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18th February 2022, 18:31

Rules around COVID self-isolation will likely be relaxed or removed entirely next month

The rules around COVID self-isolation will likely be relaxed or removed entirely next month. In response to GBC questions, the Government said it is reviewing the regulations for both close contacts and for positive cases themselves.

It follows the UK Prime Minister's announcement that he would soon be removing all remaining COVID restrictions.

The Government says a review of self-isolation rules is in progress. A full statement is to be made in the first week of March, which, it says is anticipated to be the most appropriate time to de-escalate remaining measures.

The Government says the Director of Public Health advises the Civil Contingencies Committee, taking into account five daily metrics. It says the positive news is that the number of additional daily cases peaked on the 6th of January - adding that vaccination uptake remains steady, and hospitalisations are low as the vaccine is preventing against the most severe consequences of infection.

In response to GBC questions, the Government says it is considering whether to discontinue the use of masks in shops and on public transport as part of the exit strategy preparations, as well as whether to make LFT at-home kits available over the counter for those who want to continue to take precautions.

The Government says while it reviews policy direction across the UK and Europe, it has its own approach to COVID policy in the best interests of Gibraltar. Therefore, it says, the departure of many parents with children of school age over the winter mid-term break, and their return at the end of February, is a relevant consideration as to the timing of the de-escalation of remaining restrictions.