The rules which require close contacts of a positive case to self-isolate have been tightened in view of the increase in the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Gibraltar.
Given our successful vaccination programme, the practice until recently has been that a vaccinated close contact of a positive case no longer needed to self-isolate. That person could leave home as long as a mask was worn in all settings, and could even continue to go to work depending on the circumstances of the workplace.
The public is advised that those rules have now changed. The reason for this is because the Delta variant of the virus is more contagious and therefore spreads more quickly. This means that if someone in a household contracts the disease, the likelihood is that other members of that same household will follow.
Household contacts of a positive case are now required to self-isolate whether they have been vaccinated or not. The Contact Tracing Bureau will at first circulate a text message to all known contacts. This will be followed by a telephone call to each of them where the details surrounding the nature of the contact will be discussed, looked at more closely and new instructions issued accordingly.
In addition to this, the Government urges the public to follow the advice that has been given throughout the pandemic. This includes washing hands regularly with soap and water, or where not available, the use of hand sanitisers instead. It remains important to keep your distance from others and to avoid large crowds or gatherings if you are elderly or otherwise vulnerable in any way. It is still a legal requirement to wear a mask in certain settings, like shops and public transport.
Gibraltar has a world class testing programme and a world class vaccination programme which means that an essential part of the framework to tackle this disease is already in place. However, it is vital that everyone plays their part in the fights against the virus and that we all behave in a sensible and responsible manner as well.