GIBRALTAR’S Chief Minister Fabian Picardo and opposition leader Keith Azopardi have today announced that they plan to ease lockdown restrictions next month. Picardo hinted that some businesses may be allowed to open in May, and that people over 70 may also finally be able to enjoy some outside exercise.
The announcement comes after Gibraltar’s coronavirus (Covid-19) statistics reveal that it has contained the number of diagnosed cases to 12, from a total of 132. Given that the Rock has met the four conditions required to relax lockdown conditions, it is ready to ease some restrictions.
“As coronavirus cases here are not increasing at a high rate with fewer than 25 per cent of people aged 70+ infected with the disease and no seriously ill patients, we are ready to implement, firstly, the opportunity for the over 70’s to go out to exercise,” stated Picardo. However, he stressed that even when restrictions are lifted to enable exercise, people must continue to respect lockdown rules, and not use it as an opportunity to chat/socialise with friends.
In addition, some businesses will be allowed to reopen from May 1. For Spain, Gibraltar is in fact very much an ‘experiment’ on how to relax lockdown conditions, according to Picardo. So this process could well be a “stop-start experiment,” and “we may have to change things along the way, as we have a long road to travel yet,” he added. “For now the lockdown rules will remain in place, but we have started a process of modifying restrictions to gradually relax rules and allow more activities to take place.”