Curfew and other restrictions will be lifted in Gibraltar from midnight this evening (Thursday) in response to “very low” rates of active COVID-19 cases being recorded this week. Saying it was “delighted to be in a position to further ease social restrictions”, including mask use, the Gibraltar government said there were currently no active cases of COVID-19 in St Bernard’s Hospital or in Elderly Residential Services.
“Today (Wednesday) is another day when we report zero new infections. As the chief minister stated in Parliament on Monday, this is an important demonstration of the effectiveness of our lockdown and of our vaccination programme. The government is pleased that this restriction (curfew) will be lifted in time for the upcoming Passover and Easter celebrations, which are so important to so many members of our community.”
In addition, also effective on Thursday night, bars and restaurants will be permitted to remain open until 2am, although a ban on the consumption of alcohol in public places (i.e. outside licensed premises) will remain in effect from 7pm to 8am nightly. “This does not apply to the outside area of a bar or restaurant as these areas are included in the demise of the licensed premises.”
The government said it was also pleased to be in a position to ease the requirements for mask wearing. “Following public health advice, as from 11.59pm on Saturday night, masks will no longer be required outdoors in Main Street and its derivatives. Masks will continue to be a requirement in enclosed public places, shops and on public transport. It is important to note that masks will still be required in Main Street and the streets surrounding it throughout Saturday but not as from Sunday morning.”
Announcing the new protocols, minister for civil contingencies Samantha Sacramento said, “As a result of the successful vaccination programme and our community following the rules, our numbers of positive cases are now extremely low. Tomorrow (Thursday), another of the COVID-19 restrictions will be relaxed as the midnight curfew is deemed no longer to be necessary. The public are nevertheless reminded to continue to follow public health advice and guidance so that we can continue to keep the numbers down.”
Added chief minister Fabian Picardo, “We are at last leaving behind us our deadliest winter and entering our most hopeful spring. The global pandemic isn’t entirely behind us and we must all move forward carefully to safeguard this incredible progress in the weeks and months ahead. I look forward to shortly being able to lift the restrictions on the freedom of assembly as we remove all restraints on our hard-won civil liberties, but doing so in keeping with public health advice and in a safe and prudent manner.”