THE Government of Gibraltar has announced that it will continue to provide COVID-19 testing for all UK arrivals from today due to increasing concern over the rise in cases of the Indian Strain.
The Gibraltar cabinet met this morning with GHA Consultant Microbiologist Dr Nick Cortes to discuss the UK’s evolving situation.
As a result the Government has announced that it will be providing free of charge ‘lateral flow’ testing to all UK arrivals while the ongoing situation is being monitored.
Gibraltar had previously stated that it would be welcoming travellers from the UK without the need for a PCR test, a statement that the government is keen to reiterate.
“We said before we will not require a PCR test for those arriving from the UK – and that will still be the case” said a press release.
“Instead, all arrivals will receive a lateral flow test at no cost to the traveller.”
In the lengthy statement, the Gibraltar government ensures that the u-turn on British entries is purely a safety issue whilst the spread of the Indian varint is monitored.
“For us our main priority is our population’s safety, and we cannot ignore the advice we have received from both Downing Street and our own health advisors.”
“Given our unbreakable and almost filial link with the UK, travel between us is about families reuniting, it’s about the social aspects of our relationship, about business and trade and also about tourism.”
The lateral flow test, or LFT, is a rapid COVID-19 testing method that uses a swab at the back of the nose or throat and can produce results in under 30 minutes.
The new strain, first discovered in India and named the B.1.617.2 was designated a variant of concern on May 7 in the UK and is now quickly spreading across the country.
So far over 1,300 cases have been recorded, a figure that has tripled since last Thursday and a figure that is causing experts to predict that it will overtake the Kent variant as the most prolific in the UK.