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Easing restrictions will cause ‘more risks than benefits’

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Easing restriction on the over 70s to allow them to leave their homes for short periods of exercise would present more risks than benefits, Elderly Residential Services medical lead Dr Antonio Marin has said.

This comes as lockdown restrictions on the over 70s were extended for a further 30 days until May 15, drawing concern from some in that age group that the measures were too restrictive and over-protective.

They would, for example, like to be able to leave their homes for short periods in order to exercise - something many feel is important to their overall health.

But, speaking at the daily press briefing yesterday, Dr Marin explained that because Gibraltar is densely populated, it would be difficult to maintain social distancing in such a scenario.

“At the moment we need to weigh up the risks and benefits, and obviously the risk of getting an infection from Covid-19 is far greater than the risk of not doing any physical activity,” Dr Marin said.

The confinement of the over 70s is based on public health advice, the Deputy Chief Minister Dr Joseph Garcia said adding that whilst the law remains in place, and has this week been extended, it will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

He added that whilst there were encouraging signs “there is still a long way to go”.

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