The Falkland Islands Government Health Service is responsible for the provision of all medical services including dental care. The general standard of health within the Falklands is rated as good and visitors to the Islands require no vaccinations. All health-care facilities are based at the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital (KEMH) in Stanley where medical staff are qualified to UK standards, including a full surgical team.
Other settlements and farms are equipped with medicine chests to meet everyday needs and take care of minor injuries. If necessary, arrangements will be made for transportation to Stanley.
Visitors to the Islands, other than those who are UK residents, are required to pay for any medical services received in the Islands. Travel insurance, inclusive of medical evacuation by plane, is needed to stay in the Falklands.
Over-the-counter medicines, including pain-killers, indigestion remedies and medicinal dressings, can be easily purchased in supermarkets in Stanley. If you take prescribed medicines, it is highly recommended that you bring sufficient supplies for the length of your stay and to allow for contingencies. It is also a good idea to bring a copy of your prescription. If you cannot find the medicine you need in the shops, the pharmacy at the KEMH will assist but please remember that if an item is not part of their stock it will need to be ordered from overseas and take a few days to arrive.
Banking and money
There is only one bank, the Standard Chartered Bank (SCB) located on Ross Road, Stanley. It opens weekdays until 3pm. The SCB can change money, transfer funds and issue cash advances against Visa and Mastercard credit cards. Charges apply and photographic identification is essential. There is no ATM (cash machine) anywhere in the Islands.
Local currency has the same value as UK sterling and both circulate freely in the Islands. US dollars are widely accepted and euros can be used in some places. Similarly, some credit and debit cards can be used in some locations. It’s a good idea to check your method of payment in advance and it is highly recommended to carry cash for use outside of Stanley.
All communication services, Island-wide, are provided by Sure.
If you have a contract phone you may be able to use the local mobile (cellphone) network with your own SIM card. The Sure website has an up-to-date list of roaming partners. Ensure in advance that roaming is activated. A pay-as-you-go service is also available and may be a cheaper option if you are visiting for more than a day. You will need a SIM-free (unlocked) phone. Mobile coverage is good in Stanley and a number of other locations but is not set up island-wide.
Stanley has a small number of public phone boxes which can be used with pre-paid cards available from some shopping outlets.
Wi-fi hotspots exist at many locations around the Islands. A wi-fi card is needed; these can usually be purchased at the place where a hot-spot is situated. Wi-fi does not exist everywhere. Getting away from wi-fi may be an attraction but if access is really important to you, check the Sure website for the latest information on availability.
Entry and Exit requirements
All visitors require a passport valid for the length of their stay.
Land-based travellers should also have travel insurance (inclusive of evacuation by plane), a return ticket, evidence of accommodation and sufficient personal funds for their time in the Islands. A small number of nationalities require a visa. A departure tax must be paid on embarking from the international airport. This is currently £22 and payable only in cash; UK£, US$ or euros.
Further information is available from the Falkland Islands Customs and Immigration Department.
Biosecurity is concerned with preventing new pests, diseases or invasive species from entering the Islands.
Visitors are respectfully asked not to bring risk foods into the Islands and to check their clothes and equipment for risk organisms. Risk foods include meat and poultry products, unpasteurised dairy products, eggs, uncooked vegetables and some fruits. Risk organisms can be spread from dirty footwear, clothing, bags and fishing equipment. Seeds and insects are not always easy to spot and may be inadvertently brought in and transferred from island to island.
Further information is available from the Department of Agriculture.
The official language of the Islands is English.
Many nationalities are represented in the Islands, therefore a range of languages can be found, albeit spoken by just a small number of individuals. In an emergency situation, efforts will be made to find a suitable translator.
The electricity supply is 240v, 50hz with a standard UK 3-pin plug.