THE Gibraltar Cabinet has decided, on the advice of the Director of Public Health and the acting Medical Director of the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) that all catering establishments (other than in hotels) should shut completely to the public as from Monday March 16 for an initial 21 days.
Hotel catering establishments will be available only to hotel guests and the facilities at Gibraltar Airport will also remain open.
All catering establishments will be free to provide meals for take-away delivery or collection which means that restaurant kitchens only may remain open.
The purpose of this measure is to ensure that elderly members of the community do not congregate in these establishments and presumably as this is not mentioned in any press releases, lunch clubs which are provided for the elderly will also be cancelled.
In taking this measure, the Chief Minister consulted also with the Leader of the Opposition, Keith Azopardi and the independent Member of Parliament, Marlene Hassan Nahon whilst the Minister for Public Health, John Cortes spoke to the President of the Chamber of Commerce and the Chairman of the Gibraltar Federation of Small Business.
The Chief Minister said: “We need everyone to cooperate with us to try to slow the inevitable spread of the virus so that we can best maximise the resources of the GHA to give the most vulnerable in our community the best possible care.”
In a later statement issued by the Government, it encouraged those who live in Spain and work in Gibraltar to be alert to their legal obligations and in the case of those working in the catering industry to check with their employers to see whether there was any point in crossing the border to report for work.
It has also encouraged Gibraltar residents not to cross over to Spain unless absolutely necessary and to ensure that they fully understand their obligations under the latest Spanish laws.