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Chief Minister tests positive for Covid-19

The Chief Minister speaking at a Gibsams event on Thursday evening. Photo by Johnny Bugeja

Chief Minister Fabian Picardo has tested positive for Covid-19, No.6 Convent Place said on Friday.

Mr Picardo was asymptomatic and his condition was detected in the PCR taken within 24 hours after arrival from the UK on Thursday.

His wife, Justine Picardo, also travelled with him but has tested negative.

Between arriving in Gibraltar on Thursday and receiving his positive result yesterday, the Chief Minister had attended a number of meetings and public functions including the Gibsams reception in The Convent and the Ceremonial Opening of the Legal Year.

The Gibsams event was in the open air and guests at the court ceremony worse masks.

But the Chief Minister will nonetheless have to isolate and the Contact Tracing Bureau will contact anyone he was with during that period for any significant period.

The positive result also comes at a busy time for the Chief Minister, who was due to travel to the UK and the UN in New York in the coming days.

“I feel perfectly well and have come home as required by the Contact Tracing Bureau,” Mr Picardo said.

“I know this is an important time for Gibraltar, so, to an extent, I am happy to have got the disease now so that I am able, hopefully, to continue to deal with the negotiations to come on the UK/EU Treaty in Gibraltar's future relationship with the EU.”

“For now, alternative arrangements are being made for engagements in the next 10 days.”

“I have had no symptoms whatsoever and have therefore been in contact with many people in the past 24 hours since my arrival into Gibraltar.”

“The test result will now require me to share that data with the ContactTracing Bureau.”
Mr Picardo is now required to self-isolate at home.

This means all his appointments will be cancelled, including attendance at the Conservative Party Conference to host the Gibraltar Government reception and attendance at the Fourth Committee hearing at the United Nations, which was scheduled for next Tuesday and for which Mr Picardo had obtained a diplomatic visa for travel.

Alternative arrangements are being made for both these appointments.

Yesterday both the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, and the Leader of Together Gibraltar, Marlene Hassan Nahon, were among the many people who used social media to with Mr Picardo a swift recovery.

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