GIBRALTAR is becoming one of the first places in the world to get back to normal with the restart of public events.

It follows the success of two pilot sporting events which saw fully vaccinated spectators attending after getting tested.

Hundreds of people watched both the Povetkin vs Whyte event and Gibraltar’s footballing clash with Holland in the last five days.

After arranging tests to get into both events, public health chiefs are hoping that spectators will get tested after they occurred.

They believe this will provide a clearer picture of whether it is safe to hold this sort of well-attended events in the future.

Both boxers have signed a pair of gloves that could be won by spectators who take a COVID-19 test a time allocated to them.

Spectators for the World Cup qualifier could also get their hands on a Dutch football shirt signed by all the team if they cooperate with the testing project.

Although cases normally come up two weeks after a major event, there are only nine cases today with none of them in hospital.

Director of Public Health Sohail Bhatti was happy that Gibraltar was being part of historic moments on a global scale.

“All those in attendance have had two doses of the vaccine and have returned a negative COVID-19 test on the day of the event,” said Bhatti.

“We are once again pioneers and the tests on day 10 for both events are crucial in providing the information required to plan the next steps to take towards a return to normality.”

Public health chiefs could decide on a similar approach for the Drama Festival on May 17-21 to be held at Ince’s Hall with 12 plays on show this year.

Rock traffic

Environmental officials have now opened up some parts of the Upper Rock to motor vehicles, although this came after a lot of thought.

Plant and animal life has blossomed since the Upper Rock Nature Reserve was closed to traffic in January.

Minister for Health and the Environment had originally thought of keeping all local residents off the Rock permanently.

“A big part of me wanted to keep the ban indefinitely but not everyone is able to walk or cycle up the Rock,”Minister John Cortes said.

“Of course, we need to keep a very close watch and if the access is abused we will not hesitate in introducing restrictions.”

Police and security guards will only allow traffic in the lower parts of the Rock and only during the day.

Authorities believe it would be unfair not to allow residents access to the territory’s only countryside when tourists could get up there on taxis and coaches.

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