Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: Gibraltar lifts lockdown and some COVID-19 restrictions May 22. Cultural sites to reopen from May 26; some restrictions remain.

This alert affects Gibraltar

This alert began 22 May 2020 15:27 GMT and is scheduled to expire 01 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Summary
Authorities in Gibraltar lifted a territorywide stay-at-home order 2359 May 21. The measure was imposed to stem the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Residents may now move freely in public and gather in groups of up to 12 persons, provided social distancing rules are observed. Several other restrictive measures will gradually be eased over the coming days. Cultural sites, including museums, galleries, and libraries, will be permitted to reopen from May 26.

The government continues to advise that persons over 70 years of age remain at home. Bars and restaurants remain indefinitely closed for dine-in service, though restaurants may offer takeaway service. While nonessential businesses may reopen, access to some premises may require additional time as management adheres to the social distancing guidelines.

The land border with Spain is currently open for essential crossborder workers only. Gibraltar International Airport (GIB) is operational for British Airways (BA) flights to London, UK, though it is operating a greatly reduced schedule. Travelers who have recently visited several locations, including Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, Iran, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam, are required to self-isolate on arrival for a minimum of 14 days.

Background and Analysis
The measures are similar to actions taken by other European governments in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the WHO declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Follow all official instructions. Abide by official health and safety measures. Reconfirm all travel arrangements. Arrive at the airport early to prevent your seat being reallocated to a standby passenger. Consider delaying traveling if experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, as they may prompt increased scrutiny and delays. Liaise with trusted contacts for further updates and guidance. Maintain contact with your diplomatic representation. Ensure contingency plans account for further disruptive measures or extensions of current restrictions. Reconsider and reconfirm nonemergency health appointments.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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