Gibraltar warns of ‘draconian measures’ such as fines & potential jail sentences for citizens who refuse to self-isolate upon Covid-19 diagnosis

DURING today’s press conference, Gibraltar’s Chief Minister Fabian Picardo warned that there would be fines and possible jail sentences for citizens who refuse to self-isolate once diagnosed with Covid-19.

“Normality has not yet returned yet,” Picardo stressed to Gibraltarians today. “Please do not fall into the trap of thinking otherwise.” He added that the government is “looking at fines and if necessary enforced confinements – which would ultimately mean imprisonment – for people who refuse to self-isolate once they have been diagnosed.”

According to Picardo, a person who has been diagnosed would become the focus of contagion if they do not self-isolate. “We have concerns that this may be starting to become an issue and we will therefore be consulting on amendments to our regulations going forward requiring such people to self-isolate by compulsion of law,” he said.

“This may seem draconian,” added Picardo. “But it will be the only tool available to us if people are irresponsible enough to come into contact with others when they know that they are infectious.”

Over the weekend, Gibraltar lifted restrictions to allow people to go shopping as some more businesses opened up in Phase 1 of de-escalation. But Picardo said it should not become a family outing, and instead be “limited to one person,” because 20 cases could lead to 200, if social distancing was not respected and that would mean a spike in Covid-19 on the Rock.

“Normality has not yet returned,” he pointed out. “Please do not fall into the trap of thinking otherwise. The sun may be out. But the virus is out there also. THE VIRUS WILL STRIKE BACK if we become complacent.”

Picardo advised the importance of “observing the rules of social distancing, otherwise we will see a second wave which would really enable the revenge of the virus to manifest on us.” He also outlined that he was in talks with the Spanish Foreign Ministry on the possibility of opening up the frontier, to allow people to travel between Spain and the Rock, but with strict restrictions, such as temperature checks (as reported).

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Pepi Sappal

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