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29th January 2021, 20:38

Lockdown lifted for under 70s but 10pm-6am curfew is imposed

The Government has lifted the lockdown for under 70's but a 10pm to 6am curfew is in place. Speaking at a Covid press conference on Friday afternoon, the Chief Minister said everyone was encouraged to stay at home unless they had a valid reason for going out. 

The over 70's are legally obliged to stay home for the next two weeks. Non-essential shops will re-open Monday to Friday as from next week, as will gyms and beauty salons. Catering establishments are not expected to open till the 1st of March. 

No more than 2 households should meet and gatherings are restricted to 8 in a public place. Places of worship are allowed to open but are subjected to Public Health

The Chief Minister began the press conference mourning the Covid deaths, three more on Friday, 14 in the past week, 66 this month and 73 since the 11th of November.

And, he said, we will mourn them together.

"When we are able to gather and congregate, we owe it to our dead to mourn them collectively as a people."

"And we will do so in a way that enables us all to join together in that moment of national mourning. We must also mark the lives of those we have lost."

"And so, I announce you today that I will bring a motion to our Parliament so that we will, I’m sure unanimously, commemorate this loss of life in a permanent monument to those we have lost to COVID-19."

"This loss of life cannot EVER be forgotten."

But, he added in the same way as the time will come to mourn, so too, the time will come to celebrate the effort, the achievement and the strength of those who have given so much of themselves in this time and generation.

He announced things were improving and the GHAwas now ready to de-escalate from black alert to red.

Numbers of positive cases were on the descent, down to 369. The R rate was  below 0.5.

There were 8 persons in Critical Care. All were ventilated and some were, said the Chief Minister, sadly deteriorating. There were a further 29 hospitalisations with these patients stable or improving

In the Elderly Residential Services, there were 29 persons positives, three of these not doing well.

As a result of the reduction in new cases, he announced a range of measures as from Monday the 1st.

"Citizens under the age of 70 will be permitted to leave their homes between the hours of 6am and 10pm only.

"You should nonetheless work from home if you can."

"You should please not leave your home, unless you have to or for exercise, if you can avoid it."

"That is our strong advice."

"A curfew will remain in place for everyone during the period from 10pm to 6am."

Despite this, we implore you all not to leave home unless you need to".

"Citizens over the age of 70 will be required by law to remain at home for the next 14 days."

"The only exceptions for the over 70s will be medical appointments, work, shopping for essentials and an hour of exercise."

"We will be therefore, re-introducing Golden Hour as from Monday so that the over 70s who wish to can exercise in a controlled environment."

Non-essential shops, will open as from Monday but will be closed on Saturday and Sundays until at least the 27th or 28th. Gyms and beauty salons will also re-open.

Gyms and sports clubs will be subject to controls and permits that will be issued by the Director of Public Health as was the case when we unlocked last year.

Hairdressers and beauty salons will only be able to operate on the basis of the restrictions in place at the time that we last unlocked.

Catering establishments will remain closed for another month.

Wearing of masks everywhere will remain mandatory as it is now.

The Upper Rock will remain closed to traffic but open to ramblers. Children’s parks will, however, remain closed for now.

Therapists will be made available for children who attend St Martin’s School and the Early Birds nursery, and the Department of Education is working on a customised programme running up to Midterm for the next two weeks.

Announcing further restrictions on the Rock, he also warned regulations had been tightened in the nearby Campo.

For now, no more than two households should gather.

"The numbers of people that will be able to gather in a public place will be set at 8."

"Places of worship will be able to open for prayer and worship but ONLY in respect of numbers previously approved by the Civil Contingency Office always observing the strictest rules of social distancing and wearing of masks as well as hand-sanitizing protocols."

"I should also bring to people’s attention the fact that rules have been hardened in La Lineaand the Campo de Gibraltar."

"La Linea is in effect in a lockdown."

"Catering is closed and exiting and leaving La Linea is not allowed other than for permitted purposes."

"I would urge our own people therefore not to seek to exit Gibraltar other than for the purposes that are permitted once you are in Spain and that you should familiarise yourself with to ensure you do not fall foul of Spanish law once in Spain."

Gibraltar, he said, remains in a major incident posture and urged everyone to remain extra vigilant now.