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CM to announce new Covid-19 restrictions as active cases continue to rise

Pic by Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government will today announce additional public health restrictions to stem a “concerning” rise in the number of Covid-19 cases in Gibraltar.

The prospect of tighter restrictions was signalled late Sunday on Twitter by Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, who convened a meeting of the Covid Platinum command for Monday ahead of unveiling details of the new restrictions today.

Last night, ministers and officials were still assessing the latest data and weighing up options on what steps could be taken to rein in Covid-19 cases which have been climbing steadily for over a week.

The Chief Minister will set out details of the new restrictions at a press conference in No.6 Convent Place at 4pm.

The development comes as the number of active cases in Gibraltar rose to 112 as of Monday, including 110 residents and two visitors.

That represented an overnight increase of six new cases of the virus between Sunday and Monday, and came after 27 new cases were reported on Saturday and Sunday.

Taking into account non-resident cases detected in Gibraltar, the number of positive active cases detected on the Rock as of Monday stood at 115.

There was one more case in hospital yesterday too, bringing the total number of people being treated in the Covid-19 ward in St Bernard’s Hospital to five. One more patient is being treated in the critical care unit.

A further 663 people are in self-isolation.

In a tweet on Sunday, Mr Picardo said the government would take additional measures to try and stem the spread of the virus.

“The increase in numbers of #COVID19 infections is concerning,” he wrote.

“I have convened #CovidPlatinum tomorrow. On Tuesday I will announce new restrictions designed to arrest the growth of numbers of infections. Remember: #SocialDistance, #WashHands & #WearMasksAsAdvised."

The new cases reported in recent days include several detected in schools.

Yesterday the Gibraltar Government said a fourth positive case had been identified in Bayside School, although there is no known link between this and three earlier cases detected in the school.

The Contact Tracing team liaised with school staff and the Department of Education

over the weekend in order to identify anyone who had been in close contact with the person.

The latest available information is that no one from the school had been deemed to

have been in close contact with the positive case.

On Saturday, the government said a positive case of Covid-19 had also been identified in St Paul’s Lower Primary School, the second in that school since September although there was no identified epidemiological link to the first case.

The Contact Tracing team liaised with school staff and the Department of Education, conducting interviews where necessary.

All individuals identified as close contacts of the positive cases were informed that they are required to self-isolate.

As a result, some 22 individuals - including one member of staff and 21 pupils - were

deemed to have been in close contact with the positive case and were instructed to self-isolate.