Frequently Asked Questions
This information was last updated on 20 September 2022.
COVID-19 is an illness caused by the new novel coronavirus strain, SARS-CoV-2.
The symptoms of Covid-19 are:
- a fever
- aches and pains
- runny nose
- sore throat
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.
There have been over 2,000 cases of COVID-19 in the Falkland Islands since March 2020, with the vast majority of these occurring after the lifting of quarantine restrictions on 4 May 2022. To date there have been no deaths.
The Health Service is well practiced in managing cases of COVID-19. In addition to having delivered a successfully vaccination programme with a high uptake, with most adults having now received their 4th dose (2nd booster), the hospital is well stocked with the necessary equipment and pharmaceuticals to deal with more serious cases. This includes anti-viral and antibody drugs for those who are clinically extremely vulnerable.
Covid-19 is spread through close contact with people who have the virus. People with the virus can spread it even if they do not have symptoms.
When someone with the virus breathes, speaks, coughs or sneezes, they release small droplets containing the virus.
You can catch Covid-19 if you breathe in these droplets or touch surfaces covered with droplets.
There are currently five Covid-19 variants of concern:
There are things you can do to help stop viruses like COVID-19 spreading.
- cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- put used tissues in the bin immediately
- wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
If you have symptoms of COVID-19, do not attend the hospital directly, but call the hospital on 28000 for advice.
All COVID-19 related restrictions relating to entry into the Falkland Islands were lifted on 4 May 2022. Proof of vaccination or a negative test result is no longer required for entry. However, airlines may request proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative PCR/ Antigen test as a condition for travel. You should check directly with the carrier or booking agent as the conditions in force are subject to change.
Yes, we can test in the Falkland Islands and we have a comprehensive swabbing system which uses both PCR and lateral flow tests (LFTs). Swabbing is a vital tool in helping to keep everyone safe and it is also the main way in which we can reassure ourselves that we are free of Covid-19.
LFTs for self-testing are available free of charge from the KEMH reception.
Self-isolation is a responsible action taken to protect yourself or others. You should follow the guidance according to your circumstances and the medical advice provided to you from KEMH. For all of the latest information on how to self-isolate, please visit this page on the website: General information
As of 4 May 2022, there is no longer a requirement to self-isolate, but good hygiene measure and social distancing will help the spread of COVID-19 if you are positive.
Quarantine is a period of isolation when an individual arrives from abroad for a specified period of time, to prevent the spread of an infectious disease. It is applied whether the individual is suspected of carrying the disease or not.
The legal requirement to quarantine on arrival to the Falkland Islands was removed on 4 May 2022.
A number of anti-viral and antibody treatments, which can be given in specific circumstances to eligible patients have now been developed to help reduce the severity of COVID-19. If you have been informed that you are at the highest risk from COVID-19 (clinically extremely vulnerable) you should contact the KEMH on 28000 for advice as to whether this treatment is recommended for you. See ‘who is most at risk of COVID-19’ to determine if you may be clinically extremely vulnerable.
In most cases taking regular simple painkillers, such as paracetamol, will help alleviate the symptoms of COVID-19.
People who are still at high risk
- Down's syndrome
- certain types of cancer (such as a blood cancer like leukaemia or lymphoma)
- sickle cell disease
- certain conditions affecting your blood
- chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 4 or 5
- severe liver disease
- had an organ or bone marrow transplant
- certain autoimmune or inflammatory conditions (such as rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease)
- HIV or AIDS and have a weakened immune system
- a condition affecting your immune system
- a rare condition affecting the brain or nerves (multiple sclerosis, motor neurone disease, Huntington’s disease or myasthenia gravis)
- a severe problem with the brain or nerves, such as cerebral palsy
- severe or multiple learning disabilities (or you're on the learning disability register)
- a weakened immune system due to a medical treatment (such as steroid medicine, biological therapy, chemotherapy or radiotherapy)
If you are symptomatic with any respiratory disease i.e. coughing/ sneezing, it is proven that you will reduce its’ spread by wearing a mask. There is however no requirement to wear a mask anywhere in the Falkland Islands, although the hospital may enforce a mask wearing policy during severe outbreaks of COVID-19 or other infectious respiratory disease.
It may be a condition of carriage to wear a mask on your flight to or from the Falkland Islands, please check the latest guidance from your carrier or booking agent.
Yes, there are now vaccines available for Covid-19 and the Falkland Islands vaccination programme has been running since February 2021. We have been fortunate enough to receive the Oxford/AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. For all of the latest information on vaccination, please visit this page on the website: Vaccinations
If your symptoms deteriorate or you feel that further medical attention is required call 28000, or in an emergency, 999.