The Coronavirus Co-ordinating Group has taken active measures to protect Gibraltar from the spread of the virus. All areas of multi-agency planning and preparedness are reviewed weekly in meetings chaired by the Ministers for Public Health and Civil Contingencies, and involve representatives of all emergency services and other relevant departments and agencies. The Director for Public Health is also engaged in weekly teleconferences with Public Health England in order to share information and best practices. The Co-ordinating Committee of the Gibraltar Contingency Council is monitoring Gibraltar’s preparedness.
Today, the Government will issue regulations under the Civil Contingencies Act that contain appropriate provision for the purpose of supplementing Gibraltar’s health protection regime to deal with the threat to Gibraltar from the Wuhan Novel Coronavirus.
These regulations allow for the screening and imposition of restrictions and requirements on persons who meet certain conditions. These include there being reasonable grounds to suspect the person is or may be infected or contaminated, or has left a country listed in the schedule to the regulations within 14 days of their arrival in Gibraltar.
These regulations closely mirror the English regulations published yesterday.
As a result of the increased risk of infection, travel to any of the following countries is not recommended:
- Hong Kong
- Republic of Korea
Travellers who are currently in one of the at-risk countries listed above should report, as soon as possible and ahead of your return to Gibraltar, to the GHA by phoning 111 or using the email address email@example.com, with the subject line: self-isolation.
Upon return to Gibraltar, all travellers arriving from an at-risk country have a legal duty under the new regulations to report to a Borders and Coastguard Officer if arriving by land or air, or an Officer of the Gibraltar Port Authority if entering by sea. Failure to co-operate will be imposed by regulation.
If you have already returned to Gibraltar from any of the at-risk countries in the last 14 days, even if you do not have coronavirus symptoms, you should immediately:
- Call 111 to declare your recent travel
- Self-isolate for a minimum of 14 days from the date of your departure from the at-risk country by staying indoors and avoiding contact with others
The GHA is in constant liaison with the employers of those who have travelled to at-risk countries in the last 14 days, in order to support those who are in self-isolation.
The Director for Public Health has delivered bespoke coronavirus awareness training to front-line Government staff, including:
- The Gibraltar Health Authority, including staff at Accident and Emergency, doctors and nurses, and cleaners and attendants
- Borders and Coastguard Agency
- HM Customs
- Department of Education
- The University of Gibraltar
To support the Public Health department’s internal and external information campaign, the Chief Secretary Darren Grech has issued a Bulletin to all Civil Service Heads of Department emphasising the importance of frequent, effective handwashing and the catch it, kill it, bin it technique to prevent the spread of viruses and other infections.
For further information and advice on how to keep yourself safe and protect those around you, please visit www.wuhan.gi