Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

06 January 2021

COVID-19 Public Update

Happy New Year – this is the first monthly Covid-19 update for 2021.


  • Total number of swab tests taken and processed to date: 5,689
  • Total number of swabs taken but not yet tested: 0
  • Total number of positive test results since 3 April 2020: 29
  • Number of current positive test results within the Islands: 2

Our surveillance swabbing programme continues to be a success, enabling us to identify positive cases while people are still undergoing quarantine. Swabbing provides us with a very clear picture of whether the virus is present in the Islands and to date we have not had any positive cases where people have been seriously unwell or required admission to KEMH.


The hospital would again also like to remind everyone that should you have a cold or flu-like illness, or any gastrointestinal illness, then stay at home; do not go to work or school.

If you are unwell with a viral-type illness, KEMH asks you to call them on 28000 but DO NOT go to the hospital as staff will provide advice on the phone. The symptoms of Covid-19 are:

  • A new or worsening cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing and runny nose
  • Temporary loss of taste or smell


In November 2020, the UK government wrote to the Falkland Islands Government to confirm that it had secured an agreement with the UK’s Vaccine Taskforce to supply British Overseas Territories with Covid-19 vaccines, and access to specialist support and expertise, in order to help each territory to administer and monitor a robust vaccination programme.

While we do not have a delivery date for our doses, the Falkland Islands Government has established a vaccination planning group, which is responsible for developing the necessary processes and protocols needed to run an Islands-wide vaccination programme.

People may have seen that the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine was approved for use in the UK on 30 December 2020. This approval was given by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), which has authorised two full doses of the vaccine, with the second to be given between 4-12 weeks after the first.

We expect that the vaccine that we will be given is the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as it does not need to be kept in a super-cool storage unit, which makes things easier in terms of the logistics supply chain as well as storing the vaccine on arrival in the Falkland Islands.

We will continue to keep the public informed on progress with our vaccination plans, but do not expect to have a confirmed date for some time, given that the priority for vaccine doses is rightly being given to countries currently experiencing the worst impacts of the pandemic.


As people will know, current quarantine regulations require people arriving into the Falkland Islands to either travel to their place of accommodation in one of three ways:

  • Via the government-designated transport, provided by Penguin Travel
  • Driving themselves in a vehicle left previously at the airport for that purpose
  • Via collection by friends or family, who must go into quarantine with the passenger

Over the past few days, problems have arisen in terms of the government-designated transport as currently Penguin Travel does not have any coach drivers, only minibus drivers. FIG has recruited a volunteer employee to drive a coach to collect inbound passengers, however this still means that Penguin Travel can only transport 36 people at this time.

Additionally, the government has arranged to leave some FIG vehicles at the airport for FIG staff – which will be left for 72 hours, prior to being used again. FIG colleagues have also kindly agreed to leave colleague’s cars to the airport so that they can drive themselves home. The government will continue to keep this situation under close review and advise the public accordingly.

All passengers will still be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and to stay in strict self-isolation if they are sharing accommodation with others. If people cannot stay separate then they should seek alternative accommodation and the Falkland Islands Government will facilitate this; anyone who needs support should call 27193 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The requirement to quarantine is legally enforceable and contravening this requirement is a criminal offence which can attract a fine of up to £2000, imprisonment for up to 3 months, or both. We also encourage people to report perceived non-compliance with quarantine requirements to the police, who can appropriately sanction anyone who is breaking the law.

As a reminder, our quarantine measures are reviewed every 42 days, in line with the requirements of the Infectious Diseases Control Regulations 2020. We are currently undergoing our fifth review, which involves a detailed analysis of local policies, the global situation, our links with affected countries, and the latest public health evidence and data.


People will be aware of the current situation in the UK, with further lockdowns announced by the Prime Minister on Monday and the numbers of confirmed cases on the rise. It is, of course, concerning and the Falkland Islands Government continues to work closely with our counterparts in the UK in order to determine how best to mitigate the potential risks.

This has included regularly engaging with education providers, the UK government and medical agencies, to determine the likely impacts on our students studying overseas and arrangements for patients travelling to and from the UK for health care and treatment.

We will continue to use all available information to provide the most current and realistic advice for people that we can, mindful of the fact that the situation continues to evolve at a rapid rate. Last-minute changes bring challenges for us all, but officials across government are working incredibly hard to minimise disruption and to advocate for Falklander Islanders.


While our commercial airlinks with Chile and Brazil remain suspended until at least 31 March 2021, we are very pleased to report that we have had an incredible response to the Tourism Recovery Incentive Programme – known as the ‘TRIP scheme’ – which launched in October. So far 2,317 people have registered for the scheme – over 75% of the population!

If you are eligible and have not yet signed up, we would encourage you to apply, even if you don’t intend to travel, as your voucher can also be used for tourism experiences or as part-payment for eating out or for purchasing gifts from TRIP-registered businesses. Finally, a huge thank you to everyone who has used the scheme so far, in addition to helping support local tourism operators during this time, we also hope people are enjoying the opportunity to explore more of the Falkland Islands, places they might otherwise not have visited.

The next monthly Covid-19 update for the Falkland Islands will be on 3 February 2021.