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Govt urges public to be Covid conscious this National Day

Moorish Castle with the Gibraltar flag. Photo by Johnny Bugeja.

The Gibraltar Government has urged the public to be Covid conscious this National Day, encouraging people to celebrate in small groups.
Public Health Gibraltar has advised the public to avoid large gatherings and reminded that social distancing requirements should be adhered to.
Traditional events like the political rally and rock concert will be pre-recorded and broadcast on GBC.
Bar this, the only live event will be the firework display which can be seen from Peter Isola Promenade.
Minister with responsibility for Public Health, Dr John Cortes, called for Gibraltarians to act responsibly this National Day, adding it is in the best interests of Gibraltar to protect families, friends and community in these still extraordinary times.
“If you do choose to make use of our beaches, bathing pavilion and swimming pools, keep group sizes to a minimum, keep a safe distance from others outside your social bubble and practise good hand hygiene. And so, safely and responsibly, enjoy National Day,” Dr Cortes said.
Gibraltar Cultural Services Head of Events, Giovanella Vinales, has been organising the National Day events which will be broadcast on GBC.

“What you will see on GBC TV on September 10 was pre-recorded as from the beginning of August,” Ms Vinales said.
“It will start from 10am with a variety show, we have dance groups and singers, and then we have the political rally at 12.30pm.”
Entertainment for the variety show will include Danza Academy, Renditions, Transition Dance Academy, the Showdance Company, JF Dance, Mediterranean Dance School, Stylos, YDS, Gibraltar Youth Choir, Shyanne Azzopardi, and Francis Chipolina.
The line-up for the political rally includes speeches from the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo, Self Determination for Gibraltar Group (SDGG) Chairman Richard Buttigieg and the Mayor of Gibraltar.
The National Day rock concert will then be broadcast as from 9pm, and performers include Jesse Sampere, Bigby, Come in Leon and Heritage.
Another ongoing national themed event is the Our Gibraltar exhibition which is open at the Fine Arts Gallery, weekdays from 10am to 2pm and from 3pm to 6pm until September 24.
The fireworks display will also be broadcast on GBC at 10pm.
The public will be able to view the firework display at 10pm by Peter Isola Promenade.
The SDGG has confirmed access to Peter Isola Promenade will be restricted to pedestrians only from 9pm to 1am, until completion of the displays and dismantling of equipment within the area.
Parking will not be allowed as from 5pm along Peter Isola Promenade.
“Arrangements are being made by the Captain of the Port for large ships berthed alongside Detached Mole western to be removed, thus providing a prime viewing location for the general public,” the SDGG said.
Ms Vinales said the fireworks will be choreographed to music this year, and said that viewing the fireworks on television is also encouraged.
She added Westview Park will be closed to avoid large congregations of people wanting to view the fireworks.
Ms Vinales described how it is very difficult to balance organising events, while at the same time encouraging the public not to attend in large groups.
“It’s not like other years where we want people to be out, so it is a bit difficult,” she said.
She stressed the need to be cautious when organising public events.
For Ms Vinales, organising National Day in Casemates Square as in pre-pandemic years is impossible.
Ticketed events have been held over the past year, but with National Day all events are held in public spaces.
“How do you control Casemates? And it’s not just Casemates, it’s the beaches, the Piazzella. How do you control these areas? You can’t.”

BEACHES
The Government has reminded beachgoers this National Day that Gibraltar is not over the Covid-19 pandemic and that anyone with Covid-19 symptoms, should inform GHA 111 at the earliest opportunity and strictly follow their direction.
“With this mind we would like to appeal to the community’s sense of civic consciousness expecting beach users to take heed of any pertinent Public Health advice, understanding that such precautions are necessary to ensure public safety,” the Government said.
“We thank all beach goers for their co-operation and wish them all an enjoyable National Day.”
The Government has advised that the setting up of beach furniture overnight is not allowed, but an exception will be made for National Day.
“Beach goers wishing to set up in preparation for National Day will be allowed to do so on the preceding evening, that is, Thursday, September 9, 2021 but not earlier,” the Government said.
“We urge all beach goers to refrain from setting up or cordoning off areas of public beach any earlier, as this would only cause unnecessary disruption to the daily beach operation.”
“Firstly, it would prevent the adequate cleaning of the beaches and then it could pose a danger to beach users, creating delays in the access to the shoreline in the case of an emergency.”
The lifeguard service at public beaches will end on Sunday, September 12, 2021.

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