Gibraltar green list fears as surge in Covid cases spark tighter restrictions

Gibraltar residents discuss coronavirus vaccine rollout success

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Gibraltar’s government has tightened some restrictions across the nation following a new rise in confirmed cases of COVID-19. The sudden rise could spark concern for those due to go on holiday to the British Overseas Territory in the coming weeks.

The new restrictions will impact large events, and see vaccine or testing rules applied to restaurants and nightclubs.

Gibraltar has held its position on the green list for travel since May 17.

This means travellers do not need to self-isolate upon their return to the UK regardless of their vaccination status. They are also only subject to one pre-departure test and a PCR test on day two of their arrival in the UK.

However, if the nation follows in the footsteps of previously green countries such as Portugal and the Balearics, a rise in cases could coincide with a swift move to the amber list.

Cases of coronavirus have been gradually rising in Gibraltar throughout June and July.

In the 14 days to July 22, Gibraltar recorded 229 new cases of coronavirus.

As a result, the nation’s government has put a stop to large events until September 2021.

Small events will be able to go ahead but guests must remain seated and a ticketing system will be in place.

Private are, restaurants and nightclubs are now asked to ensure clients are either fully vaccinated or can provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test.

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The Government urged establishments to be “cautious in the events that they hold” and “to strictly control numbers”.

It also asked owners to “ensure” they followed the testing and vaccination rules.

Leaders said they were “saddened” that restrictions had to be enforced once again, but had to “respond to the rapid growth in COVID-19 cases, in particular, recent hospitalisation”.

Legislation is not yet being considered to legally rule nightclubs and catering establishments follow the requested regulations.

However, Government officials noted that is a “possibility should cases continue to rise”.

Gibraltar also recently put a stop to people visiting elderly residential homes due to a surge in new cases.

The news will come as a blow to the country, which is one of the few places in the world with a more than 99 percent vaccination rate among its adult population.

By April, Gibraltar had whizzed through its vaccination schedule.

This was due to its small population size of roughly 33,700 people as of 2019.

By comparison, the UK is home to around 66 million people and has vaccinated around 70 percent of its adult population.

All businesses, including non-essential shops, restaurants, bars, cafes, gyms, hairdressers and salons reopened in Gibraltar on April 1, 2021.

It has welcomed back UK tourists since May and provides a free COVID-19 test for arrivals entering the country.

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