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31st July 2020, 17:30

CM delays 'Rock Unlock' & makes use of masks mandatory in certain confined spaces

Gibraltar will not relax any of its Covid-19 arrangements on the 1st of August as hoped. The Chief Minister has confirmed there is now community transmission of the coronavirus; meaning there is no clear source of origin of the infection. Fabian Picardo said it was dangerous that one case went unreported for some days locally. The Contact Tracing Bureau has so far identified 45 contacts arising from this case.

The Chief Minister warned there is a certain amount of complacency in Gibraltar.

And, he confirmed there are new regulations making the use of masks mandatory in certain situations.

As Jonathan Scott reports.

On Friday there were six active coronavirus cases in Gibraltar at the moment, with nine test results pending.

But it's the potential for things to get worse in a relatively short space of time which the Government is worried about.

He said there's a risk of a spike in cases arising from holiday & other travel arrangements. He also pointed out that social gatherings at night have been problematic in Spain, asking anyone going out there or locally to be extra careful.

The University lab is currently doing 350 tests daily, but Mr Picardo said the Government is hoping to increase this to 550. And he said he wants to test more in the GHA; he thinks not enough tests are being done there at present.

The BEAT Covid app has reportedly had 15,000 downloads so far.

Golden Hour & Silver Time at Commonwealth Park have been less popular in recent weeks, so the start time moved back from 10 to 11.

The 2am curfew for bars will now mean last orders will be at 01:30.

The Chief Minister said the Government is aspiring to provide a cashless service. Pre-paid cards will be piloted by Social Security, for those without a bank account & card. The plan is to roll these out to all public departments needing to make payments. He said this is the safest method to receive payment.

Mr Picardo said keeping public counters closed is to keep the public safe,.

He warned that the Government anticipates moving back to a posture of "Major Incident" in mid-September.

What does calling it a 'Major incident' mean?

The move back to "Major Incident" posture would give the Government greater flexibility in how to deploy public sector personnel and resources. The Chief Minister said he hoped a return to lock-down would not be necessary.