Falkland Islands lawmaker MLA Barry Elsby called for efforts to focus on keeping the country as Covid-19 free as possible. Speaking to Penguin News on Wednesday, MLA Elsby said that the Falklands’ isolation presents an opportunity to remain relatively Covid-19 free, adding that “as much should be done as possible” to maintain that state of affairs.
He nevertheless added that the work required to achieve that should not be underestimated.
MLA Elsby who holds the Development and Commercial Services portfolio at the elected Legislative Assembly, said that key to managing Covid-19 in the Falklands will be the ability to carry out tests locally, adding that the testing facility will hopefully be up and running next week. MLA Elsby described the ability to test locally as a game-changer.
Asked about the resumption of flights with South America, MLA Elsby said it remains an unknown quantity and warned that it could be many months before flights resume.
MLA Elsby asked that a resumption will require work to determine how visitors are handled, and the business plans that underpinned the São Paulo connection will need to be revisited to ascertain whether they are still valid.
MLA Elsby confirmed that the first phase of the project to build a new port, which involved stakeholder engagement, has been put on temporary hold due to Covid-19 travel restrictions. MLA Elsby nevertheless assured that neither the commitment nor the economics to push forward with a new port have changed.
MLA Elsby confirmed that some work on other infrastructure and capital projects has resumed as restrictions on the construction sector were eased last week, adding that work was being carried out under relevant safety guidelines.
MLA Elsby added that work on some projects, such as the hospital, was being carried out in a different manner and focusing on being ready to pick up as when a vaccination is ready or it is safe to do so. (Penguin News).