Since March 2020 there has been a requirement for new arrivals to quarantine on entry to St Helena. Originally this took place in people’s homes, or where this was not possible, in specific locations such as hotels. A scare occured, the word on the street was that someone had a cough and their washing might have changed hands with someone else, (and who knows what actually happened as per a lot of the street gossip), despite no one having COVID-19 the scare was enough for the public to demand new arrivals stay as far away from the community as possible.
Bradley’s Camp was built for the airport workers. It was temporary accommodation for Basil Read, although temporary, some workers, mostly migrants for example from Thailand, lived in the camp for long periods of time, in some cases, years.
Bradley’s Camp had previously been suggested as future a holiday camp, even a location for a space park for earth stations, that is until March this year.
My husband was part of a team who had to convert the blocks into livable quarantine accomodation within 6 weeks. I can tell you that him and so many of the other workers worked early morning to late night through the weekends to get the site ready for a flight arriving from South Africa. Since then there have been 3 further flights from the UK. The capacity is around 50-70 max. Therefore inbound flights such as the 757 who can take up to 140 passengers is restricted to the number of rooms at Bradley’s which obviously makes it difficult, nay impossible, for the flights to break even commercially.
Its fairly obvious there are challenges of putting all the arrivals in Bradley’s; but at this time by being near the airport the public feel safer.
Of course there are several alternatives to using the Camp for everybody such as testing regimes, quarentining at home, social distancing and a combination of all. Each has its own risks, and of course the data needs to be clear about effectiveness of testing, risk reduction by mask wearing and social distancing, probability of non-compliance, and there needs to be procedures in place such as what happens if someone skips quarantine or contact tracing becomes a necessity.
The Incident Emergency Group have been dealing with such issues so far.
And for those people who are facing 14 days in the camp. Download movies in advance, bring exercise equipment, and books.. see below for a tour of the camp.
As usual all opinions are my own and not representative of SHG or any other organisations that I am affiliated.