Severity: Critical Alert

Exit/Entry: Gibraltar maintains plan for easing COVID-19 restrictions July 15; business and travel disruptions remain.

  • Alert Begins: 15 Jul 2020 11:26 AM UTC
  • Alert Expires: 01 Aug 2020 11:59 PM UTC
  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Territorywide (map)
  • Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Business and travel disruptions

Authorities in Gibraltar are continuing their plan to roll back measures introduced to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Officials began Phase 6 of the plan July 15, relaxing restrictions on group sporting activities. Previous measures allowed most businesses and facilities to resume operations, provided strict social distancing and hygiene requirements are adhered to. Gatherings of more than 20 people are prohibited, and face coverings remain mandatory on public transport.

Authorities intend to begin the next phase of the plan Aug. 1, provided the epidemiological situation in the country remains positive. The land border with Spain is currently open for Gibraltar residents and essential cross-border workers only. Gibraltar International Airport (GIB) is operational for British Airways (BA) flights to London, UK, though it is operating a greatly reduced schedule; EasyJet (U2) will resume limited services between Gibraltar and the UK from July 20.

Background and Analysis
The measures are similar to actions taken by other European governments easing COVID-19 restrictions. 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.

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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