Visitor ban announced until further notice

Island Council takes steps to protect island from coronavirus

Tristan da Cunha Government announces ban on visitors due to coronavirus contagion fears

The Tristan da Cunha Island Council made the decision on Monday 9th March 2020 to not allow passengers to disembark from visiting cruise ships at the island. There were three cruise ships booked to call at Tristan this season: Le Lyrial and Silver Cloud in early March and Plancius scheduled for 12-15 April. The companies and ships concerned have been made fully aware of the decision.

The isolated Tristan da Cunha community is particularly vulnerable to the introduction of any new virus as there is very limited immunity amongst the people. Therefore, even with common colds, epidemics occur locally which cause the hospitalisation of the most vulnerable.

In fact, a Tristan flu epidemic, probably introduced from the last ship visit, affected the island in early March. This has put pressure on Tristan da Cunha’s healthcare services and so steps must be taken now to minimise the risk for coronavirus to be introduced to the island by visitors.

The coronavirus is particularly serious for older people and Tristan’s population has a disproportionate proportion of older people, many of whom have underlying respiratory disease which places them in the most at-risk group.

The ban will apply until further notice and will also extend to any other ad hoc visiting vessels, eg yachts. Crews of yachts needing urgent assistance should contact the island in advance using the detailed advice on the website:

It is reassuring that everybody has been supportive and understanding that the decision needed to be taken. The coronavirus has now been declared a global pandemic and now that the TV service has been reinstated to the island following 2019 storm damage islanders are fully aware of the effect on other communities across the globe. Clearly every country is making their own decisions to protect citizens and Tristan’s new policy will come as no surprise at this time.