NO-ONE will be able to leave their homes unless it is for work, exercise or taking their kids to schools for day care.

There are now ten active cases of COVID-19 in on the Rock, with five victims having recovered and 45 results being processed.

This afternoon Chief Minister Fabian Picardo announced that Gibraltar would align itself with Spain’s Coronavirus rules.

The only exception will be exercising, which the Picardo admitted was necessary because most Gibraltarians live in flats.

However, even exercising can not be carried out unless it is with others who you live with or alone.

Parks will continue to remain open for the moment, although people are encouraged to only remain there for a short period of time.

“As the virus is in the population, the best way to achieve social distancing as required is to slow the disease and to move to total social lockdown,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“The new rules will come into effect at zero hours on Tuesday so the rules will have no effect tomorrow.

“I ask you to use tomorrow to make adjustments and changes necessary to adapt to life under the regulations.”

He insisted that social distancing must be observed always ‘to slow down the virus’ and stop deaths occurring.

Use of cars is fine for these tasks, but people are asked to avoid talking to others.

“You will be able to go out to exercise children and of course, you’ll be able to go out to shop and for other essentials,” said Picardo.

“You must not be out or about other than with a person who already lives in the same property as you.”

Fines and even imprisonment could be made on those who do not follow these rules.

If there is a need for the Gibraltar Defence Police to back up the Royal Gibraltar Police, they will be called upon, although army deployment is unlikely.

Forces areas like hospitals could also be used by the government if needed, with discussions now taking place.

Business ‘coma’

All workers employed in Gibraltar will now receive a wage as if they were unemployed during the lockdown.

Most construction, gyms and shops will stop work, with essential services and supermarkets chemists and grocery stores remaining open.

Restaurants will still be open for takeaways with food delivery continuing to be available.

Gib Main Street
EMPTY: Streets will remain much like this for now

People can still go to work at offices although remote working is advised.

The Chief Minister spoke of the ‘economic packages’ designed to help workers continue to be paid even though their companies are not making employment.

“The most important help we will deploy as soon as possible will be to pause employment and allow individuals to claim unemployment benefit as a result,” he said.

“We are in effect, putting our economy into an induced coma with all effective businesses and employees given a direct economic lifeline.

“All of this is designed to ensure that the economy can survive in the long term, despite these short term difficulties.”

There is the possibility to apply for exceptions to these rules from the Chief Technical Officer and some have already been given.

“There is a company driving piles in the sea for a project that involves a few men being on a barge distant from each other doing something which does not affect anybody else,” Picardo said of the exceptions.

“We’re going to need water and electricity and we need to carry out some roadworks that are pending.”

Weekly meetings will now be held by the organising committee to review these terms.

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