Expats praise Gibraltar for its handling of the coronavirus

Published:  15 Jun at 6 PM
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Residents on Gibraltar can now cross the Spanish border after showing proof of active involvement on the Rock.

After languishing for a while due to governmental concerns, the freedom to enter Spain is now accepted by immigration officials, although expats had to hold their breath before it became official. At first, those non-resident on the Rock and without valid Gibraltar IDs and residency cards feared they’d not be allowed in, and their status is still somewhat confusing.

Demonstrating the insecurity, local social media posts soon revealed one would-be cross-border traveller was actually refused entry to Gibraltar even although he had a Gibraltarian passport. According to the Rock’s chief minister Fabian Picardo, the Spanish foreign minister’s intervention in the matter is much appreciated as many of the Rock’s residents are still disallowed from entry and are concerned over their families’ well-being.

It seems Gibraltar’s reaction to the pandemic is a classic combination of widespread testing and awareness in the Rock’s residential population. Active cases have now declined to just seven, with 176 testing positive after having called the Rock’s hotline and described their symptoms. The majority of the 9,500 swab tests taken by the local population were focused on first-line personnel as a result of systemic sampling, and the government’s success is being praised by expats and long-term residents alike. As a result, fluidity of travel between Gibraltar and Spain is now re-established, meaning families can now be together again.
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