The authorities of the British overseas territory of Gibraltar have announced that over 70% of its population has now received the Covid-19 vaccine and only a dozen mild active cases remain with no patients in the colony’s hospitals.
Gibraltar benefited from a rapid rollout of the vaccine coordinated with the UK government and delivered by the Royal Air Force who transported the doses by A400 cargo aircraft earlier this year.
As a result of the successful vaccine rollout to the territory’s 33,000 population, the territory’s government has now reached the all important 70% herd immunity threshold, and is ending the night curfew that was imposed three months ago to contain the wave of infections that hit the colony and neighbouring Spain.
In addition the authorities have announced that face masks will also no longer be mandatory outdoors effective from today, Sunday 28th March.
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said in a statement “we are at last leaving behind us our deadliest winter and entering our most hopeful spring.”
However he warned that “the global pandemic isn’t entirely behind us and we must all move forward carefully to safeguard this incredible progress in the weeks and months ahead.”
Gibraltar’s midnight-to-5 a.m. curfew will end this Thursday, 1st April, allowing bars and restaurants to stay open until 2 a.m.
The government qualified the return to normality by stating that some restrictions on social gatherings will remain for the moment.
In an attempt to encourage the return of international travel, the territory is also rolling out a travel vaccination app certificate to coordinate with that of the European Union which is looking at the safe resumption of international travel within the block.
In addition to the 25,000 Gibraltar residents who have received their jab, some 10,000 Spaniards who work in the colony have also received at least one.