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Parliament steps up virus measures ahead of the abortion referendum

The Gibraltar Parliament has implemented new precautionary measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus during next week’s abortion referendum.

Clerk to the Parliament, Paul Martinez, has stocked up on hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes and invites any voters to bring their own pen or pencil.

“Pen, pencil, red, blue, black, green it doesn’t matter as long as the intention is there to put the tick or the cross on the square they want we will accept it and if someone is more comfortable in bringing their own pens then please do that,” said Mr Martinez.

“We are going to be putting in a sanitation routine.”

“We will be asking the staff to wipe the polling booths clean every so often. Making everything as clean and as sanitised as much as we possibly can.”

Staff who will be working in the polling stations next Thursday, March 19, will have regular breaks to wash their hands and carry out any necessary hygiene requirements.

“We are following public health advice and telling people to be careful,” Mr Martinez said.

“Use as much sanitising gel and wipes as you need and we will refill these as we go along.”

The number of polling stations is the same as that for the last general election, 15.

There will be two roving teams which will go to St Bernard’s hospital, Mount Alvernia and Ocean Views.

The staff working in the polling stations and for the count of votes is pooled from the civil service and is voluntary.

Mr Martinez confirmed that there has not been a noticeable downturn in the number of people applying for the positions.

Training of the polling station staff has been ongoing this week.

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