Foreign travel advice

St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

Important COVID-19 travel guidance

From 5 November to 2 December 2020, travelling away from home, including internationally, is restricted from England except in limited circumstances such as for work or for education. Different rules apply in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. You must follow all the rules that apply to you.

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) provides guidance on COVID and non-COVID risks overseas. The FCDO currently advises against all but essential travel to many countries and territories on the basis of COVID risks. You should check the travel advice for your destination.

Travel disruption is possible worldwide. Other countries may bring in new measures with little notice such as border closures, movement restrictions or quarantine rules. Travellers should be prepared to stay overseas longer than planned.

Entry requirements

Entry rules in response to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Entry to St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha

All foreign nationals are permitted to enter St Helena provided they meet the immigration rules. There are no other entry restrictions in force apart from the requirement for compulsory quarantine for 14 days (see below).

All travellers to Ascension Island require an entry permit visa unless exempted by their occupation, such as active members of Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. Failure to enter with a valid visa is an offence under the Entry Control (Ascension) Ordinance and may result in a fine and imprisonment. Individuals may also be refused permission to land and be required to leave on the aircraft or vessel that they arrived on. Applicants should be aware that their applications may be affected by a change in the Ascension COVID-19 Response Level, particularly if this reflects an escalation of the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat on the island. During such circumstances permissions for certain types of entry permits may not be granted, and extant permissions may be revoked.

All arrivals that have travelled from a COVID-19 infected area within the last 14 days, or travelled with others who have been in an infected area in the last 14 days, are subject to isolation restrictions for 14 days following their arrival at Ascension. During this time their conditions are monitored for the development of symptoms which may be considered consistent with COVID-19. Air crews are also required to isolate for the duration of their stay on island.

Countries currently defined as being an infected area are listed here.

During compulsory isolation, you will not be allowed to leave your accommodation unless directed to by local authorities or unless in an emergency. You will receive a daily welfare check from the local police detachment.

All visitors to Tristan da Cunha require the authority of the Island Council in advance.

Transiting South Africa en route to St Helena / Ascension / Tristan da Cunha

All British nationals are now required to apply for a visa to enter and transit South Africa. Visas will not be issued for British nationals who have recently been in countries South Africa considers high risk for coronavirus, which includes the UK. For more information on visas, contact the South African High Commission.

Testing/Screening on Arrival

All new arrivals to St Helena will be subject to compulsory quarantine in a government facility for 14 days and will require a test on day 14 to check they are free of COVID-19. Visitors will need to meet the cost of quarantine. For those arriving by ship/yacht time at sea will count towards the 14 days quarantine period.

All arrivals to Ascension may be subject to testing at their port of entry. If you feel unwell or develop COVID-19 symptoms during your journey, you should make the crew aware and they will ensure containment measures are implemented on arrival.

Regular Entry Requirements

Visas

For St Helena an Entry Permit costs £20 and allows a stay of up to 183 days. The fee can be paid in British pounds, euros, US dollars or South African rand. You will need to provide evidence of a return ticket, or funds for a return ticket, medical insurance, adequate accommodation and sufficient funds for your stay.

If you wish to stay for longer than 183 days you should apply to the St Helena Immigration Control Board.

If you need a visa for South Africa make sure it is valid for the date of your planned return journey. There are no facilities to issue international visas on the island.

Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter St Helena. Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into from St Helena.

The Immigration Service in St. Helena only issues and renews British Overseas Territory Citizen passports and British Emergency travel documents.

Travelling with children

If you intend to send an unaccompanied minor to St Helena you should seek advice from Andrew Weir Shipping prior to making any travel arrangements.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.

Ascension

Visas

You must get permission to visit Ascension Island from the Administrator before travel. Entry permit applications should be completed via the Ascension Island Government E-Visa website. You must be able to produce evidence of holding comprehensive travel and medical insurance which includes pandemic and coronavirus cover. You must also be able to produce on request evidence of a return air ticket (or other evidence of pre-paid onward travel), pre-booked accommodation and sufficient funds to cover your stay on the island. 

Visitors are prohibited from taking employment, paid or unpaid, without first obtaining permission to do so from the Administrator. 

Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Ascension. Your passport must be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Ascension.

Tristan da Cunha

Visas

You will need the prior permission of the Island Council to land on Tristan. You should apply to the Administrator’s office: enquiries@tdc-gov.com. You must have a confirmed and fully paid return passage; comprehensive travel and medical insurance that cover the cost of medical treatment and evacuation to Cape Town; and sufficient funds to cover the cost of your visit. A police clearance/vetting certificate must also be provided for stays beyond two months. A small landing fee is payable on arrival at the Island.

Passport validity

You must hold a valid passport to enter Tristan. Your passport must be valid for the proposed duration of your stay. No additional period of validity beyond this is required. However, it’s always sensible to have a short period of extra validity on your passport in case of any unforeseen delays to your departure.

Yellow fever certificate requirements

Check whether you need a yellow fever certificate by visiting the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s TravelHealthPro website.