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Govt defends decision on hospital visits and vaccines

Pic: Johnny Bugeja

The Gibraltar Government said the decision to prevent visits to hospital patients and ERS residents by people who are not vaccinated was based on clinical and public health guidance, adding it had “a sacred duty” to protect those in its care.

It made the comment after Keith Azopardi, the Leader of the Opposition, called for a review of the policy and said preventing access to unvaccinated relatives “would be inhumane.”

Mr Azopardi said last week that the government should find ways to ensure that people can see their loved ones by taking necessary precautions even without being vaccinated.

But the government replied that his comments were “downright irresponsible” and that Mr Azopardi should avoid positioning himself as “some kind of expert” in this context.

“This is far too serious an issue to be manipulated in this manner by someone playing to the gallery or trying to be all things to all men,” No.6 Convent Place said in a statement.

“It is absolutely true that everyone is entitled to freely choose whether they wish to be vaccinated or not.”
“That is why vaccination against Covid-19 is not mandatory in Gibraltar.”

“However, it is obvious from the global reaction to the success of our vaccination programme that other nations and individuals would be only too pleased to be where Gibraltar is today.”

“In the same way as citizens have a right to refuse vaccination, patients and residents in Government facilities have a right to be protected against the virus with the tightest measures that are available at this time.”

“This is all the more important when the persons concerned are precisely the sick or the elderly and therefore more at risk.”

“Gibraltar has sadly lost 94 lives already to this terrible disease.”

“We do not want to lose any more. It is tragic that the Opposition should again play politics with the most vulnerable.”

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