The King Edward Memorial Hospital is currently dealing with a critically ill child, who is suspected to have COVID-19. Until this is confirmed by test, this remains a matter of clinical judgment. As a result of this, the Falkland Islands Government is moving its response to the next stage, in accordance with our Infectious Disease Plan and other preparations. Our thoughts go out to the child, the child’s family and friends.
We still do not have any confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Falkland Islands, until test results are received from the UK. We hope to be able to test within the Islands soon but cannot currently do so.
From tomorrow we are closing all schools until at least the start of the new term on 4 May 2020. We are also instructing all nurseries to close for the same period.
From Monday, the Education Department will be open to provide childcare for the children of essential key workers. The Education Department will be contacting parents directly who fall into this category. If you have not been contacted, please do not try to bring your child to school.
All children’s play parks will be closed until further notice.
If you have been asked by King Edward Memorial Hospital to self-isolate because you have cold/flu symptoms AND you have developed a fever (a high temperature), your whole household – all those living with you, must self-isolate for 14 days.
Anyone whose family member arrives by plane into the Falkland Islands must ensure that their family member self-isolates for 14 days. If they are not able to isolate from other members of the household, the whole household must self-isolate.
We are now advising everyone to reduce all non-essential activities until further notice; everyone should stay at home where they can, and work from home where possible.
Please follow our guidance on social distancing. Essential activities, at this stage, include critical and key work, where this cannot be done from home. Essential work categories are listed below.
These actions are ESSENTIAL to protect everyone, especially the most vulnerable, and ensure that the demand on the health service is limited.
The situation will be kept under constant review. It could change, and, when test results are known, we may step up, or scale back some restrictions. We hope to have the next set of test results back over the next few days.
Advice and guidance is available on our website, fig.gov.fk/covid-19 and from the King Edward Memorial Hospital.
Critical / Key Services:
Health and social care - including:
• Doctors, nurses, midwives, paramedics, social workers, care workers and any other frontline health and social care staff who need to remain at work
• Support and specialist staff required to maintain the sector
Key public services - including:
• Those essential to the running of the justice system
• Those responsible for the management of the deceased
• Media and broadcasters who are providing public service broadcasting and the Government Communications team
Government - administrative occupations essential to delivering:
• The response to coronavirus
• Key regulatory services
• Essential public services, including the payment of benefits, and key treasury functions
Food and other necessary goods - including:
Those involved in food production, processing, distribution, sale and delivery
Public safety and national security - including:
• Police and required support staff
• Fire and rescue service employees
• Those maintaining border security
• Prison and probation staff
Transport - including:
• Those who'll keep FIGAS and ferry passenger and freight and passenger transport supporting the response
• Shipping links including SAAS
• Port operators
Utilities, communication and financial services - including:
Staff needed for:
• Essential financial services provision
• Electricity and water sectors, including sewerage
• Fuel supply
• Information technology and data infrastructure sector
Key staff working in the following sectors:
• Emergency repair workers
• Accommodation providers
• Postal services
• Agricultural workers