our advice on foreign travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and sign up for email alerts for this travel advice.

If you’re planning travel to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, find out what you need to know about coronavirus there in the Coronavirus section.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is more important than ever to get travel insurance and check it provides sufficient cover. See the FCDO’s guidance on foreign travel insurance.

For information about COVID-19 vaccines, see the Coronavirus page.

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha are British Overseas Territories. There is no formal British diplomatic representation on any of the islands and the local authorities deal with all requests for emergency assistance. See Emergency Assistance

Although there’s no recent history of terrorism in St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha, attacks can’t be ruled out. See Terrorism

Travel to Tristan da Cunha is by sea only.

St Helena Airport usually offers weekly flights to Johannesburg but these have been temporarily suspended due to the global coronavirus pandemic. Planning is underway for the resumption of scheduled flights as soon as conditions allow.

Due to repairs required to the Ascension Island runway, the Ministry of Defence has temporarily rerouted the South Atlantic Airbridge via an alternative location. Monthly flights to Ascension from South Africa via St Helena are suspended. You should contact your travel agent, local tour booking office or Ascension Island employer for the latest up-to-date information. See Getting to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

A good standard of medical care is available on Ascension Island, but it is limited and is not free to visitors. An adequate standard of medical care is available on St Helena but costs for major treatment can be high. Medical treatment on Tristan da Cunha is limited, not free and major treatment can be very expensive, especially if repatriation to Cape Town is needed. See Health

You can contact the emergency services in St Helena by calling 999 (fire and police) or 911 (ambulance) and in Ascension by calling 999 for all emergency services.