Gibraltar stands down from Major Incident posture as life starts to return to normal

Bar and restaurant owners are looking forward to being busy again.
Bar and restaurant owners are looking forward to being busy again. / SUR
  • The number of Covid-19 cases has plummeted in recent weeks and on Monday cafés, bars and restaurants were able to reopen again

Cafés, bars and restaurants reopened in Gibraltar on Monday after several weeks of being closed as part of the Covid-19 restrictions. All staff in catering establishments are having to wear double masks for the month of March, the maximum number of people who can sit at a table is six and no alcohol can be served between 3pm and 7pm, but a a feeling of normality has finally began to return to the town centre.

The hours of the curfew also changed on Monday, from midnight to 6am instead of beginning at 10pm, and this will be the case at least until the middle of the month, when it will be reviewed together with the licensing hours.

The Gibraltar government has been easing its restrictions in stages, with a gap between each to enable the authorities to monitor the evolution of Covid-19 cases. Schools reopened on 22 February and in the first week one positive case of the coronavirus was detected at Bayside School, and 27 pupils were required to self-isolate as a result. In general, however, positive cases have plummeted in Gibraltar recently. On Wednesday there were 18 active cases and 84 people in self-isolation.

39,322 doses of the vaccine had been administered by mid-week. Gibraltar is now vaccinating residents in their 20s and has started to assign appointments for the cross-border workers who are not employed in essential services.

People from Gibraltar are able to cross the border into Spain, and vice versa, although the government has warned that although the coronavirus situation there has improved somewhat it is still serious and people should only go if they have to. The Andalusian government has maintained its restriction on movement between provinces, so it is not permitted to travel into Malaga province to go shopping, for example.

The government also issued a reminder on Thursday that the Spanish authorities have banned arrivals by air from the UK unless the passenger can prove that they are a resident of Spain. This could affect people planning to fly into Spain and travel onward to Gibraltar. Some British passport holders have been refused permission to board flights.