THE Rock will go into Phase Six of the freeing of lockdown restrictions on July 15 with just one active COVID-19 case at the moment.

No further infections have been reported over the weekend with two of the remaining active COVID-19 cases having since recovered.

The current active case is a visitor to Gibraltar who was diagnosed here and is in isolation, having no residential address on the Rock.

Over 16,000 tests have been carried out on the Rock so far, a fact the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo was proud of in his weekly press conference.

“This makes Gibraltar the first in the world – top of the league – for testing per million of population,” boasted Picardo.

“It has been a huge effort for us to achieve this level of testing, but we have done it with the help and cooperation of our citizens and our healthcare professionals.”

There are still eight results pending although, with more than 7,000 taken from the frontline targeted sampling.

This programme sees all workers who have contact with the public, from shop-assistants to enforcers tested, tested continuously for COVID-19.

Unlocking further

With Phase 6 starting on Wednesday July 15, Picardo made it clear that Gibraltar was on course for Rock Unlocked on August 1.

“This is good news,” said Picardo.

“But I want to make it clear that we are not unlocking to a free-for-all.

“We are unlocking to a new normal.

“There will still be rules to comply with in relation to social distancing, self-isolation where appropriate and hand and respiratory hygiene.”

Unlike Andalusia, where masks could be obligatory at all times, Gibraltar has made their use optional, according to public health advice.

He warned against ‘unlock parties’ on August 1 and asked people to observe the rules on short holidays.

The Chief Minister warned that at any time ‘one case could spread like wildfire’.

Picardo Press Call 1
CAUTIOUS: Chief Minister Fabian Picardo answered questions from the press today

He said this was why it was important to keep up precautions, especially when meeting the elderly.

This has meant the continuation of golden hour and silver time at Commonwealth Park, Europa Pool and the Bathing Pavilion.

Sports relaxation

Team sports started in Phase Five and in Phase Six small-sided games will also be allowed.

Competitions between teams will not be permitted, as they would normally require gatherings of more than 20 people, which is against the restrictions.

Phase 6 will see squash bookings restart too, which have been limited to people of the same household so far.

The loosening of the rules will mean 5-a-side football can start at the Bayside Sports Complex

Names will be kept on file for ten days by the GSLA to trace COVID-19 infections in many of these sports.

Swimming sessions at Gibraltar pools will be now be increased to 12 per session with two people allowed in each lane.

However, up to 20 users with disabilities will be able to use the Accessible Pool at Europa Point.

Sports Facilities Gibraltar
MAJESTIC: The Europa Sports Centre will continue re-opening over the summer

The Stay and Play Programme for children with disabilities will now operate at the Accessible Pool from today on Mondays to Fridays from 9am to 1pm.

Finally the Chief Minister there was no tension with the RGP this week.

On the contrary, he said ‘respect, support and gratitude’ has been seen around Gibraltar for the actions of the authorities.

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