BARS and restaurants will have to close at 7pm from today after 120 COVID-19 cases were reported in Gibraltar.
No alcohol will be permitted in public places after 7pm from today and after 4pm only on Christmas Eve.
Last orders must be taken at 6pm with restaurants still able to operate on a take-away basis and hotel restaurants only able to serve their guests.
The measures were presented in today’s parliamentary session, and are aimed at flattening the curve which has seen active cases quadruple in the last five days.
The Government also warned about the importance of keeping two metres apart while shopping especially in crowded areas like Main Street.
With last minute supplies likely to be occurring tomorrow, masks must be worn in the town centre and people must wash their hands frequently.
“It is extremely difficult for us to have to announce these new measures today, particularly as we enter the final week leading up to the holidays,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.
“However, we must do everything we can to protect our elderly and our medical resources as a result of the current spike in active COVID-19 cases in our community.”
Despite the rises in those infected, there is currently no-one recovering in hospital at the moment, though over 750 people are in self-isolation.
“Consider who you plan to meet up with over the holidays and keep your social contacts to a minimum,” urged Picardo.
“It is particularly important to avoid mixing bubbles and to avoid contact between younger generations and those who are elderly.
“It is up to all of us to be responsible and to do all we can to flatten the curve.”
Over 107,000 tests have been made so far, with today’s 120 cases representing a much large proportion of cases than surrounding areas.
With family gatherings and festive merry-making to come, the authorities fear cases could quickly slip out of control.
These latest measures are the harshest seen on the hospitality industry since before the first lockdown.
Although she agreed with them, Marlene Hassan Nahon of Together Gibraltar asked for businesses to be given more of a helping hand.