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Given Rise in COVID cases, Platinum Command met Informally Today to Monitor Pandemic - 546/2020

August 17, 2020

The Chief Minister chaired a virtual meeting this morning of the group of attendees that made Platinum Command during the initial COVID-19 emergency earlier this year.

It will be recalled that Platinum stands at the top of the command structure whenever a Major Incident has been declared and that it met on a daily basis over the past few months during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today’s meeting therefore included HE the Governor, the Deputy Chief Minister, the Minister for Civil Contingencies, the Minister for Public Health, the Deputy Governor, the Commander British Forces and the Civil Contingencies Coordinator.

The purpose of the meeting was to review the current position in Gibraltar in the light of the increased number of active cases and the policies and procedures in place, should it become necessary to declare another Major Incident earlier than anticipated by the Chief Minister in the last formal press conference.  At that time Mr Picardo had said it was likely such an eventuality might be required in the autumn.

Today's meeting of those who will make up any renewed Platinum Command followed a meeting yesterday, Sunday, of the Civil Contingencies COVID Coordinating group chaired by the Minister for Civil Contingencies Samantha Sacramento. This committee reported to the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister, who decided to convene the informal meeting of the group of attendees that will make up Platinum Command.

At the end of the meeting, the Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, said: "In the current climate, it is more important than ever to follow public health advice. This includes regular hand-washing, maintaining a social distance of 2m, wearing a mask indoors where social distancing is not possible and sticking to a social bubble in gatherings of 20 persons or less. Public Health advice continues to be that those who are vulnerable and the elderly need to be extra careful when interacting with other people.  I strongly urge people to follow this advice whilst they continue to enjoy summer breaks whilst ensuring that they prudently observe social distancing and hygeine rules. In light of the increased numbers of positive cases, we may also need to issue additional guidance in coming days.

"Given the continued rise in numbers of cases of COVID-19 we are seeing, those of us who will make up Platinum Command will continue to meet on a regular basis in order to maintain an oversight over the evolution of the pandemic in Gibraltar should it be necessary to once again declare a Major Incident.  In this way we will ensure that we are once again ready in the event that difficult decisions need to be taken going forward."