Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

25 May 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


A further batch of tests processed by KEMH have all come back negative for COVID-19. Since last week the hospital has been testing swabs locally with its new PCR analyser. To date 67 swabs have been done locally.  There have been 13 positive COVID-19 results in the Falklands but all those affected have recovered or ended their isolation period. 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.


KEMH has made changes to its criteria for requiring family members to isolate if one of them is under suspicion of having COVID-19 symptoms. The Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards said that the science around the virus is constantly changing, and previously a temperature of at least 37.8 degrees was considered the point at which someone was possibly infectious to others. However, Public Health England now says that this could happen at lower temperatures. Dr Edwards said that means KEMH will require a household to self-isolate now for any case of someone with a fever, regardless of the temperature. The same will apply for a new continuous cough as a symptom. “By taking this more robust approach if someone does have COVID-19 we would hope to contain the spread even more quickly and tightly. Now we have on-Island testing facilities we can turn swabs around within 24 hours, so asymptomatic people who are isolating alongside an ill family member should not be kept away from work or school for too long.“ Dr Edwards said the key thing for the public to do had not changed – ring KEMH on 28000 if you have flu-like symptoms. The medical staff will tell you what to do next. We know many people have printed out the handy poster with symptoms – and that’s now been updated. You can access the latest version on the web page www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19 just go to the General Information section and download the Feeling Unwell poster to print.


As from the 8 June anyone wishing to enter the UK will be subject to a 14 day quarantine period. There are certain exemptions to this which can be found at GOV.UK – search for Travelers Exempt From UK Border Rules. www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-travellers-exempt-from-uk-border-rules

For example medical emergencies are exempt as are people returning to the UK for a medical appointment if it can be concluded within 14 days. The Falkland Island Government is continuing to study the UK measures and hopes to update by the end of the week.


Gilbert House is advising that committee meetings will be resuming from 1 June. The meetings were stopped in March as a result of the COVID-19 response with only urgent business being dealt with via email. They will be conducted in the Town Hall with social distancing measures and other public health safeguards in place. There is a limited ability for members of the public to attend (maximum 10 persons) and seating will be placed with the relevant spacing in place. For Committee Members in isolation or Camp who are unable to attend in person, a dedicated conference number is being provided specifically for Committees. For further information, contact Cherie Clifford on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Imogen Didlick on email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.