Face masks no longer required in Gibraltar in public places

by Lorraine Williamson
Gibraltar without facemasks
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GIBRALTAR – Currently, in Gibraltar, no one is in hospital due to corona virus, and there are only 15 active cases. Therefore, as from Sunday it is no longer necessary to wear a face mask in public.

Also, with effect from yesterday (Thursday 25th), the curfew was lifted. Bars and restaurants can once again remain open until 2am. However, masks must still be worn in shops, on public transport and in enclosed spaces.

Previously Gibraltar had imposed tough restrictions, but due to this, and the speed of vaccinations, case numbers have reduced dramatically.

Operation Freedom

Ministry of Health - Gibraltar

According to  Guardian newspaper, Operation Freedom, the name given to Gibraltar’s vaccination programme, is now closing in on its target. In the coming days the British overseas territory will become one of the first places in the world where every willing resident over the age of 16 has been fully vaccinated.

Gibraltar´s Health Minister, Samantha Scramento said “It’s pretty much mission accomplished. It does feel much better, much easier and as if we’re getting back to normal.”

More than 4,200 were infected

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More than 90% of Gibraltar’s 33,000 residents have now had two doses of the vaccine. Apart from the 3% or so who declined the jab, the rest are expected to receive their second dose in the coming days, igniting hopes that the territory can turn the page on a pandemic that has killed 94 residents and infected more than 4,200.

Politico reported “We have to be really grateful to the U.K. government’s continuous supply of vaccines, which has meant we’ve never had a break in our vaccination program because of any delay while we wait for the vaccines,” Sacramento said.

10,000 Spanish nationals

But Gibraltar is not only vaccinating its own residents. About 10,000 Spanish nationals who are registered as frontier workers are eligible for a jab too. Of them, about 1,700 have already received a U.K. vaccine, most of which work in the health and social care sector. Others will follow, starting with workers who come into the closest contact with the locals, such as cleaners.

Sacramento thanked Britain for the vaccines and said she hoped people living in the UK are not jealous of the high share of Gibraltarians vaccinated thanks to British jabs.

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