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CM announces lockdown as virus cases jump by 172

Photo by Eyleen Gomez

Gibraltar will go into lockdown as from 10pm on January 2 following on overnight increase of 172 positive Covid-19 cases that pushed the number of people with the virus in Gibraltar to 907.

The move to lockdown was announced by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo on social media and full details will be confirmed at a press conference at midday on January 2.

"After the huge increase in cases in the past days, and the high numbers expected to be reported tomorrow, I have chaired a virtual meeting of COVID PLATINUM today," Mr Picardo wrote on Facebook and Twitter.

"With the approval of the Cabinet, the Government has been left with no choice but to increase restrictions & move to social lock down."

"Movement within & into Gibraltar will to be only for work & for essentials / air transit as from tomorrow night."

"I will explain in the press conference tomorrow."

"2020 is still leaving us it's aftermath to grapple with!"

There are now six people in the critical care unit of St Bernard’s Hospital and a further 14 in the Covid-19 ward, as well as nine positive cases in the Elderly Residential Services.

Additionally, a further 2,245 people are in self-isolation and 409 test results pending.

The high number of cases and people in isolation is placing great strain on public services including healthcare, with the government “increasingly concerned” after several days of consecutive high increases in cases.

Unless reined in, this will have a serious impact on the government’s ability to provide safe and effective public services.

“The situation is continuously monitored and the Government is seriously considering whether further restrictions are necessary in order to curtail the rapid spread of the virus and enable essential services to function safely,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“The Chief Minister will be seeking advice and convening COVID Platinum again to assess whatever next steps are required.”

“The current high numbers of active cases and those in self-isolation are putting a serious strain on Gibraltar’s capacity in a number of areas, including in the GHA and other frontline services.”

“It is up to all of us to do our part.”

“Remember that whilst you are not yet required to do so by law, staying at home as much as possible and not socialising with those outside your own household is the most effective way to protect yourselves and your friends and family, both from contracting the virus and from becoming close contacts and therefore having to self-isolate.”

“If this advice is not taken, there may be no choice for the Government but to impose further restrictions.”

“Please, stay at home as much as possible, don’t socialise, wear a mask if you do have to go out in public, keep a safe distance of two metres from others and wash your hands as frequently as possible.”

“Together, we can defeat this virus for 2021.”