Gib fair cancelled as Govt urges caution over rising Covid cases
The Gibraltar Fair and the Saturday Night Live events will not go ahead this year as planned, the Gibraltar Government said, as it adopts a “cautious and prudent” approach towards open events as the pandemic evolves.
In a statement, the Gibraltar Government it is “important to act responsibly at this juncture in the pandemic” in relation to community events and to keep others under close review.
The announcement comes just two weeks after Armed Forces Day concert was held in Casemates Square and attended by over 3,000 members of the community and visitors to Gibraltar alike.
The Gibraltar Government said it has held a discussion with the SDGG to cancel the fair and the Saturday Night Live event, while the National Day events will be recorded and televised for a second year running.
“These are both open events which appeal to a young unvaccinated cohort and which visitors from outside Gibraltar can also freely attend,” a spokesman for No.6 Convent Place said.
The Gibraltar Government has adopted a “cautious and prudent” approach towards open events which involve large numbers of people in close proximity to each other.
The number of cases in Gibraltar have been increasing slowly and one person with Covid-19 has been hospitalised for the first time in months.
There are also increasing Covid-19 numbers in the United Kingdom and Spain, and elsewhere in Europe, while the vaccination programme for those under the age of 16 has not yet been approved.
“The Government has waited to establish the progress of the vaccination regime for persons between the age of 12 and 16 before coming to a final, painful decision on this matter,” the Government spokesman added.
“A distinction is being made for the moment between such larger activities and smaller, ticketed events, where entry is controlled and only those who have been vaccinated or who test negative on the day can attend.”
“However, even this second category will be kept under ongoing review as the pandemic continues to progress.”
It said it is following advice to “act now or to face a continuing increase in the number of positive cases which, it has been estimated, could hit 70 active cases per week shortly”.
It said there are also new variants that are being detected such as the Delta B variant originally identified in Nepal.
“It is obvious from the data coming in from all over Europe that the new Delta variant is spreading everywhere like wildfire,” the Government spokesman said.
“There are people who have had Covid-19 before who are becoming infected again, and this is happening even to those who have been double-vaccinated.”
“It is also clear that vaccinated people are better protected against the virus and this can be seen in the low number of hospital admissions, only one in Gibraltar in the last few months, since the vaccines started to provide a shield which reduces the impact of Covid-19.”
“The Government reminds those travelling abroad to take sensible precautions when they are outside Gibraltar,” it added.
“Travellers should also familiarise themselves with the law and with the rules at their point of destination as well as during their journey.”
“Those flying to the United Kingdom should be aware of the changes that will take effect in England as from July 19.”
“It is important also to remember that different rules may apply in England to those in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.”
There is a surge in the number of cases both in the United Kingdom and in Spain.
Andalucia this week reported 2142 cases over two days, with Malaga alone accounting for about half of these.
There are 1145 active cases in the province of Cadiz, with Algeciras reporting 87 active cases and La Linea 28. There are 42 active cases in Tarifa which attracts young people from all over Europe to its watersports and beaches, 89 in Chiclana and 150 in Conil.
“Gibraltar remains a safe place by international standards, given our world-class testing programme and our effective vaccination regime,” the Government spokesman added.
“However, it is important to keep it that way and to err on the side of caution when it comes to staging large open public events.”
Gibraltar yesterday registered seven new cases of Covid-19 on the Rock, with one visitor, five residents and one cross frontier worker tested positive for the virus.
There are currently 31 active cases on the Rock, including 28 residents and three visitors, and one person remains in hospital.
A total of 127 people are self-isolating, while there are 46 test results pending.
Of the new cases detected on the Rock, the visitor is aged between 15 and 20 and has not been vaccinated.
Meanwhile a Government statement said that of the five new resident cases, four were close contacts of an existing case.
Two unvaccinated residents have tested positive for Covid-19, including a child aged between five and 10 and an adult aged between 50 and 55.
The three other resident cases were all vaccinated, and aged between 20 and 25, 40 and 45 and 55 to 60.