On Wednesday evening the Gibraltar authorities announced that further anti-Covid measures would come into force today, Friday 28 August. The number of active cases of the virus has been steadily increasing in recent days and was 67 on Wednesday, but Gibraltar is carrying out large-scale testing of its population and cross-border workers, so the rise in figures is not unexpected.
Under the new measures, people in Gibraltar must now wear a mask in all covered public spaces, and socialising is discouraged except with family or established social groups. The over-70s are being asked once again to stay indoors unless it is absolutely necessary for them to go out, and young people are advised not to socialise with or visit grandparents over 70 for the time being.
Changes have also been announced for Gibraltar's National Day celebrations. The traditional firework display has been cancelled and no large screens will be installed in public places to broadcast the online events, to avoid people gathering around them to watch.
With regard to air travel, the government is considering introducing further measures at the airport before people are permitted to board aircraft bound for the UK. The subject is under discussion and the Gibraltar authorities plan to hold talks with the UK. If any action is deemed necessary, it will be announced later on.
News of the new restrictions coincided with Germany issuing a travel warning for Gibraltar. However, in a BBC radio interview chief minister Fabian Picardo said the German authorities need to look beyond the Covid figures. He said that if you extrapolate them per 100,000 inhabitants they do look high, but Gibraltar has tested 32,000 people, equal to its population, tests 2 per cent of its population every day and that its controls are working well.