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Govt announces further easing of Covid-19 restrictions as cases remain low

Pic: Eyleen Gomez

The Gibraltar Government has announced plans to further ease Covid-19 restrictions given the low prevalence of the virus in Gibraltar currently.

The decision was taken after a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Strategic Coordinating Group on Thursday considered different options for the de-escalation of restrictions.

The changes will come into effect as from Sunday, March 14, and include:

• The curfew presently in place will be changed to apply from midnight to 5am and, subject to new positive cases remaining low, will lifted entirely as from Thursday March 25;

• The numbers of persons who can book a table at a restaurant will increase from six to eight but the number of persons who can gather in a public place will for now remain 12. The numbers will be kept under weekly review and will be increased as soon as it is safe to do so;

• The restrictions limiting the sale of alcohol by licensed establishments will cease to apply as from Sunday.

“It is exactly a year since we first found ourselves forced to impose restrictions on our liberty and our ability to enjoy our hard won constitutional freedoms,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“It has been our hardest year in Government and the toughest year for our nation in decades.”

“We have lost many loved ones and we have seen our economy severely disrupted.”

“In all this time we have constantly kept all restrictions we have had to impose under review.”

“As guardians of our constitutional civil liberties and freedoms, the Government I lead has never wanted to maintain any restriction for a moment longer than is strictly advisable and necessary.”

“For that reason, the Minister for Health, who also has responsibility for Civil Contingencies, has this week been consulting widely this week on the issue of the restrictions that are in place.”

“That led to the happy decision made on Tuesday and communicated yesterday to re- introduce visits in both the St Bernard’s Hospital and the ERS.”

“We are now able to announce the lifting of many of the outstanding restrictions.”

“We will continue to remove further restrictions as soon as we are advised it is safe to do so.”

“Rules on the wearing of masks will not be further relaxed at this stage.”

“In lifting these restrictions I must nonetheless emphasise the need for caution and continued personal responsibility in ensuring the maintenance of social distancing and hand and respiratory hygiene.”

“As restrictions are relaxed there is a renewed air of normality around us, but things are not quite normal yet and we must all remain both prudent and cautious in our approach to the Covid-19 virus.”

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