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GSD welcomes ‘Unlock the Rock’ strategy, warns against complacency

Eyleen Gomez

The GSD has welcomed the Unlock the Rock document, adding that it provides Gibraltar with a “broad initial strategy and timescales to transition to a new normality” until the Covid-19 health emergency is over.

And although Gibraltar has been successful in controlling the spread of the virus, the GSD urged people not to get complacent in their actions.

Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi, yesterday said in a statement: “We have been working with Government on this document for some time to try to agree as much of it as we can and to improve the ideas and strategy within it.”

“This is in line with our efforts to work together in the public interest.”

“This is what Gibraltar needed when this crisis arrived and it is not over yet.”

The GSD said that although it does not agree with “every single word or idea in this document”, it is a good way forward to try to see the return of social, commercial, sporting and cultural activities.

Some of the technical and practical details to make these plans work will need further planning and discussion with various sector groups, especially in relation to business practices of returning sectors, the GSD said, adding: “If need be the plans should be modified to facilitate commercial needs where this does not conflict with public health advice.”

But the party also welcomed “the phased plan to restore individual and commercial freedoms”. “Those restrictions can only be lifted if we are able to maintain the control of Covid-19 in Gibraltar,” Mr Azopardi said.

“At the moment we have been successful and are going in the right direction.”

“But the overall direction of travel set out in the Document is only possible if the cases in Gibraltar remain at manageable levels that do not put undue strain on our health service.”

“That is why we should not be complacent either.”

“While the return of individual and commercial freedoms is welcome people should enjoy these in a responsible and cautious way.”

“We need to avoid a second spike that risks our returning to further lockdowns.”

“That is a reality we will need to live with for some time so we all need to make it our civic duty to responsibly adhere to the need for new norms of behaviour.”

“This will improve our chances of emerging from this in a way that is better than originally feared.”

The GSD, however, said it disagrees with the Government’s proposal to close Line Wall Road, Chatham Counterguard and Europort Avenue.

“We disagree with the Government on the methodology, implementation and consultation mechanisms adopted for these schemes as explained in our previous public comments,” the party said.

“We do not think these should be implemented on June 1 as announced.”