Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

31 March 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


KEMH capability:

King Edward Memorial Hospital is well positioned to provide care should there be COVID-19 cases requiring a serious level of care.

Director of Health and Social Services David O’Neill said the 29-bed hospital has been reconfigured to handle potential cases, while also preserving space for other patients.

A number of KEMH’s beds will be purposed for care of the more seriously ill. KEMH has plans to manage up to seven ventilated patients if the need arises. As well, the hospital has a number of other devices that assist breathing, but which are non-invasive.

In light of the worldwide Covid-19 situation, a range of enhancements have been put in place, including the recruitment of extra anaesthetic and surgical staff, and other medical staff. There are currently 10 senior medical staff to lead the care.

The hospital continues to augment its stocks of drugs and medical supplies through air arrivals, and test samples are being sent for processing in the United Kingdom.

In addition to KEMH’s pre-existing local capacity, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has deployed a team of six staff to supplement and be embedded the FIG medical team and under the direction of the Chief Medical Officer.

Test results:

KEMH is awaiting further test results from the UK and these are expected by tomorrow. The hospital has so far received 28 test results back from the UK which are all negative for COVID-19.
The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rebecca Edwards, said the results were good news, although test results are not 100 per cent accurate. That meant the government response would continue to be based on the assumption that it is still likely there is COVID-19 on the Islands.

Care continues for a child who remains in the King Edward Memorial Hospital in a critical but stable condition.

Airbridge Update:

With the resumption of South Atlantic Airbridge it is currently expected that the schedule will be two flights per week, with the focus on essential freight whilst both the MoD and FIG ensure that vital supplies are in place.

The Southbound flights will not be available for routine passenger transport for up to four weeks. There will, however, be an increased allowance of seating on the next Southbound flight for FIG passengers.
We will look to take advantage of this opportunity to get as many people south as we can. There will be no immediate restriction on the numbers of Northbound passengers. The Falkland Islands Government will continue to work with the MoD to ensure that key essential passengers including medical staff are able to still travel over this period. FIGO are in contact with all passengers and are working closely with FIG, BFSAI to provide advice. If you have an existing booking for April and May, you will be contacted shortly. Please wait to be contacted.

British Antarctic Survey:

With its research season coming to a close, British Antarctic Survey (BAS) will now be repatriating around 150 staff over the next two months through the Falkland Islands and onto the UK.

To reassure the community, there have been no COVID-19 cases in Antarctica and staff are coming from an effectively quarantined area. BAS is ensuring there will be no impact on the community and are in negotiations with the Cruise Ship, Hebridean Sky to accommodate their teams before they return to the UK.


The Falkland Islands Government are looking for members of the public to join the Community Volunteers. Volunteers will work with those in our community who are currently self-isolating. Read below for more details on how to help.

Advice around the Falkland Islands Government’s COVID-19 response can change. Please watch out for further statements from the Government in local media and through the FIG and Community Facebook pages, the web page www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19 and other channels.