Changes to Level One Contact advice
As part of the regular review process concerning Covid-19 measures in the Falkland Islands, the Executive Council has agreed to amend the advice that will now be given to Level One Contacts. The definition of a Level One Contact is a person who has been in close proximity to someone with a positive test result (i.e. has spent more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of someone with Covid-19).
Under these changes, people entering the Falkland Islands will still initially be required, by law, to quarantine for either 5 or 8 days, depending on their vaccination status. However, whereas in the past, a minimum of 10 days of self-isolation would have been advised, the new guidance states:
Once a Level One Contact has been identified, they will be advised to either complete their agreed quarantine period (if they are a new arrival) or undertake a period of 5 days of self-isolation (if they are already in the islands) followed by a further 5 days of observation, where they will self-test daily, but will not have to remain home
On the morning of the fifth day, they will be swabbed by a trained practitioner and, if negative, may go about their daily business, but would still be asked to undertake a further 5 days of self-conducted LFD (lateral flow device) testing
If at any point their test returns a positive result, they would need to go back into isolation immediately and for a minimum of ten days
In addition to self-testing, people will be asked to be considerate regarding their movements between days 6-10, for example if they can work from home this is encouraged, however they could work outside of the home at a distance from others or wearing a mask for close working.
Dr Beccy Edwards, Chief Medical Officer, confirmed: “We are in a very different position to the beginning of the pandemic, when we had less knowledge of the virus and the disease. We also had limited testing facilities, which is why all Level One Contacts were asked to isolate for a full 14 days beyond their initial quarantine period.
“However, now that data has moved on and we are a well-vaccinated nation, this suggested approach is a reasonable and proportionate measure, and in line with many other countries. We have produced new guidance for Level One Contacts, to help them behave considerately and continue to protect our community against Covid-19.”
The Chief Medical Officer’s advice for Level One Contacts is available online or from the hospital: https://www.falklands.gov.fk/covid-19/quarantine