With ever-increasing numbers of positive Covid-19 cases, Gibraltar went into lockdown for the second time on Saturday night for an initial period of two weeks.
Making the announcement that same afternoon, chief minister Fabian Picardo said the rate of community infection and transmission was so high that it would not be possible to reduce the rate of infection without more drastic measures than those already in place. The R rate at the time was 1.51, with the virus propagating more quickly than it could be controlled.
People in Gibraltar are now not permitted to leave their homes except for certain essential purposes, including exercise for a short period.
All non-essential shops have closed and supermarkets have to close at 9pm. Nobody is permitted to cross the border into Spain unless for work, medical reasons or because they have a home or second home there, and entry to Gibraltar across the border is only allowed for essential work or to catch a flight.
Stressing that the government was introducing this lockdown with a "very, very heavy heart", the chief minister said, "Our first and foremost resolution for 2021 must be to see the back of this damned virus and get back to freedom as soon as possible. Your government, however, can not do it alone. The Gibraltar Health Authority cannot deliver this alone. Your support is essential".
Gibraltar's first batch of the vaccine is due to arrive on Saturday. The government has decided to follow a single-dose strategy, and the 5,000 doses due this weekend will allow all or most of the vulnerable members of the population to be protected from the virus first. The chief minister is due to hold another press conference today (Friday).