FIVE active cases of the virus in Gibraltar are all believed to have been brought in by visitors from the UK.

Of those five, two are residents and three are visitors, who will now be kept in self-isolation until their condition improves.

Only one case has COVID-19 symptoms, by a person who was contacted by one visitor with no symptoms.

“We are already planning for the autumn and the winter,” said the Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“We must do everything possible to stay ahead of the virus.

“We are very concerned about the increases of cases in the jurisdictions most relevant to Gibraltar.”

He was referring to the UK and Spain, where cases have shot up after unlocking restrictions on movement.

Spain now has 300 clusters, 34 in Andalusia while the UK is reporting over 700 new cases a day.

Morocco is in lockdown until August 10 as they try to tackle the first wave while Europe sees a second wave hit its shores.

Picardo echoed Medical Director Sohail Bhatti’s words that Gibraltar was ‘a dry bush between two raging fires’ and needed to do something to stop it spreading.

New restrictions

For all these reasons Picardo said Gibraltar would be staying at Phase 6 and not unlocking completely.

A number of extra restrictions will now be announced on July 31, which would be take in the needs of the people and the economy.

These could include the limit on the amount of people gathering staying at 20, with restaurants and bars seeing their numbers tightened further.

Chief Minister Picardo
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“We continue to take advice on whether masking should be made compulsory, at least in enclosed areas,” said Picardo.

“We do NOT at this stage envisage a further lockdown and we do not envisage difficulties at the frontier.”

On July 25 a two-week self-isolation was imposed on travellers from Spain to the UK.

“Those rules do not presently apply to arrivals from Gibraltar,” confirmed Picardo.

“However, you will be required to disclose, if you are arriving from Gibraltar, if you have been in Spain in the past 14 days.

“If you have, then you will need to quarantine on arrival in the UK if you are not in the exempted classes of persons.”

He said that local people going to UK should not go to Spain for two weeks.

If Gibraltar flights are diverted to Malaga because of bad weather and passengers need to take a bus up there, they will still have to self-isolate for two weeks.

On the Rock, the programme of aggressive testing continues, with the figure edging towards 20,000 swabs so far.

This figure comes to nearly two-thirds of the population, with only 185 positive swabs so far.

Mobile testing has taken place around the Rock, with the Piazza and Morrison’s being two of the main areas.

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