AS more people leave their homes for non-essential reasons, the government is asking the public to stay at home until the end of the social lock-down.

The warning came as the Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia gave more details of how over-70s would be allowed to exercise.

The RGP, GDP and Customs have recorded a total of 799 breaches of COVID-19 regulations set to keep the public safe.

Of these 799, 30 arrests have been carried out, eight of which are only due to COVID breaches and 22 which were accompanied with other offences.

Nearly 200 of the breaches were from people over 70, and 68 people were forced to be taken home by officers.

The large majority, 699 people, were asked or warned to go home as opposed to being arrested or fined.

“Now is not the time to become complacent simply because of the low numbers of the active cases of infected persons,” said Royal Gibraltar Police Commissioner Ian McGrail

The RGP had to place restrictions on people going to the Upper Rock and beaches when lots of people were breaking social distancing rules.

McGrail reminded the public that exercise must only be carried out alone or with members of the same household.

Police Road Watch
WATCHFUL: The RGP are making sure people stay indoors rain or shine

Golden hour

The Deputy Chief Minister spoke of ‘a golden hour’ when the elderly could leave their homes for exercise ‘at a defined location, at a specific time, on certain days, and in a sheltered or protected environment’.

“Such exercise, obviously, will be optional and those who wish to can avail themselves of the opportunity,” said Garcia.

“Many over 70s may well choose not to, but those who do must take great care.”

Joseph Garcia gave specific advice of how this should be carried out to prevent catching the virus.

“Those who do exercise should stick to their household group,” he said.

“If you live alone, then walk alone.

“Maintain social distancing and do not meet up with friends or family as this must not become an excuse to socialise.

“As you make your way outdoors, be careful when touching things like lift buttons, door handles and handrails, particularly if you walk down communal stairs.

“Do not sit anywhere – exercise or walk, and then leave.

“Do not touch your mouth, nose, or eyes at all and wash your hands thoroughly when you return home.”

It is possible that this release from the lockdown could be revoked if there is a sudden spike in this vulnerable group getting COVID-19.

Don’t tolerate violence

The Commissioner noted the public’s interest on domestic abuse and was pleased that police were ‘not facing any abnormal number of cases’ since the start of the social lock-down.

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VIOLENCE: Women have been told not to suffer in silence by the RGP

Those who are facing violence at home in the lock-down or in general, should ‘call for help’, according to McGrail, who urged them not to accept these situations.

Active cases of COVID-19 have not risen since Saturday, leaving the number of active cases at 12.

The Chief Minister announced yesterday that Gibraltar’s rate of infection sits at 0.6% at the moment as he announced that the lock-down will gradually ease.

A total of 120 people have recovered and 1,974 tests have been done since the start of the pandemic, which meant that over 6% of the population had now been tested.

Pollution-free

Traffic jams seem to have become a thing of the past for now as COVID-19 has reduced the number of cars on Gibraltar’s roads.

Vehicles may only be used by those who have a good reason of travelling.

This has meant that air quality has drastically improved in Gibraltar.

289 4 2020
AIR QUALITY: Government graph shows air pollutant PM10 levels in Gibraltar

“The fact that poor air quality affects respiratory health is particularly significant as this will be key to good health in later years if COVID-19 becomes endemic,” said Minister for the Environment John Cortes.

Experts have suggested that the virus could just become another danger of life people will have to get used to so they could not take their life for granted anymore.

These figures have given Cortes the ammunition to ask that after the pandemic has died down, the community should ‘re-double efforts’ to improve air quality.

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