ALL shops could be allowed to re-open on February 1 with the end of the social lockdown, the Gibraltar Chief Minister has revealed.

The drop of COVID-19 active cases to just over 600 and the success of mass vaccinations has led to this decision.

The lockdown will, however, continue until January 31 at least, it has been decided.

Non-essential shops, gyms and hairdressers will now probably be allowed to open on February 1 with masking restrictions.

There will still be a curfew from 10pm until 6am, however, until the pandemic spread is reduced.

With all teachers getting vaccinated at the moment, schools could open to students on February 1.

They would only be delayed by a new spike of infections, although it is not predicted at the moment.

Bars, cafes and restaurants are now expected to re-open on March 1 for the first time since December.

Lockdown success

Although there were no deaths yesterday, one person who died today could have been infected with COVID-19.

The number of elderly residents who are COVID-19 positive at government care homes has gone down to 92, with 31 having recovered.

After a recent admission to the Critical Care Unit at St Bernard’s Hospital, there are now 11 people in this ward with nine on ventilators.

Nearly 40 more of different ages in other wards at the hospital, with the majority recovering.

The R rate is now 0.7, with the authorities looking to bring it down to 0.5.

This would mean that for every person getting the coronavirus, two would be recovering.

“As we continue these restrictions, we do so not to dominate, but to deliver against our first obligation to our people – to ensure the preservation of life above all else,” said Chief Minister Fabian Picardo.

“We do so in a manner that respects our sacred obligation to protect also the liberty of each of us in keeping with our constitutional rights.

“We will curtail those rights only and for as long as is necessary to deliver the primary aim of preservation of life.”

The Chief Minister and Minister for Civil Contingencies Samantha Sacramento, joined thousands who got their vaccines this week.

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