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Unlock the Rock: Gibraltar Begins Easing Lockdown Restrictions on Certain Businesses

Chris Gomez

“I know that the social need to relax the lockdown is greater each day. And the potential long-term public health risk of continual extensions of lockdown also give rise to their own risks. And the potential long-term economic damage is worse each day that passes.”

The Chief Minister today has announced several ‘easing’ measures on the current lockdown restrictions in relation to certain business (see below), some of which will take effect from Saturday, 2nd of May.

Today’s press conference began as always with the latest Gibraltar coronavirus statistics. The Rock has seen a rise of 3 new active cases of coronavirus, bringing the total to 144 confirmed cases, 13 active cases, all of which are at home.

All covid wards remain empty and available.

The Chief Minister stated that although restrictions will begin to ease, “we cannot say that our lockdown has worked, but we can say that our lockdown is working”.

Therefore, the lockdown rules will continue to apply.

Mr. Picardo reiterated that “social distancing will be here to stay for the foreseeable future”, and this is reflected in the following easing measures that are being applied, which will be subject to review and changes.

Businesses must adhere to strict social distancing measures, provide hand sanitizers, some will be subjected to daily temperature checks and queues must be managed.

The Chief Minister reiterated that this process will be “gradual”.

Below is the list of businesses that can open as well as some businesses that will not be able to reopen for the time being.

Sectors Affected by Relaxation Measures

Retail | 2nd of May

Shops that have been closed are able to reopen as from Saturday 2nd of May and to be open from 10 AM – 5:30 PM.
Shops will be required to put in place measures that comply with social distancing, i.e. limited numbers of people in shops at any given time and queuing outside must be managed.

If social distancing cannot be observed, then masks will be worn by employees.

Shops must provide hand sanitizers.

Estate Agents | 2nd of May

Offices and premises operated as Estate Agents will have to ensure social distancing but can also re-open as from the 2nd May.
When showing properties, social distancing must be observed by Estate Agents also and it is advisable that, inside properties, face masks should be worn.

Hairdressers, Beauticians etc | 2nd of May

Hairdressers and beauticians will be able to commence offering services again on Saturday 2nd May.

Services must be offered on a strictly ‘by appointment’ basis.

This is designed to avoid persons gathering in waiting areas.

Persons providing hairdressing and beautician services will be required to wear masks in order to minimise the possibilities of potentially, unwittingly transmitting infections to clients.

Strict hygiene rules will also be implemented.

Personal Trainers | 2nd May

Personal trainers will be able to resume work from Saturday 2nd May where their training sessions are held outdoors.

If trainers offer services to more than one client at any time, they must ensure that each person is at least two metres apart.

Large scale random testing will be carried out in each of the sectors which are being eased open.

Construction Sites | 4th May

More construction sites will be able to re-open with a permit from the Chief Technical Officer as from Monday 4th May.

These will be sites that are self-contained.

Operation of construction sites will be subject to a permit that will provide very strict controls about access and operation.

Construction workers will have to remain on site and move from their homes (or, where, relevant, from their point of entry in Gibraltar) to the site.

Construction workers will not be permitted to leave construction sites during their working hours.

Deliveries required for the operation of construction sites will have to be arranged with those supplying materials so that they can be delivered by employees who will not be exposed to those working on site.

Interaction on construction sites will have to be – insofar as possible – in keeping also with the rules of social distancing.

Where the rules of social distancing cannot be observed, masks will have to be worn even if work is being carried out in the open air.

Additionally, access to all construction sites by employees will require a control of the temperature of all employees on a daily basis.
Any employee who registers a high temperature will have to be tested and will have to self-isolate until test results are available.
Minor works inside homes or office buildings will still not be permitted.

We are re-opening self-contained construction sites only.

Shipbuilding and Ship Repair | 6th May

Shipbuilding and ship repair will be permitted from Wednesday 6th May but only with strict observation of the rules of social distancing and the wearing of masks.

Additionally, access to all ship repair sites by employees will require a control of the temperature of all employees on a daily basis on the same basis as those accessing construction sites.

Large scale random testing will be carried out in each of the sectors which are being eased open.

To Remain Closed

Gymnasiums will be closed for now, subject to a reassessment by the government in the coming weeks.

Restaurants to continue operating as takeaway-only, subject to review in the coming weeks.

Bars, cafeterias, discotheques and nightclubs to remain closed.

There will be a pause of 3 weeks, if there is no resurgence of the virus “there can be changes to this approach.”

Education no change for now, detailed plans are being finalised. First changes will take effect 3 weeks from now, 18th May.

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