Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

22 May 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


A further batch of tests processed by KEMH have all come back negative for COVID-19. This week the hospital has begun testing of swabs locally with its new PCR analyser, and there is no need to now send swabs to the UK for processing. A further 21 swabs were done in the latest batch. In total 466 tests have now been carried out here and, earlier, in the UK. There have been 13 positive COVID-19 results in the Falklands but all those affected have recovered or ended their isolation period. As we noted earlier this week, it is just over a month now since the last swab positive for COVID-19 was taken. If you have had a swab taken from KEMH recently, its important you wait to hear directly from the hospital as to your test result and to keep following their health advice in the meantime. Having testing done locally means that people who are symptomatic with a flu-like illness, and who have been asked to isolate, will be able to be swabbed. Once the result is known, if it is not positive for COVID-19, and once the individual has been completely well for 24 hours, they will be free to return to work/school following discussion with and advice from a clinician at KEMH. This also means that household members of symptomatic individuals (who are still expected to isolate alongside their unwell family/bubble member) will be able to be released back to work/school as soon as a negative result is returned. It is expected that the self-isolation times in these cases will be greatly reduced with the opportunity for on-Island testing. WOOL As of yesterday, 21 May, wool producers of the Falkland Islands are invited to consider selling unsold wool to the Falkland Island Government. On 22 April 2020 Executive Council agreed to buy unsold wool based on AWEX prices from March 2020, before the effects of COVID-19 caused a sharp fall. A letter has now been sent to producers from the Department of Agriculture outlines how a farm business can submit an “expression of interest” by completing a “Desire to Sell” form. The closing date for expressions of interest is 4 June 2020. Portfolio holder for Natural Resources, MLA Teslyn Barkman said she hoped farmers take up this commitment from FIG. "This is an excellent opportunity for wool producers to find a way to navigate their businesses through 2020, in the light of very low wool market appetite and prices. It remains optional but is a significant, sector-specific offer, alongside other measures available to support businesses through COVID-19 effects." EDUCATION Attendances have continued to be strong for schools in the second week after the return of students on 11 of May. Rates have been 93% in primary and 94.5% in secondary, this compares well with our school’s usual attendance rates (95-96%). School attendance rates of 95% are considered good. The majority of boarders have returned to Stanley House. The library has also reopened successfully at Falkland College, with the overwhelming majority of feedback being positive. Average number of visitors in this first week has been 20 per day, including new borrowers. The library has social distancing and other COVID-19 measures in place. The home delivery service for people who have been asked to remain socially isolated will continue to operate and remains popular. A library service to Camp is also offered, with the Librarian, arranging for books to be posted to settlements. Falkland College also advises that driving examinations will be resuming from 1 June with COVID-19 precautions in place. Exam applicants will be advised what those measures are.


We are today publishing guidance on whether people at work need to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

The guidance is for those in essential roles but who aren't health workers. It will be useful for Government and for the private sector.

It can be downloaded from our COVID-19 web page, under Protecting Your Workforce.

This is not a guidance for the general public. Our advice is that the public do not need to wear a face mask unless advised by KEMH.

Instead, you should practise social distancing when out, and remember always to wash your hands thoroughly after returning home. This will protect you much more than wearing a facemask.

Note however that FIGAS is presently require face masks for passengers.


This week is Mental Health Awareness week, and the theme is ‘kindness’. Good mental health is not just about ‘fixing’ problems like depression or anxiety with medication or therapy, it is also about doing what we can to stay emotionally healthy. Showing kindness to ourselves and each other is one of the most important ways to protect our mental health.

Earlier this week we suggested that you try to show an act of kindness towards someone you love and towards a stranger. Today we'd like to ask you to try and do something kind for yourself. There are lots of ways to be kind to yourself, for example: give yourself a treat, notice something that you like about yourself, congratulate yourself for doing something well, make some time for yourself to do something that matters to you.

Being kind to ourselves can be more difficult for many people than showing kindness to others because it can feel selfish or uncomfortable. If this is the case for you, try to imagine that your friend needs some help. What would you say to them to make them feel better? What would you do to help them? How would you reassure them? Now, try to do those things for yourself. Try to be as kind to yourself as you can be towards other people.

Wishing you plenty of kindness, not just during Mental Health Awareness Week, not just during a global pandemic, but every single day. The Emotional Wellbeing service at KEMH is available to offer support in person or on the phone. You can access this by phoning the Community Psychiatric Nurses on 28082, the Clinical Psychologist on 54228, or the School Nurse/CAMHS Nurse on 28080. The Community Volunteers led by Vicky Collier are another source of support. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 27451.

Finally, if you have any concerns or queries regarding financial matters, welfare or safeguarding concerns for yourself, your family or someone you know, please contact Social Services on 27296. They operate a 24-hour service and an after-office hours you can call on 28100.


In an example of a local charity that’s adapting to the New Normal, shopping at the Bargains Galore Charity Shop is now done by appointment to ensure social distancing and assist with contact tracing.

Twenty-minute shopping appointments are available every Tuesday (1 - 4pm), Thursday (1 - 4pm) and Saturday (11am - 2pm).

Donations can be left on the front step during these times as well.

Donating and purchasing from the shop raises funds for the community, and reduces items going into landfill.

Last year the charity shop donated over £13,000 to Falkland Island charities: including The Falklands Community Trust, Stephen Jaffray Memorial Fund, Cancer Support and Awareness Trust, and the Lighthouse Seafarer’s Mission.

This year the shop is also supporting the Food Bank.

The team would like to thank everyone in the community for their support.

Please call 53120 to make an appointment.


Our web page dedicated to COVID-19 carries updates, FAQs, guidance and other documents related to the FIG COVID-19 response. We’ve done some reorganising of the page to make it easier to navigate and find what you are looking for. The page is at fig.gov.fk/covid-19



KEMH has put into effect its well-developed plans for handling COVID-19 cases. Patients requiring emergency treatment of any sort including respiratory, and cold like symptoms are asked to contact the hospital on 28000 and discuss their condition with a member of the clinical staff who will then advise. Arrangements for pharmacy continue as before - request repeat prescriptions via the dispensary answerphone 28011 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., one week before you are due to run out. If you live in Camp please do plan further ahead if needed and the pharmacy will endeavour to dispatch your prescription with known deliveries or FIGAS flights to your settlement. Your prescription can be collected on your behalf by someone not in self-isolation. Allow 2 working days from request to collection. The pharmacy counter continues to be open for collections from 1.30 to 4pm Monday-Friday at present.


While the Falkland Islands Government Office in London remains closed all staff are working from home to help all Islanders in the UK, Falkland Islands organisations, FIG, and anyone traveling to and from the Islands. Please do not hesitate to contact them: For Airbridge – Please contact our Travel Co-Ordinator Teryn Joshua on either 07984 096 726 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For Medical – Please contact our Medical Co-Ordinator Gemma Clayphan on 07399 163140 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For Students – Please contact the Deputy Representative Michael Betts on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For all other queries regarding COVID-19 or any other issues, we can be reached via 020 7222 2542 (message will provide a range of contact information) or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Executive Council is meeting regularly to consider the COVID-19 response and make other policy related to the COVID-19 response. MLAs are also meeting regularly to consider COVID-19 related matters.


What to do if you feel unwell and are worried you might have COVID-19. If you have flu-like symptoms, phone the Hospital on 28000. Staff will provide advice. DO NOT come to KEMH directly.

The symptoms of COVID-19 are:

  • a new or worsening cough
  • a high temperature (at least 38°C)
  • shortness of breath
  • sore throat
  • sneezing and runny nose
  • temporary loss of taste smell.

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness. The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu. Please remember the importance of good public health hygiene measures:

  • Always cough and sneeze into a tissue and dispose of the tissue safely in a bin and wash your hands afterwards. If you do not have a tissue, sneeze and cough into the crook of your elbow.
  • If you are unwell with any infectious illness, please act responsibly and stay away from people and crowds and isolate yourself as much as possible.
  • Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and avoid sharing personal items.
  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use a disinfectant, especially after coughing and sneezing, and always before handling and consuming food and after using the toilet.