Important COVID-19 Travel
Under current UK COVID-19 restrictions, you must stay at home. You must not travel, including abroad, unless you have a legally permitted reason to do so. It is illegal to travel abroad for holidays and other leisure purposes.
If you intend to travel to the UK from abroad, including UK nationals returning home, you must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result taken up to 3 days before departure. If you do not comply (and you do not have a valid exemption) your airline or carrier may refuse you boarding and/or you may be fined on arrival.
When you enter England from abroad (except Ireland), you must follow the new requirements for quarantining and taking additional COVID-19 tests. For those travelling from a country on the banned travel list you will be required to quarantine in a hotel. Different rules apply for arrivals into England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
If you are legally permitted to travel abroad, check our advice on your country of destination. Some other countries have closed borders, and may further restrict movement or bring in new rules including testing requirements with little warning.
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 COIVD-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:
- provide your journey and contact details before you travel
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.