Gibraltar opens border with Spain allowing almost 17,500 non-essential workers to enter the Rock as it eases lockdown restrictions

Gibraltar employs temperature checks at the border for all workers entering the Rock from Spain.

Gibraltar has reopened its borders with Spain to allow non-essential workers (with contracts) to return to work, as businesses reopened on May 4 thanks to the easing of lockdown restrictions on the Rock.

A TOTAL of 17,447 employees from Spain crossed the border into Gibraltar last week – that’s around 5,579 people more compared to the week before. “The numbers have increased over the week, but they are still very low compared to the same period last year when over a quarter of a million people crossed into Gibraltar,” confirmed Gibraltar’s Deputy Chief Minister Joseph Garcia.

However, containing the spread of the disease remains a priority for the Rock, he stressed. Given that active Covid-19 cases in Gibraltar are down to just three, the authorities are not prepared to take any risks, and they are therefore taking measures to prevent contagion.

As well as having tested around 12 per cent of the population already for Covid-19, the Rock has employed several measures to prevent the disease entering Gibraltar. For example, temperatures of all employees from Spain crossing the border into Gibraltar are measured using a thermal imaging scanner, which automatically reads temperatures and emits a warning if it registers someone with a high temperature, confirmed Garcia.

He also highlighted that as well as increased testing, tracing apps are also being considered to help prevent the spread of the disease. One is the ‘NHS X’ tracing app currently in use the Isle of Wight. The other is currently being developed by Apple. “The mechanics are expected to be similar in the sense that your phone will alert you if you have been in contact with someone reporting symptoms of Covid-19,” stated Garcia. “Those who have been in close contact will then be expected to self isolate, depending on the outcome of the test.”

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Pepi Sappal

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