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16th July 2021, 14:50

As Covid cases rise, Govt tightens rules on isolation

Published by GBC News

The rules which require close contacts of a positive case to self-isolate have been tightened in view of the increase in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar.

32 new cases were confirmed on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases up to 164.

Of the new cases, 29 are vaccinated, and only three are unvaccinated.

There is one case in the Covid ward, but none in Critical Care or ERS.

There are now 574 in self-isolation.

Up until now, a vaccinated close contact of a positive case didn't need to self-isolate. That person could leave home as long as a mask was worn in all settings, and could even continue to go to work depending on the circumstances of the workplace.

Those rules have now changed. The Delta variant of the virus is more contagious and therefore spreads more quickly - this means that if someone in a household contracts the disease, the likelihood is that other members of that same household will follow.

Household contacts of a positive case are now required to self-isolate whether they have been vaccinated or not. The Contact Tracing Bureau will at first circulate a text message to all known contacts. This will be followed by a telephone call to each of them where the details surrounding the nature of the contact will be discussed, looked at more closely and new instructions issued accordingly.

In addition to this, the Government urges the public to follow the advice that has been given throughout the pandemic. This includes washing hands regularly with soap and water, or where not available, the use of hand sanitisers instead. Number Six says it remains important to keep your distance from others and to avoid large crowds or gatherings if you are elderly or otherwise vulnerable in any way. It is still a legal requirement to wear a mask in certain settings, like shops and public transport.

The Government says Gibraltar has a world class testing programme and a world class vaccination programme which means that an essential part of the framework to tackle this disease is already in place, but adds it is vital that everyone plays their part in the fight against the virus and that we all behave in a sensible and responsible manner.

GBC took to Main Street to find out how concerned the public are over the latest developments in the pandemic locally.