MASKS for all shoppers and catering curfews will be in force before the weekend.

With 21 active cases on the Rock, 19 of which are resident and thousands of new ones daily in nearby Spain, the Gibraltar Government has decided to take action.

The Civil Contingency Committee, led by Minister Samantha Sacramento, has been meeting daily to come up with the new restrictions.

While all shop staff have already been using masks since the end of the lockdown, this will be the first time people will get fined for not doing so.

Only people with disabilities or mental illness and children under 11-years-old will get away with not wearing a mask.

These measures will come into force on the morning of August 21 at 0h.

“Contact tracing shows that the principal risk at the moment is presented because of the way that people socialise,” said the government.

“They are not keeping to gatherings of less than 20 nor maintaining
social distancing.

“Because of this, conditions in relation to bars and restaurants will be tightened further.”

Curfew

Bars will now have to close an hour earlier at 1am while restaurants will shut at 12.30am.

Those places that do not shut will be issued an on-the-spot fine and lose their permit after three of those fines.

They will then have to re-apply for a permit in order to open again.

Drinking in the street will be illegal after 11pm, with fines also being issued for law-breakers, having a big impact on National Day.

These rules are being put into law by legislation to be published in the Gazette on August 20.

“These measures are intended to send a signal not only that we must not let down our guard and we must take extra precautions if we do not want the number of positive cases to escalate,” said Minister for Civil Contingencies, Samantha Sacramento.

“It is particularly important that the elderly members of our community are not exposed to any unnecessary risk.”

The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo remarked that we must not dwell on the success at dealing with COVID-19 so far.

“These measures are designed to be as un-intrusive as possible,” he said.

“I urge everyone to adhere to these new rules and help us to avoid any unnecessary and inadvertent spread of the virus in our community.”

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