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 2021. The Regulations came in to force in February 2021 and replace the Regulations made in July 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 another person who is required to quarantine for the same period.
People in quarantine must not share their living accommodation or any facilities (bathroom, kitchen) with anyone who is not in quarantine with them. 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.
If accommodation is provided by the FIG Housing Department, there is a flat rate service charge of £100 per person for the quarantine period. This covers the use of fuel, limited internet and telephone provision, linen changing and deep cleaning on leaving the property. This service charge is waived for returning residents. If accommodation is provided at the Malvina House Hotel, the base bed and board rate is £2,100 per person, plus any additional charges for the quarantine period.”
Test to release
On Tuesday 25 May 2021 ExCo approved the introduction of a new ‘test to release’ option for passengers entering the Falkland Islands by air. This option, which is not mandatory, requires individuals to be swabbed for Covid-19 on or before day 2 and on day 8 after their arrival in the Islands. If both tests are negative, they will be able to leave quarantine if all passengers on the same flight also tested negative on or before day 2 and anyone else they are in quarantine with tests negative on day 8. If a person’s day 2 test is positive, then both they and the other passengers from the same flight must stay in quarantine for 14 days. If a person’s day 8 test is positive, both they and anyone else sharing the same quarantine accommodation must complete the full quarantine period and may be asked to self-isolate for a further period, ‘Test to release’ will be available for passengers arriving on or after 3 June 2021.
What is not changing
- Passengers still require proof of a negative PCR test for Covid-19 no more than five days before arrival in Senegal when travelling via the South Atlantic Airbridge
- People who do not participate in the ‘test to release’ option will still be required to quarantine for 14 days
- People who test positive will still be required to quarantine for a minimum of 14 days in line with the government’s self-isolation policy
- People in quarantine must still not share their living accommodation or any facilities with anyone who is not in quarantine with them
- On arriving in the Islands, people must still travel to their quarantine accommodation in government-designated transport or, if using a private vehicle, must travel alone or only with other people will then go into quarantine themselves
- There is no change to the quarantine arrangements for anyone arriving by sea
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 priority and this exemption ensures that military personnel can assume their duties immediately after they arrive. There are a very few partial exemptions for others who need to leave quarantine to do work that is essential, for example healthcare professionals.
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
Quarantine Accommodation guidance