Successful precautions mean community can enjoy a traditional Easter

Coronavirus Update - Tristan free of Covid-19 cases

Tristan da Cunha Coronavirus Update: 10th April 2020

The Tristan da Cunha island community, consisting presently of 253 people, 230 resident islanders and 23 expatriates, is free from cases of coronavirus Covid-19 at present. 16 resident islanders are currently overseas: 9 in England and 7 in South Africa.

Visits Suspended

On 9th March the Tristan da Cunha Island Council made the decision not to allow passengers to disembark from visiting cruise ships or yachts which may call at the island until further notice. Therefore, visits ashore by cruise Le Lyrial and Silver Cloud in early March and Plancius scheduled for 12-15 April were cancelled.

Geo Searcher March April Voyage

The scheduled visit of the Ovenstone fishing vessel MFV Geo Searcher was carefully managed.
Passengers, all returning resident islanders, were assessed by medical staff on arrival on 21st March and were all found to be well after the seven-day passage from Cape Town. Despite seeming to be well, they entered an isolation period during which their health continued to be monitored. On Friday 27th March they were free to enter into normal village life, some 14 days after departure from Cape Town.

The MFV Geo Searcher departed from Tristan da Cunha on 4th April.

A number of people who had planned to travel back to South Africa, including both expats and islanders requiring medical treatment, decided to postpone their journeys and stayed on the island rather than go to Cape Town or on to the UK.

Future shipping

Now the 2019-2020 fishing season is complete, and as Tristan prepares for winter, this is a quiet time on the island and the next scheduled ship is two months away as MFV Edinburgh is expected to start a return passenger and cargo trip on 14th June. Any special arrangements to ensure incoming passengers are free from the Covid-19 virus will be made in due course, informed by developments in the outbreak in the coming weeks.

It will be management of those who may travel on the incoming voyages of MFV Geo Searcher, MFV Edinburgh and particularly SA Agulhas II (usually with about 40 Tristan passengers) scheduled for August and early September which bring the geatest risk of introducing the Covid-19 virus. Nevertheless, there is time to assess the situation and those planning to travel should be in touch with the island.

Island Life

Day to day life on Tristan continues normally, with the extended Easter break able to be enjoyed by the community by attending gatherings in homes, church services and looking after their stocks of cattle, sheep and poultry. All are able to move freely around the Settlement Plain without the restrictions that affect daily life in many other parts of the world.