The Chief Minister has today announced further relaxation of restrictions as Gibraltar’s resident population becomes “Covid-free” for the first time since July 2020: Freedom of assembly reinstated (no group size limits) and masks no longer mandatory in most public spaces including gyms and restaurants (except for staff) …
The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, has today announced (08.04.2021) that Gibraltar will be relaxing further Covid restrictions.
“Gibraltar’s resident population is finally Covid free”, for the first time since July 2020 (9 months) Mr. Picardo said.
As of today, there are 2 active cases who are non-resident and two active cases among visitors who were detected upon arrival and have been made to self-isolate.
Gibraltar’s hospital has been “covid-free” since the 21st of March.
“These numbers reflect the 1,091 tests carried out yesterday, which include the testing of all those who attended the boxing event on the 27th of March”.
The Rock has now vaccinated 85% of its population, according to Minister Samantha Sacramento.
Addressing the controversial decision to require a proof of vaccination to enter the “Rumble on the Rock” boxing match, he said: “that was an event organised by 3rd parties which involved the deployment of a private public health measure”.
Studies carried out after the event have found that no cases have been detected in those who were tested after the boxing match.
In relation to the Gibraltar vs Netherlands football match which took place on the 30th of March and which also required proof of vaccination, which saw a banner raised outside the stadium which read “No Discrimination Against the Unvaccinated”, he said that testing data would be provided this week.
Considering Gibraltar’s resident population being Covid free, the following restrictions have been eased:
Restrictions on Gatherings Lifted as from the 16th April
The Chief Minister said that it is “no longer deemed necessary to restrict public gatherings” and the right to freedom of assembly will be reinstated on the 16th of April.
Events in a public place will be subject to the same rules as applied before the pandemic, which a few additions, and will require: Notification, permits, public health advice and “some additional requirements”.
He said that it will be likely events will need to require a negative covid test from those participating.
Limits on numbers of people who can sit at a table at a bar or restaurant will also be removed but contact tracing forms will remain.
Masks No Longer Mandatory in Most Public Places
Masks will no longer be required in “any outside public place or inside the majority of inside places either”.
Patrons inside gyms and restaurants will also not be required to wear a mask.
However, masks will still be required inside retail shops and public transport, and Picardo said that this was because “these are in closed areas that are likely to be visited by people who are not vaccinated”.
Those working inside restaurants will no longer be required to wear a double mask “for now”.
He said that as from the 1st of May, “we expect that every catering staff who has received a double dose of the vaccine will be able to dispense with the wearing of masks”.
Masks in schools will continue, but the government expects that this is “likely to be removed in the coming weeks”.
“Test, trace and isolate will remain as crucial now as it was in earlier periods of the pandemic”, the Chief Minister said.
People who have not been fully vaccinated and identified as contacts will be deemed as “casual contacts” and therefore not required to self-isolate, whilst those who have not taken the vaccine will be forced to self-isolate if identified as a contact.
Absence of Visitors to Gibraltar | Recovery
“I know that many of our businesses are still in crisis when they are dependent on the tourism trade…”
Confirmed the continuation of the support packages over the 2nd quarter of 2021.
All participating businesses will receive their grants automatically.
These BEAT measures will continue alongside the following measures, that will also remain in place:
- A 100% waiver of payment of rates for the wholesale, retail, hotel, bar & restaurant sectors between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2021;
- For all other sectors an additional 25% early rates payment discount between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2021 (except for supermarkets and pharmacies);
- A continued waiver of rates for vacant properties.
- No rental increases to Government commercial tenants between 1 April 2021 and 30 June 2021;
- The continuation of the import duty waiver scheme for businesses extended to 30 April 2021 and to be reviewed again on a monthly basis;
- The continued waiver of work permit and registration and administrative fees which is extended to 30 June 2021;
- The continued moratorium on Insolvency claims which will also be extended for the same period; and finally
- The extension of the Bank Guarantee Scheme to enable lending to COVID related distressed businesses to the 30 June 2021.