Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

10 June 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


Results continue to be negative for COVID-19 in swabs being tested by KEMH.

To date, 245 swabs have been tested with the hospital’s new PCR analyser.

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, it is 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.


Surveillance swabbing is being increased, now that KEMH is able to process results here. This swabbing is an important tool to try and search out the SARS-CoV-2 virus, particularly in those individuals who might be asymptomatic.

That means they may not show any flu-like symptoms but may still be shedding the virus. The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rebecca Edwards said that while there are no current known cases of COVID-19, there is always the possibility of asymptomatic spread, even with the 14-day quarantine that is in place.

“Surveillance swabbing gives us an extra degree of reassurance around COVID-19 in that we would expect to find any cases that are spreading silently in the community and detect this spread faster. That then allows us to respond quicker by getting people to self-isolate, while we trace who they might have been close contact with.”

Dr Edwards said that negative results from the increased testing were an important precondition to the planned June 19 easing of restrictions around the group classified as most vulnerable.

Initially surveillance swabbing has been targeted at healthcare workers, but is now being rolled out to include people who undertake work where they naturally come into contact with lots of people, e.g. teachers, shop assistants, Customs and Immigration officials etc.

“As well, if you are coming to KEMH for a patient consultation, you may now be offered to take a swab test. It is voluntary but we would encourage people to do so because it does help our understanding.”

Surveillance swabbing is being undertaken at MPC too.

In due course, KEMH will start antibody tests.

This is blood test that is done to see if a person’s immune system has responded to a particular disease, in this case COVID-19.

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

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.


The Nightingale Stanley temporary hospital ward exercise gets underway in just under a week. The exercise will run on 17, 18 and 19 June in the main gymnasium at Stanley Leisure Centre While there are no current COVID-19 cases on the Falkland Islands, health services are thinking ahead to what might be needed if there was a large outbreak.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Rebecca Edwards says this exercise is about reassuring the community that KEMH is ready.

“We also want our staff to be familiar with what’s involved in setting up a temporary ward and how it would operate. So, we hope to be filming the process to allow staff who aren’t directly part of the exercise to be able to see how the ward would work. We also want the public to have an idea of what to expect if we ever did need this ward."

Dr Edwards reiterated the very best outcome was to never need the facility, so it remains very important people keep following the public health advice, keep their social bubbles small, and stayed socially distanced where possible.

KEMH are working very closely with British Forces South Atlantic Islands in the exercise. Because of the exercise, the Leisure Centre will be closed completely from 9pm Tuesday 16 June to 5pm Friday 19 June.


The KEMH have now contacted all those in the most vulnerable group who are due to come out of isolation on Friday 19 June. While many people will be pleased to be out of isolation, for some it may also create anxiety. The KEMH would like to remind the public that health staff will be there to assist anyone who needs support.


Liberation Day is of course celebrated this Sunday, 14 June, although with some changes necessitated by COVID-19 precautions

The annual service will take place in the Cathedral, as usual, at 9.45am.

Because of Covid-19 social distancing requirements, there will be less seating than normal, but the Reverend Ian Faulds advises that are taking great care to prioritise Veterans, those who served in the FIDF and residents here in 1982.

If you would like to come, are in one of these categories and have not yet been contacted, please get in touch with the Cathedral as soon as you can by phoning 21100, 22038 or 51051 – or by emailing on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. –they we will do their very best to find a seat.

Depending on the demand for tickets, there may well be spare seats and anyone else who would like to come is encouraged to get in touch.

For those who already have tickets for the service, in order to make a prompt start please ensure you are seated by 9.35am.

As with other memorials during this period, please remember that, although there are currently no Coronavirus cases on the Islands this does not mean there is no risk and we must take care to observe the required social distancing.

Please do not come if you have cold or flu like symptoms or are waiting for the result of a COVID-19 test.

The service will be broadcast by Falklands Radio and live-streamed to Facebook by FITV, so everyone will have the opportunity of hearing and seeing this climax of the 1982 Memorial Season.

Reverend Faulds says the Cathedral is keen to ensure that, despite all the restrictions, we come together as a community to honour those who gave their lives to ensure our freedom today. The service will be followed by a Parade and service of remembrance at the 1982 Liberation Monument where His Excellency The Governor, Chief Executive Barry Rowland, MLA Leona Roberts, and a representative from BFSAI will lay wreaths followed by Veterans Groups and individuals.

In a change from the usual parade, detachments of troops consisting of members of the FIDF and BFSAI will form up at the Liberation Monument and not march from the Cathedral. There will be no march past at the end of the parade.

The BFSAI contingent will be made up of personnel from Hillside camp and 16 Medical Regiment who have been serving in Stanley.

BFSAI will also be represented by HMS Forth in Stanley Harbour and the RAF will provide a flypast subject to weather and operational commitments. Wing Commander Wood DCOS OPS will attend to represent Commander British Forces and lay a wreath on behalf of the Armed Forces.

The public are welcome to attend but are asked to arrive no later than 10.45am and observe social distancing during the event. There will be limited space for vehicles so people are asked to walk to the monument if they can.

Children from youth groups are encouraged to attend in uniform but will remain within family bubbles rather than taking part in the parade.

BFSAI will also hold a ceremony at MPA around the time of the Stanley Liberation Day commemoration.

Meanwhile Falklands Radio will be on-air from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and as we mentioned earlier, providing live coverage from the Cathedral and then the service from the Liberation Monument. Between midday and 2pm they will be looking at local and international hits and headlines from the time and that will be followed with an on-air party between 2 and 6pm.

Falklands Radio is keen to have as much community involvement as possible, especially during the afternoon, so please get in touch with the team if you would like to record a Liberation Day message for family and friends, request a song, or share some memories.


A reminder that UK has implemented a mandatory 14-day quarantine for all travellers arriving and intending to remain in the UK. This applies to all nationals, including UK citizens returning to the UK.

All travellers returning to or travelling through the UK must complete a contact locator form NOT MORE THAN 48 hours before arrival in UK. This form is online and can be completed at this link. www.gov.uk/provide-journey-contact-details-before-travel-uk

Once you have completed the contact locator form, we recommend that you print and carry a copy of the form or have a copy available on your phone.

Passengers may be asked to provide evidence that they have registered on the UK Gov site prior to embarkation.

You may also be asked to present a copy on arrival and/or for onward travel within the UK.

1) Travelling to the UK in order to remain in the UK (without need for Visa or a valid Visa) - 48 hours prior to your departure, you must complete the contact locator form as stated above. There are no other requirements. However, if you are transiting through the UK, then one of the following situations applies:

2) Transiting the UK (without a need for a visa or with a valid visa) - Passengers transiting through the UK and remaining airside (i.e. within a single airport) are exempt from the requirement to self-isolate but must still complete the contact locator form described above. Passengers passing border control in order to transit via another port (or transiting via the same port later) will be required to self-isolate for the duration of their stay in the UK and to adhere to UK Government social distancing guidance. Public transport is to be avoided wherever possible.

3) Transiting through the UK (and you require a visa and do not currently have one) - To transit through the UK and apply for a visa waiver – you must still complete the contact locator form – but you must also send the following information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 14 days before you depart:

  • Confirmation of your details (full passport details)
  • Confirmation of the Airbridge booking
  • Confirmation of your onward flight from UK (ideally any flight needs to be within 48 hours of arriving in the UK)
  • Confirmation of your address while in UK and
  • Details of your transportation from Brize to the alternative port. 4) Southbound transit through the UK to the Falkland Islands - To transit through the UK and on to the Falkland Islands through RAF Brize Norton you will need to complete the contact locator form only.


Executive Council has extended restrictions on non-essential visitors to the Falkland Islands for a further 30 days from today but with some changes to those considered for entry.

Since 7 April 2020, visitor permits have not been granted for non-essential visitors.

The purpose of the restrictions is to reduce any unnecessary additional burden on KEMH and to minimise additional risk of COVID-19.

Under this policy, the following have been considered essential visitors:

  • Business visitors required for essential maintenance on equipment, which cannot continue to be operated without the maintenance e.g. engineers visiting KEMH
  • Crew from vessels associated with the Falkland Islands and the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands for the purpose of exchange and/or repatriation
  • Scientific and other maritime observers associated with the Falkland Islands and SGSSI for exchange and/or repatriation purposes
  • Individuals already present in the Falkland Islands when LATAM flights were suspended
  • Members of the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) and associated organisations

Executive Council has agreed that the Principal Immigration Officer be authorised to consider the following as additions to the essential visitor list:

  • Family members
  • Business visitors for the purpose of delivering projects within the Islands Plan
  • Other business visitors
  • Crew from vessels with no connection to the Falkland Islands for the purpose of exchange and/or repatriation where onward travel arrangements are confirmed and in place
  • Volunteers
  • Conservation and environmental specialists

All arrivals to the Falkland Islands continue to be required to quarantine for 14 days on arrival, unless they remained at sea prior to arrival for a period of at least this length of time, have no signs of ill health, and the vessel they arrive on has completed the required Maritime Health Declarations prior to arrival.

The policy will be reviewed again on 8 July 2020.


MLAs will consider next week changes to the current policy on travel restrictions between Stanley and MPC.


The ferry service is pleased to announce it is increasing the number of passengers it will carry under COVID-19 restrictions.

12 instead of 8 passengers can now be carried.

Workboat Services Ltd has made the adjustment in light of the easing of other restrictions by the Government and after consultation with the Chief Medical Officer.

Passengers will need to be aware that health related questions will be asked when booking and again prior to boarding.

  • Passengers will be asked not to travel if they are experiencing cold or flu like symptoms;
  • Passengers will be denied travel if they have been on MPC in the last 7 days or knowingly been in contact with anyone who has, or;
  • Have been swabbed for COVID-19 and awaiting results, or;
  • Share a household with someone who has been swabbed and awaiting results to confirm The passenger lounge will be sanitised and cleaned after each journey.

Crew will not enter the lounge while passengers are on board and passengers are to follow social distancing guidelines.


MLAs have approved that all Stanley playparks will reopen on Friday 19 June.


The Pharos arrived at the East jetty this morning after approximately seven weeks in South Georgia, which is COVID-19 free.

The vessel will remain in the Falklands to allow for incoming crew to complete the FIG 14-day quarantine period before embarking.

Once on board the Pharos will sail for South Georgia.

During this port call a number of maintenance tasks and regulatory issues on board the vessel will be completed.

However, only authorized personnel undertaking these tasks will be allowed on board. The Chief Medical Officer has approved the port call visit plan.


A reminder that our COVID-19 updates have moved to once a week, on a Wednesday. We will update in between if there is important COVID-19 information. Our web page, www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19 is also a plentiful source of guidance and information.