THE UK is firmly behind Gibraltar during the coronavirus crisis, said the acting governor in his Easter message.

Easter is traditionally spent with friends and family, but this year COVID-19 forced Gibraltarians to remain at home.

“We should and can keep in touch, and it is important that we do, just not in person,” said Nick Pyle.

Former Governor Edward Davis wrote to the Chief Minister to offer his words of support to the people of Gibraltar, as did UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

“The Prime Minister stressed that Gibraltar would have the full support of the UK government in the fight against the disease,” Pyle continued.

Pyle was ‘delighted’ to note that British Forces Gibraltar and the Royal Gibraltar Regiment have stepped in to help the community.

As a former diplomat who worked with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office since 1981, Pyle is no stranger to crises.

Before arriving on the Rock he was British High Commissioner to the Republic of Botswana and UK Representative to the Southern African Development Community.

Difficult times

The former deputy governor took over the main role after Ed Davies’ four years was up without a replacement being found yet.

Governor Leave
EMOTIONAL: Former governor Ed Davies left the Rock in February to make way for Pyle

“We know what really matters: family, friends and faith – in facing the crisis we need to adapt and embrace the need for change,” said Pyle.

“Relationships are often tested during difficult times, but the strong relationships like that between the UK and Gibraltar survive the test.”

Since the outbreaks started in Wuhan in December, the COVID-19 virus has infected 1.8 million people worldwide.

Italy felt the heat first, overtaken by Spain in confirmed cases, then overtaken by the USA, with cases skyrocketing daily.

COVID-19 has infected 70,000 people in the UK, but thankfully only 129 confirmed cases have been in Gibraltar so far, with no deaths in the British Peninsula.

“Pandemics are not new and this one is still in its early stages, it is therefore difficult to predict when it will end, and when life can return to normal,” continued the Governor.

“But let us hope that we can return to a better and more caring normal.”

SURVIVOR: An 80-year-old granny being taken home after she overcame the disease

Gibraltar can be proud

“Gibraltar however can be proud of how it responded, and in particular the work of the GHA, the RGP and the many volunteers who are looking after the elderly and vulnerable in our society,” Pyle continued.

“We should not forget those who are keeping Gibraltar running by continuing to provide essential services.”

He said that ‘communities come together and become stronger’ when times are hardest and Gibraltar had done just that.

“It is important that we look after everyone, particularly the vulnerable and those who may be alone,” concluded the acting governor.

“In times of adversity, we need to follow the rules, not just for our own protection, but for the protection of others.”

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