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Success relaxing lockdown depended on sticking to the rules, McGrail says

The success of any relaxation on lockdown measures will depend on how people respond and adhere to the rules, Commissioner of Police Ian McGrail said on Tuesday, as he highlighted how some people were abusing even the current measures.

Mr McGrail, speaking at the daily press conference, welcomed the prospect of gradually unlocking the Covid-19 restrictions but appealed for the public’s help in this endeavour.

He explained that complacency at this stage would run the risk of creating a surge in cases of Covid-19.

Mr McGrail said: “It is the measured way of doing this and how you, as a people, respond to it that will dictate the success or otherwise of all our efforts.”

“Let us not be pre-emptive and take much wanted liberties of doing what we used to do pre-lockdown before we’re actually allowed to do so.”

“The best support for public health Gibraltar and the police is to remain compliant with the regulations as they stand,” he said.

Highlighting a number of liberties people have taken in recent days and weeks, Mr McGrail appealed to those who had acted as such to “mend their ways.”

“We’re seeing friends pretending to be exercising when this activity should be carried out alone or with members of the same household; we’re seeing groups of cyclists training together defeating the purposes of social distancing and unnecessarily challenging the provisions of the regulations; we’re seeing neighbours holding parties and BBQ’s in communal areas, boyfriends and girlfriends going for spins in cars; non-essential refurbishment works with groups of workers all within small commercial premises; gatherings of people the type of which are not provided for in the regulations,” he said, reeling off a list of breaches.

“We also had to implement measures last week to control access to beaches and the Upper Rock after we saw too many people wanting to enjoy the good weather all at the same time and therefore compromising good social distancing,” he added.

“We’ve also noted a surge in speeding vehicles, believe it or not, the roads are less busy and some irresponsible motorists think it’s the right time to race around as if they were in a circuit. Well it’s not the right time, it never is, and we’re going to deal with these offending motorists robustly,” he said.

Mr McGrail revealed that since the lockdown measures were imposed the Royal Gibraltar Police has made 799 interventions in enforcing the regulations.

These interventions have led to 30 arrests but 22 of those were arrests that involved other crimes.

Additionally, 197 over 70s have had to be escorted home.

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