POLICE chiefs are appealing to the Gibraltar community not to abuse exercise exceptions to the lockdown to get together at beaches and other areas.
Commissioner of the Royal Gibraltar Police Richard Ullger said he was ‘disappointed’ by the mixing of families as 17 deaths were reported since Friday.
“I am disappointed with the feedback being received regarding continued instances of individuals, including families with children, abusing the exemption allowing physical exercise to congregate at beaches and other popular hotspots for lengthy periods,” said Ullger.
“This mixing of households, notwithstanding the continued high infection rate, puts pressure on frontline services after rising numbers of deaths.”
He said 19 fines, each of £100, had been handed out on Friday and Saturday alone.
“Officers are still having to engage large numbers of persons, including families, in relation to their presence at various locations on a daily basis,” he said.
“This, despite the frequency of Public Health Gibraltar guidance and the many who are in fact complying with the legislation that is aimed principally at protecting our community and in particular, the Gibraltar Health Authority & other frontline services.”
“I therefore ask our community to play their part in this by policing themselves.”
Ullger was joined by the Chief Minister this afternoon in asking people to follow the rules.
“When we meet up we might be spreading the virus inadvertently to a person who doesn’t have a problem with it,” said Fabian Picardo.
“But they may then take it or spread it to someone who does have a problem with the virus.
“That’s why those rules are in place in breach of sacred constitutional civil liberties.
“We are doing it for a reason but people need to buy into this reason.
“We don’t have a policeman to put onto the shoulder of everyone in Gibraltar.”
He defended the RGP and Customs for not handing out so many fines unless people confront them about the enforcement of the rules.
In a separate statement, the RGP have decided not to take action against someone who recorded a voice message that went viral doubting the vaccine.
Absurdly, the message spoke of someone who had taken the jab and died soon after of COVID-19, playing into the hands of conspiracy theorists on social media.
“Police officers have investigated this incident and have interviewed a local man under caution,” said a spokesperson for the RGP.
“From the interview, it became clear that the sender of the message intended it to be seen by family members only and not by a wider audience.
“The investigation also discovered that the message contained a number of important inaccuracies.”
According to the RGP, the news was away from Gibraltar and the person died of heart disease ‘several days’ after getting the vaccine.
The investigation found that ‘there was no evidence that the message had any malicious intent’ but warned people ‘not to believe everything they read on social media’.