NUMBERS of COVID-19 cases could break current records this Christmas and New Year as families get together.
With the numbers rising sharply to 94 on December 17, the Gibraltar Government has issued a warning about keeping to the rules over the festive period or face catastrophe in January.
The numbers of infected persons has almost tripled on the Rock since the 37 active cases recorded on December 13.
“The virus spreads when people are in close proximity and do not follow the rules,” said a Gibraltar Government spokesperson.
“The figures normally reflect an event that took place 10-14 days earlier.
“Although it is very difficult to pin-point a specific cause, it will be recalled that Main Street was particularly packed with shoppers on Black Friday.”
This trend has been reflected across Europe with Germany and the Netherlands imposing national lockdowns.
Cadiz, Gibraltar’s neighbouring province, moved to Level Three restrictions, although the Campo is now at Level Four with over 250 cases.
London in the UK has also moved up to its maximum level after a flurry of cases in the immediate aftermath of the lockdown ending there.
Over 25,000 cases were reported in all of UK coupled with over 600 deaths on December 17, with new increases predicted daily as the young reunite with their elderly relatives.
“It is important that everyone should wear masks as necessary, that we all maintain a rigorous hand-washing routine and that we practice social distancing.
“It is all the more essential that we take extra steps to protect those who are vulnerable and who are elderly.
“In Gibraltar, it is a requirement to restrict gatherings to sixteen persons, even if this is in a private residence, and restaurants are obliged by law to limit tables to a maximum of eight clients.”
Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms like coughs, sneezing or sore throats should call 111 for assistance.