Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

29 May 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


There are no current COVID-19 cases on the Falkland Islands but health services are thinking ahead to what might be needed if there was a large outbreak.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards says with testing able to be done in the Falklands, it is likely cases will be detected earlier and responded to faster. KEMH can already handle up to seven critically-ill patients.

“Although COVID-19 is seemingly controlled in the Islands at the moment, if we did see a big outbreak at some point in the future we could find ourselves needing more beds for patients. With this in mind, we need to practise how, and where, we would manage caring for larger number of patients.”

Dr Edwards said that’s why an exercise is planned for the third week in June, where the main gymnasium at Stanley Leisure Centre will be turned into a hospital ward.

She said KEMH will be working very closely with British Forces South Atlantic Islands.

“We’ve all seen the Nightingale temporary hospitals in the UK – but ours will be of course a lot smaller. We’re going to call ours Nightingale Stanley, and over three days we will build it, test it, and dismantle it.

“This is about reassuring the community that we are ready. Of course, the very best outcome is that we never have to set up this facility – and so, keep following the public health advice, keep your bubbles small, and stay socially distanced where possible. “

The exercise is set for June 17, 18 and 19 – and the Leisure Centre will be closed completely from 9pm Tuesday 16 June to 5pm Friday 19 June.

Dr Edwards said the date was chosen as it’s the half term break for neighbouring FICS.

“We also want to hold this exercise before the possible giving of the green light to some sports clubs to resume, if we keep getting negative test results in our population.”


On May 11 the Government eased its restrictions, allowing most businesses to resume operations. The exclusions were pubs, restaurants, cafes, the cinema and personal care businesses such as hairdressers that require close proximity or physical contact with clients.

In tandem with this initiative the Government released “Guidance for the Workplace”: a document made available on the Government’s website for use by businesses planning to re-open, as well as other specific guidance for retailers, faith groups and taxi companies.

Going forward the Government will continue to assess whether or not, and on what conditions, those businesses that currently remain on the excluded list may be allowed to reopen. This assessment will include consultation with affected businesses.

An important guide in decision making will be the results received from surveillance testing, which KEMH will be in a position to commence in early June, thanks to now having a PCR analyser at the hospital.

Surveillance testing involves taking swabs of selected people who are not showing symptoms. Initially it will be focussed on people whose day-to-day work brings them into contact with many others but will also include some random testing that will increase over time. It will give us improved information to make further public health decisions, including the possible resumption of other activities.

Members of the Legislative Assembly plan to discuss the remaining excluded activity next week after which FIG will announce any proposals for resumption of activities.


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

However, a number of changes are being made to ensure public safety because of COVID-19 measures.

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

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


To reflect the recent easing of restrictions related to COVID-19, we will be shifting to having once a week public updates from this coming week.

The updates will be every Wednesday at 5pm.

However, it is important that people stay aware about any changes regarding the COVID-19 situation and the Falkland Islands response.

So, if there is important information we need to share with you at any other times, we will communicate promptly through our normal channels, including Facebook and local media.

And our web page fig.gov.fk/covid-19 remains active as a source of information and guidance.



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.


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.