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Gibraltar assists UK sea cadet to get home

Photo: Johnny Bugeja

Gibraltar’s port has provided humanitarian assistance in recent days to help foreign nationals return home amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Highlighting a number of examples, the Minister for the Port Gilbert Licudi said Gibraltar will assist where it is possible to do so safely, “ the same way as we would like other countries to assist where we may have our citizens stranded in foreign countries.”

Speaking at the 4pm press conference on Saturday, he said: “Yesterday, I received a letter from a UK MP regarding one of his constituents who is a sea cadet in a vessel very close to Gibraltar.”

“The request was for the cadet to be allowed to disembark in Gibraltar and take this afternoon’s BA flight to London so that he can return to his family in Scotland at these difficult times.

"We have arranged this and the cadet will be returning to the UK today.”

“We were also approached by the Canadian High Commissioner in London in relation to eight Canadian citizens who are stranded on a vessel and wish to return home.”

“Subject to medical clearance, we have arranged for these eight Canadians to be disembarked in Gibraltar and taken straight to the airport so that they can return to their home and loved ones.”

Mr Licudi said that whilst the Government continues to deal with and prioritise everything to do with Covid-19, simultaneously it must also keep important aspects of Gibraltar’s economy functioning.

The port, a key contributor to the Rock’s economy, has not been closed down but its practices have been overhauled with strict protocols on every single port activity.

All of this has been done in conjunction with under the of advice from the Director of Public Health.

Bunkering, therefore, is continuing.

“This requires no or very minimal human contact and can be done safely,” Mr Licudi said.

“We stopped cruise liners from coming in but we are allowing technical calls from cruise liners.”

“These are cruise liners which do not have any passengers on board, where we do not allow anyone to disembark and which come in for bunkers.”

“This week, we had the Viking Sea making such a technical call and next week we will have the Berlin.”

He said: “Do not be alarmed in any way if you see these sailing in.” “

“These vessels provide medical declarations and are only allowed in if we are satisfied that it is safe to do so.”

“We are taking the strictest safety measures possible to prevent any infection but at the same time allowing an activity which contributes to our economy and which maintains our links with the shipping and cruising industries.”

“These links are vital to our future economic recovery,” Mr Licudi said.

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