Gibraltar's Covid-19 restrictions are beginning to be eased, and chief minister Fabian Picardo explained at a press conference this Friday afternoon that this will be done one step at a time, with careful monitoring of the results of each change before others are implemented.
The number of active Covid-19 cases in Gibraltar is currently 78 and, sadly, another resident died from the virus on Thursday night, a man aged between 60 and 65. This brings the number of deaths to 84 since the pandemic began, of whom 53 were in Elderly Residential Services. Seventy-seven of these victims have died since 1 January this year. Looking tired and strained, Picardo expressed his sadness and condolences to their families.
The R rate in Gibraltar is still below 0.5. Gibraltar is to remain in Major Incident posture until 1 March, and over-70s will continue in lockdown for a week longer. Masks continue to be compulsory, at least for the rest of February, and the government will take advice from the WHO with regard to the need for them in March.
The current curfew from 10pm to 6am will continue for the time being, but the maximum number of people who can meet up together is now 12 instead of eight. Non-essential shops will be able to open at weekends again from 22 February, but catering establishments will have to wait until 1 March to be able to reopen.
At present, schools are still expected to open on 22 February. The chief minister said all teachers have had, or have been offered, their first vaccine and the second dose is due to be given this weekend.
As of Thursday night, 23,103 people in Gibraltar had been vaccinated: 15,436 have had their first dose and 7,667 the second. Picardo referred to the “incredible support” from the UK government, who have supplied the Rock with four consignments of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine so far.