Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

27 May 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


A further batch of 10 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 77 swabs have been processed locally, all negative. A further 426 swabs were processed 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.

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. You can expect to be contacted within two working days.


The UK Government has approved antibody tests, and at a later date, the Falkland Islands expects to have access to such tests.

Our hospital is already looking at how it might use such tests.

The Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards says an antibody screen is a blood test that is done to see if a person’s immune system has responded to a particular disease. In the case of COVID-19 it is a way of seeing who might have been infected with the new Coronavirus already.

It is a different test from the one already used here to diagnose the illness, which is a swab up the nose. The swab tests can spot the infections much earlier than an antibody test.

In the Falklands we can undertake the swab PCR testing for the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the disease COVID-19.

Dr Edwards said at the moment once a swab has been taken we expect to have a positive or a negative result back within 48 hours.

The antibody test checks the blood to see if you have had past COVID-19 infection.

When we are in a position to undertake antibody testing in the Falkland Islands this will only be done on a once monthly basis. This is because the reagent used to undertake the antibody testing has to be used within 3 days once defrosted, hence we will be only running the tests once a month on large batches.

Dr Edwards says that having the ability to test antibodies is unlikely to change our plans and our testing pathway very much.

For example, at the moment we have a mandatory two-week quarantine period for all people arriving into the Falklands, and this will remain in place for now irrespective of antibody testing.

Where it will be useful is to take a past look at people who have been unwell to see if they have had COVID-19 disease. It will be helpful to try and get an idea of how many of our population have been exposed to COVID-19 already.

It will be several weeks yet before we are in a position to undertake antibody testing and when we do we will most likely try and target the testing where we know there has been an outbreak of COVID-19.

Later we would look to test people who are interested to have this blood test done if they believe they might have been effected by COVID-19 at some point.

COVID-19 antibody tests done in the Falkland Islands would be a full blood test, not a finger prick test.

If you have any questions about this please call the KEMH on 28000.


The Goose Green Liberation service is this Friday May 29, at 11am at Goose Green.

However, due to COVID-19 this will be a shorter service to mark the occasion.

His Excellency the Governor and MLA Teslyn Barkman will lay a wreathes, while the Reverend Ian Faulds will officiate.

Anyone who usually attends is most welcome but will be required to observe social distancing, or watch from their vehicles.

The usual social gathering afterwards is not possible this year.


Falkland College will be offering driving exams from Monday 1 June.

However, a number of changes are being made to ensure public safety.

To book your driving examination, please contact Falkland College by telephoning 27133. Do NOT come to the college.

Before starting your exam you will need to sign a declaration that you are fit and well to undertaken the test.

Your vehicle will need to be clean. This means all surfaces in the vehicle will need to have been disinfected prior to the examination. The College can provide detailed instructions.

Please respect social distancing in the College at all times and any other instructions asked of you.

A full list of requirements will be provided to you once you have been booked in for your exam.



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.


It’s perfectly understandable if you are feeling stressed because of the impact of COVID-19. So it’s important to know there are people to talk to.

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.


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.

Committee meetings are resuming from June 1, with social distancing and other public health safeguards in place.


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
  • 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.