FALKLAND ISLANDS GOVERNMENT
15 March 2022
Falkland Islands Government update on Covid-19 measures
As we have all seen, Covid-19 restrictions are beginning to lift across the globe, including in countries with whom we are linked, and most of the devolved nations in the UK have adopted far less restrictive measures this month. This includes removing the need to test routinely or to have Covid-19 ‘passes’, no quarantine requirement for the fully vaccinated and Level 1 contacts no longer being required to isolate.
The reason for these changes is that other countries have come to an important stage where they are transitioning from a pandemic situation to an endemic situation – which essentially means a new phase for public health where, while the disease is circulating widely, there are a declining number of serious cases and vastly increased immunity.
The Falkland Islands Government has continued to review its response to Covid-19 throughout the pandemic, which is why we are also now considering how we might move towards and endemic situation.
Throughout the pandemic, we have been afforded a significant degree of comfort, relative to the rest of the world – largely as a result of our early intervention, border control, vaccination programme and because the population has acted in the best interests of keeping us all safe. This gave us 24 months to prepare, learn from science and research, vaccinate our entire eligible, consenting population, safeguard our vulnerable and add resilience to critical resources.
It is understandable that the idea of fewer restrictions may be daunting for some, but we are no longer in the same situation as March 2020. Today we are in a very strong position to take the next step and the patience and the resolve of the Falkland Islands community, will be as critical now as it has been over the past two years.
No decisions have been taken, but we are now considering lifting some of our most restrictive measures, and will only do so backed by science, facts and the experiences of other nations. We will not rush, we will act proportionally, but at the same time are mindful we can only retain restrictions for as long as they are ethically and lawfully needed.
What does this mean? It means that all options are being considered and that we remain committed to being open and transparent throughout this process. In the weeks ahead we will continue to communicate, as regularly as we can, on our progress and would also encourage all residents, businesses and organisations to consider how we each might operate in an endemic situation, where we accept that Covid-19 cases can be managed within our community.
Essentially, we will all continue to work together as we look towards taking the next, and perhaps most the most important, step forward for the Falkland Islands.