The end of social lockdown, but the safest advice is to stay at home

At midnight last night the social lock down ends. The regulations which restricted your freedom of movement will lapse.I will not seek that those restrictions should continue. I will not grant my consent for the regulations to be renewed. That applies to all age groups including the over-70s. This is as a result of the very low numbers of infections presently detected in our community.

For this reason, the Cabinet has agreed that it is no longer proportionate to restrict your civil liberties. I have also agreed with the Leader of the Opposition that this is the right course of action.

But our advice to you all, in particular the over-70s, continues to be to stay at home. Because despite this positive development, what we must all do is be prudent.We must all be prudent.

We must all be careful.

That is why we are trying to gradually move out of lockdown.And that is why one restriction will remain. A restriction on the size of gatherings.

A restriction on your constitutional right to freedom of association.


The regulations published today limit gatherings to 12 people. You will therefore now be free to meet with members of your family or friends but not in groups larger than 12 for now.

You can now visit or meet your relatives. You can now visit or meet your friends. But for now you must keep your groups to 12 or less. This is for your own safety.

Please, also, use your common sense when you are in a group. Keep your social distance. Observe the rules of respiratory and hand hygiene.

Remember, the best advice; the safest advice; Is still to stay home. Follow our advice and stay at home as much as you can.

Because some cases continue to be identified in our random testing.

The 3 new active cases yesterday remind us that complacency is the enemy of unlocking. We continue to have 5 active cases in total today. All of these are cases which require no hospitalisation.

But the COVID infection is still out there. The virus must still be a source of concern for all of us. We cannot let down our guard, even as we relax the regulations. For now the virus has not taken any Gibraltarian in Gibraltar. I am however conscious of at least one case of a Gibraltarian lost to COVID beyond our shores.

And more than one friend of Gibraltar also.

The Public Inquiry that I announced on the 6th of April will tell us more in hindsight of what we have done right.It will tell us how we can improve in future if Gibraltar is ever faced with such a crisis again.

Because the spring of the third decade of the third millennium has been like no other we have ever known. It will go down in history. Elsewhere in the world, it will be remembered as an infamous time of illness and the tragic loss of hundreds of thousands of lives.

A time of suffering and pain.

For us, it has been a time of some inconvenience. A time of extraordinary change.

And a time of personal difficulties, sacrifice and adjustment.But we have not suffered the loss of a single life. And we must rejoice in that.


Today, as we start the gradual process of lifting the lockdown, we must remain vigilant. Because we are not free of the virus. It is not realistic to think that we will be.There will be new clusters.

But we must avoid a new wave. When the lockdown came, you responded bravely and courageously. Despite the restrictions on your freedoms.

Despite the economic damage.

And despite the emotional toll.From every sector we saw support for our necessary measures.

Now, I still need your support. In fact, I need your support now more than ever.Your support NOW is critical.

The sacrifices of the past ten weeks will mean nothing if you ignore our advice now. So please familiarise yourself with the rules of social distancing. Ensure you do not put yourself or your family at risk. If we become complacent and return to old habits, there is a real risk that the virus can spread again. The WHO has already said that this virus might never go away. There can be no guarantee that a vaccine will be available soon.

We need to live with this in the way the world today lives with other potentially deadly conditions that do NOT paralyse society. To do that, you are the front line of the battle against the virus. You are the front line of the war against COVID. You must be ready to follow the rules.