The Falkland Islands Infectious Diseases Control Regulations 2020, which set out the requirement to quarantine for all those arriving in the Islands, whether by sea or air came into force on Monday, July 6.
A press release from the Falkland Islands Government stated: “The Falkland Islands has so far been successful in limiting the spread of coronavirus infection but it remains important to have in place measures that reduce the risk of coronavirus being inadvertently transmitted by those entering the Falkland Islands from overseas. It is necessary to require people entering the Falkland Islands to quarantine for a period of time to ensure that the risk of inadvertently spreading infection is kept as low as possible.”
Under the Regulations each person entering the Falkland Islands must provide information about their journey, including the address at which they will be staying in the Falkland Islands, to enable public health officials to contact them if necessary.
Anyone entering the Falkland Islands must stay in quarantine for a period 14 days after they arrive. This requirement applies regardless of whether the person is returning home to the Falkland Islands, or is visiting for work or pleasure.
”Managing the risk of the inadvertent spreading of infection by people entering the Falkland Islands is important. It is also important, however, to ensure that the Falkland Islands maintains essential services and the economy. The Regulations therefore provide for a number of limited exemptions from the requirement to quarantine. These exemptions strike a careful balance between managing the risk of infection and the need to maintain key services.
“The most significant exemption 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 service and this exception ensures that military personnel can assume their duties immediately after they arrive.
“The Government has the power to add to the list of exceptions, having consulted the Chief Medical Officer. This power can be used only where there is a low risk that the category of people in question will spread the virus to others. An example of a low risk category is people arriving from a place where there have been no recorded cases of coronavirus infection.
“The requirement to quarantine can be enforced by a police officer and contravention of the requirement is a criminal offence for which a person can be fined up to £2000, or imprisoned for up to 3 months, or both.
“It is recognised that the requirement to quarantine places a significant restriction on a person’s personal liberty. For this reason, the Regulations contain safeguards and protections, including a right for a person to appeal to a court for the quarantine requirement to be varied or lifted if the requirement is not necessary or proportionate in the particular circumstances of their case.”
The public health need for the requirement to quarantine will be reviewed every 6 weeks, to ensure that the requirement is not in place for any longer than reasonably necessary.
The following associated documents are available on the Falkland Island Government Covid webpage https://www.fig.gov.fk/covid-19/information/quarantine-requirements
• Form IDC 5 – passenger information to be completed by all arriving in the Islands
• Form IDC 6 – notice to be given to all those who must quarantine (or partially quarantine) on arrival
• The Attorney-General’s Guidance on the Regulations. This is intended for use by staff implementing the Regulations as well as passengers who are subject to them.
• CMO’s FAQ – this is intended to provide further guidance to passengers on how to comply with the Regulations (PN)