Gibraltar has managed to maintain a relatively low incidence of coronavirus infections during the pandemic, and now the famous Rock is ready to welcome tourists back to the Mediterranean tourist gateway.
Air travel restrictions into Gibraltar due to COVID-19 were lifted from 21 June 2020, with all incoming travellers with valid travel documents being allowed entry into Gibraltar via the international airport.
After Spain ended its “State of Alarm” on 21 June, the country’s border with Gibraltar (at the western end of the Costa del Sol) was also re-opened in accordance with new European Union-wide protocols.
According to latest official government figures (1 July), 178 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Gibraltar (population: 33,691) with no deaths, 176 patients having now recovered, and five people currently in self-isolation. A total of 13,427 tests have been carried out and the results have been received for 13,377.
All EU citizens can now cross the border into Spain with a passport rather than having to prove residency in either country, and the two-week quarantine period for visitors from the UK and other European countries allowing visa-free travel was lifted back in June.
At the same time, bars re-opened for seated customers only, with tourism sites following two weeks later. Masks are “encouraged” in busy outdoor public areas, including Main Street, and social distancing and hygiene measures are applicable in both restaurants and bars.
Ensuring Gibraltar’s Safety
Once the pandemic was under control, the government initiated an “Unlock the Rock” route map out of confinement and towards a post-lockdown “new normality” in Gibraltar.
“Gibraltar’s safety has always been an important attraction for our visitors,” stressed tourism authorities. “ Now more than ever it is important that you feel secure with us, when you decide to return to visit this magnificent destination.”
Key measures implemented for arrivals at Gibraltar International Airport included:
- All public health advice available on the airport website, on signage in all areas throughout the terminal, on handouts and on flight information display screens.
- Dispensers containing alcohol-based gels available throughout the whole departure and arrival process, in all public areas and at staff workstations.
- All public counters fitted with self-standing screens.
- All toilets/washrooms cleaned daily periodically and available for hand-washing.
- Social distancing mitigation via stanchions in front of every public counter, stickers on the floor in the queuing areas, PA announcements and enforcement using ad hoc foot patrols.
- All trays and tables at central search and all trolleys used in the arrivals area and main concourse disinfected daily.
- All public seating relocated to observe social distancing, and all also disinfected daily.
- All touch surfaces (handrails, lift buttons, door handles, etc.) cleaned various times a day.
- Staff issued with face shields for use when it is not possible to maintain social distancing, with gloves available for searching both people and bags.
The main protocols at hotels are also highlighted by social distancing and cleaning to ensure guests’ safety, with sanitisers available in many public areas.
For beaches, the bathing season started on 16 June. Group gatherings are not allowed to exceed 20 people, and social distancing and good hygiene practices are advised.
Check out flight information for Gibraltar International Airport here.