Gibraltar’s coronavirus plan is WORKING with no deaths – but complacency warning issued

However, with Britons eager to know when the lockdown in the UK will be lifted, the Rock’s approach offers a hint as to what may be round the corner. In contrast to many parts of the world, the measures taken by the British overseas territory, population 33,000, appear to be working, with just 144 cases, of whom 132 have recovered.

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Gibraltar has undertaken a rigorous programme of testing, with 2,827 carried out so far, of which results are pending on 141.

There have so far been no deaths, and nobody is in currently in hospital or intensive care.

Mr Picardo, on Friday announced an easing of lockdown restrictions in a document entitled Unlock the Rock.

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Our biggest enemy now is complacency

Fabian Picardo

He told he was nevertheless wary of hailing the operation as a success.

He explained: “Although I am delighted that all our planning, preparations and testing seem to be paying off, we are very aware that this is a marathon and not a sprint.

“Our biggest enemy now is complacency.”

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Speaking at his regular press conference on Friday evening, Mr Picardo told Gibraltarians: “You have done a magnificent job of working with our law enforcement agencies in keeping to the lockdown.

“You will have to do so for a little longer still.

“Because we cannot yet say that our lockdown has worked. But we can say that our lockdown is working.”

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Mr Picardo pointed to wide-ranging economic measures which have already been rolled out to protect businesses and the economy.

However, he acknowledged the “social need” to relax restrictions grew greater ever day.

He added: “The potential long term public health risk of continual extensions of lockdown also give rise to their own risks.

“And the potential long term economic damage is worse each day that passes.

“But any relaxation of the lockdown regulations creates a likelihood of increased community infections of COVID-19.

“For that reason, the pace of relaxation of the lockdown will have to be gradual.

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“It will have to be prudent. It will have to be closely controlled.

Mr Picardo said: “So an end to confinement will come.

“But it will come with the start of a new way of living.

In every instance, activity will return to each sector strictly subject to the observation of the rules of social distancing, he said, adding: “For now, we will be able to start to slowly unlock the Rock in some areas of business activity.”

The new rules mean:

  • Shops closed by the regulations were permitted to reopen
  • Estate Agents are likewise permitted to reopen
  • More construction sites will be able to re-open with a permit from the Chief Technical Officer as of Monday
  • Shipbuilding and ship repair will be permitted from Wednesday
  • Hairdressers and beauticians were allowed to begin operating again
  • Restaurants and bars remain shut, however, as do schools

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