Falkland Islands Government
COVID-19: Information and Guidance

17 June 2020

COVID-19 Public Update


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

To date, 413 swabs have been tested with the hospital’s 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.


As of this Friday, previously-excluded business outlets are able to open, while those individuals considered most vulnerable to COVID-19 can come out of isolation.

However, the Government will quickly advise should there be positive test results before then that might affect this easing of restrictions.

These decisions have been conditional on continued negative testing for COVID-19 during two weeks of surveillance testing that will conclude at the end of this Friday, June 19.

All surveillance results so far have been negative for COVID-19 but to keep people informed, we will be making a statement that gives the final result for the two weeks of surveillance swabbing.

This will be issued late Friday afternoon.

The Government would like to thank those who have been in isolation for up to 12 weeks for their patience and compliance.

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.

The Government is also thanking those businesses who are now able to resume operating for their co-operation during these difficult times.

They have responded well to a request to submit plans on how they will safely resume operations and it is hoped they will enjoy successful restarts.

And one reminder for parents this weekend – Stanley playparks are reopened as of Friday.


KEMH is now moving to the next stage of its large-scale surveillance swabbing of our population for COVID-19.

The initial focus has been on has been on businesses and departments that have remained open, such as KEMH and the main food retailers.

This has proved successful and the KEMH are now keen to extend the scope to other businesses and FIG departments that have regular contact with members of the public.

The Chief Medical Officer, Dr Rebecca Edwards, says the aim is to swab 10% of the Population, including MPC every two weeks. That’s about 400 people every two weeks.

“It’s like a repeated snapshot of the population. This swabbing is an important tool to try and search out the SARS-CoV-2 virus, particularly in those individuals who might be asymptomatic."

“Asymptomatic means they may not show any flu-like symptoms but may still be shedding the virus. There are no current known cases of COVID-19, but there is always the possibility of asymptomatic spread, even with the 14-day quarantine that is in place."

“However surveillance swabbing is unlikely to detect all COVID‐19 in the community if there is another outbreak, so it is extremely important that you stay at home if you are unwell with flu‐like symptoms and seek medical advice.”

Dr Edwards said that very few countries around the world had been able to move to surveillance swabbing but the Falklands was fortunate to have a small population and the means to sustain a robust programme.

If your business would like to be included in surveillance swabbing then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject heading of Surveillance as soon as possible.

The hospital will then be in touch to explain how the process will work and for any additional information they may require about your business.


The Nightingale Stanley temporary hospital facility exercise is now well underway.

Today the Stanley Leisure Centre gym has been turned into an overflow facility for KEMH.

If there was a major outbreak of COVID-19 in the islands, the ward would be used for patients who were not seriously ill, but might still need oxygen support. Such a ward could also be set up for any major incident.

Today PWD and hospital engineers, supported by BFSAI personnel, have been assembling the ward, which will have 36 beds, and spaces for all the equipment and protective gear needed by staff.

Tomorrow there will be scenarios for KEMH staff that will test aspects of operating the ward and handling patients. The ward will then be dismantled on Friday.

The exercise is being filmed for future training purposes.

Because of the exercise, the Leisure Centre will be closed completely from 9pm Tuesday 16 June to 5pm Friday 19 June.


As of the 15 June 2020 in line with the UK Government’s guidance, passengers traveling on the South Atlantic Airbridge will be required to wear a face covering.

All passengers aged 11 years or above should be in possession of a face covering when they report to the Air Terminal and must wear the face covering whilst on the aircraft.

You will be asked to prove you have a face covering at check-in and may be prevented from accessing the South Atlantic Airbridge, if you do not have a face covering.

Passengers who do not wear a face covering whilst on-board the aircraft may be refused carriage and will be liable for any arrangements and costs associated with their alternative travel plans.


LATAM has confirmed to FIG that the current suspension of scheduled flight services to Chile and Brazil is continuing throughout July.

FIG continues to monitor and review with LATAM on a regular basis and further updates will be provided in due course.


MLAs have been considering this week changes to the current policy on travel restrictions between Stanley and MPC. An announcement will be made soon.


On 25 March 2020 FIG announced an emergency support package for private sector employers with employees and the self-employed who had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

These measures have proved very popular, and to date the Treasury has received and processed nearly 200 separate claims.

The total amount paid under these initial schemes is more than £550,000 benefitting nearly 500 members of the community.

This is a powerful reinforcement of the desire of Government to protect the population and minimise the social and economic impacts of the current crisis.

A further range of support schemes were unveiled on 17 April 2020, and more than 50 claims have been made against the various job retention (furlough), income supplement, unemployment subsidy and business grant schemes.

A further £100,000 has already been paid out in these schemes. 12 claims are being further assessed.

The Treasury team is committed to providing as much support as possible through these challenging times. It estimates some 550 individuals will have been supported to date across these two sets of schemes.

If anyone wishes to enquire about outstanding claims, or receive advice on making a claim, then please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Details and application forms for all support measures can be found of the web page at www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19 under Information.


The pharmacy at KEMH is adjusting its opening hours from Monday 22 June.

It will be open Monday to Friday:9.30am – 12.30pm and 1.30pm to 4.30pm and closed, Saturday and Sunday.

From Monday the repeat prescription request box will be back in the KEMH reception.

However, you are still welcome to order your repeat prescription in the following ways as well:

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 28011 for prescription ordering answerphone

Please allow 2 working days between ordering and collecting repeat prescriptions

For general enquiries please ring 28010


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.



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.


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