On Wednesday 25 November, the Falkland Islands ExCo approved a proposal by the Spirit of Sydney expedition cruise vessel operator to transmit a small number of people back to the UK via the Falklands in late January 2021.
The expedition was able to outline a range of robust safety measures in support of their proposal, including the provision of a back-up vessel travelling alongside the main vessel, should there be a need to isolate any passengers or crew, as well as an on-board medical team and state of the art testing equipment.
The expedition also has both a jet and helicopter available in the event of the need for a medevac to be performed.
Prior to its arrival in Stanley, the vessel will have been at sea for a total of 28 days, with only two stop offs at King George Island in Antarctica and South Georgia. On arrival in Stanley on January 25, 14 days after leaving South Georgia, those disembarking will connect with onward flights using private aircraft with 7 support staff departing shortly afterwards. The vessels with the remaining crew will then depart the Falkland Islands.
The health of the community remains the paramount concern for the Falkland Islands Government, and this is why the Spirit of Sydney is the only expedition cruise that has been granted this permission, due to the enhanced safety measures that will be in place at all times.