Everyone arriving in the Falkland Islands, whether travelling by sea or air, must spend their first 14 days in the Islands in quarantine, in accordance with the Infectious Diseases Control (Coronavirus, Quarantine) Regulations 2020. The Regulations came in to force in July 2020 and were updated on 11 November 2020. The Regulations can be found at https://www.legislation.gov.fk
The purpose of quarantine is to prevent the inadvertent transmission of coronavirus (also known as Covid-19). Coronavirus is an infectious disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
The Falkland Islands has so far been successful in limiting the spread of coronavirus because of the measures in place to reduce the risk of coronavirus being inadvertently transmitted by those arriving from overseas. Quarantine is a key part of those measures. There are some very limited exemptions from the requirement to quarantine which strike a careful balance between managing the risk of infection and the need to maintain key services.
Before arriving here, people are asked to provide information about their journey, including where they plan to stay in quarantine on arrival and for a telephone number, to enable public health officials to support individuals while in isolation. Failure to provide this information is an offence and if the information changes this must be shared with King Edward VII Memorial Hospital by calling 28000.
On arrival, people must either travel to their quarantine accommodation in government-designated transport (currently only Penguin Travel is designated) or, if using a private vehicle, they must either travel alone or only with people they will be quarantining with.
The designated transport provider is registered under the BFSAI/FIG Approved Driver Scheme and is required to sign a declaration agreeing to the following measures in order to operate safely:
- Use vehicles of at least minibus size to allow for appropriate physical distancing
- Ensure physical distancing is maintained on the transport for people from separate households
- Ensure all passengers wear face coverings and gloves while inside the vehicle
- Ensure passengers, when seated, remain at least 2m from the driver
- Ensure passengers load first from the back of the vehicle keeping the front 2 rows clear
- Ensure passengers load and unload their own baggage – if help is needed from the driver, they will immediately change their gloves which will then be bagged and marked for safe disposal
- Ensure the driver boards the bus last wearing a face covering and gloves
- Ensure the driver keeps their window open to maintain airflow backwards through the bus
- Ensure the driver exits the bus before passengers to minimise the risk of exposure to any virus
- If the bus breaks down, the driver should wait outside the vehicle until assistance arrives
- After the trip, hard surfaces on the bus must be cleaned with disinfectant.
People in quarantine must also stay in isolation from everyone else sharing their accommodation, unless everyone is quarantining together. While in quarantine, individuals will receive at least one welfare call and will be asked to participate in our surveillance swabbing programme. This involves being swabbed for coronavirus on three separate occasions to make sure that people are free of infection before they leave quarantine.
People who are exempt from quarantine will be told before they arrive in the Falkland Islands. The most significant exemption from the requirement to quarantine is for military personnel who have been in quarantine in the United Kingdom for a period of 14 days before their arrival at Mount Pleasant. The defence of the Falkland Islands is a key provision and this exemption ensures that military personnel can assume their duties immediately after they arrive.
The requirement to quarantine will be enforced by the Royal Falkland Islands Police. Failure to stay in quarantine, except in very limited circumstances set out in the Regulations, is a criminal offence for which you can be fined up to £2000, imprisoned for up to three months, or both.
The requirement to quarantine is reviewed every six weeks, to ensure that it is not in place for any longer than reasonably necessary to protect public health.
Please find below links to download the following documents:
AG Guidance on the Infectious Diseases Control (Coronavirus Quarantine) Regulations 2020 V2
IDC5 Passenger information to be completed by all arriving in the Islands
IDC6 Notice to quarantine