Everyone arriving in the Falkland Islands, whether travelling by sea or air, is subject to a 14-day quarantine order, 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.
Additional information regarding SARS-Cov-2 vaccine status will also be requested.
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 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 two 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
Currently the Falkland Islands Government has a mandatory 14 days of quarantine, however, there is a “test to release” option under which you may be able to complete quarantine early, on day 5 or day 8 of your quarantine period, depending on your vaccination status.
In order to opt for the 5-day “test to release” you must provide proof you have completed the full course of a vaccination approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) at least two weeks before your arrival in the Falkland Islands. These are currently: Oxford-AstraZeneca (two doses), Pfizer (two doses), Moderna (two doses) or Janssen (single dose) vaccines.
If you were fully vaccinated with an MHRA approved vaccine more than two weeks before arrival, you can opt for “5-day test to release” and leave quarantine on day 5 of quarantine (if you test negative twice). On the first swab visit the clinician will review your vaccine evidence so please have this ready. The clinician must be satisfied with all vaccination documentation provided, whether that be the NHS app, a vaccination card, a vaccination letter or a doctor’s note, otherwise you will only be eligible for the “8 day test to release” option. If you are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated, you can opt for “8 day test to release” and leave quarantine on day 8 (if you test negative twice). If you are quarantining with children who you travelled with, you may only opt for “8 day test to release”.
You will be offered a test within 48 hours of arrival, and again on either day 5 or day 8 (depending on your vaccination status and that of anyone who travelled with you and is quarantining with you). If both tests are negative you will be informed that you may leave quarantine; you must wait for the KEMH to contact you on day 5 or 8 (as appropriate) before leaving quarantine.
If you or anyone you are sharing quarantine accommodation with test positive on either occasion you must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days. In this case you will be offered an additional swab on day 13 (prior to the end of the quarantine period on day 14) and you may be asked to continue to self-isolate after the end of the quarantine period, especially if you develop symptoms of coronavirus.
If you do not want to be tested while in quarantine you must remain in quarantine for the full 14 days as must everyone who is in quarantine with you.
If a person is quarantining in Stanley, staff from the hospital will visit them at their quarantine accommodation to carry out testing with a Lateral Flow Test within two days of their arrival and then again on day 5 or 8.
KEMH will let people know as soon as practicably possible when they can leave quarantine, however, it is advised that they do not make any arrangements on day 5 or 8 (depending on which “test to release” option they have chosen) in case they have to cancel them.
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 as will those quarantining with them
- 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 currently no change to the 14-day quarantine requirement for anyone arriving by sea, although this is currently under review.
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.
Convalescent cases are where someone has had an active Covid-19 infection within the past 90 days and has fully received. Convalescent cases are not a public health risk. Each case must provide proof of their previous Covid-19 infection in order to book their seat on the Airbridge, and will also require a medical assessment that is carried out to the satisfaction of KEMH, and which takes into account their disease and symptom history. Convalescent cases will be eligible for release after 5 or 8 days, depending on their vaccination status. Any exemptions are made on a case by case basis, are based on expert clinical opinion and subject to monitoring on arrival.
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