Expats in Gibraltar urged to respect the Rock’s social distancing rules

Published:  22 Apr at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain, Visas
Expats in Gibraltar are now being urged not to take non-essential journeys during the social lockdown.

To date, the Rock’s anti-virus regulations have helped keep the numbers of infections low in comparison with neighbouring Spain, but local police are now seeing breaches of its government’s Covid-19 requirements. As a result, the Deputy Chief Minister is now urging residents to respect the rules and stay at home as much as is possible. At the same time, the minister gave a briefing with details of allowed exercise periods for those over the age of 70.

Gibraltar’s police and customs officers have reported just under 800 breaches of the anti-virus rules, with 30 arrests linked to virus breaches and 22 involving other offences as well as the ignoring of lockdown requirements. Out of the total, just under 200 offences were committed by residents over the age of 70, with 68 having to be taken back to their homes by police officers. The remainder of the offenders were warned about following the rules and told to return home immediately rather than being arrested and fined.

According to Gibraltar’s Police Commissioner, becoming complacent due to the low numbers of those affected by the virus is not acceptable, as it’s likely to lead to higher infection rates and even deaths. Locals have been seen breaching social distancing rules on the Upper Rock and on the beaches, with the authority also warning that exercise is only permitted with family members or alone.

According to the Deputy Chief Minister, those over 70 years old will be given information about a ‘golden hour’, during which they’ll be allowed to leave their homes and exercise at defined locations. Exercise can be taken at a protected or sheltered location, on specified days and only at certain times. It’s an optional facility and older residents aren’t forced to join in, but those who take up the offer are advised to take great care not to overdo their exercise.

The Rock’s authority has also expressed its concern over a possible rise in domestic violence due to the stress of lockdown, job losses and fears due to financial issues. Women at risk are being told not to suffer in silence as help can be organised for those in this situation. At present, police reports state the social lockdown hasn’t thrown up an increased number of cases, but friends and neighbours are being asked to be aware of any suspected instances.
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