HM Government of Gibraltar on the advice of the Director of Public Health and the COVID-19 Strategic Coordination Group announced the relaxation of isolation requirements for those who are identified as close contacts to positive cases of COVID-19. There is no change for those who test positive for COVID-19 as they must continue to isolate for the full ten days.
As the schools returned after the summer holidays we have been reviewing carefully the cases identified in schools and school age children. Relaxation of the rules allows for school children to return to education because at the moment there is low risk of onward transmission in schools.
From the 1st of September 36 pupils, representing less than 1% of school age children, and 12 members of staff have tested positive for COVID-19. Not all of these cases contracted COVID-19 in the school setting. Some cases of infection were transmitted as a result of household transmission, extra-curricular activities and social mixing outside of the school setting.
Larger numbers of close contacts requiring self-isolation have been identified through contact tracing of these cases resulting in 30 staff and 401 pupils, 6.30% of school children, being identified as close contacts and requiring self-isolation for 10 days. Since the change in self-isolation policy on the 30th September we now have 2 individuals self-isolating related to schools.
Schools are working closely with Public Health and will continue to take precautions to reduce any risk of onward transmission but we ask that should you develop any symptoms however mild, to contact 111 to request a swab and isolate until you receive the result.
Public Health will continue to review all information available and if there continues to be a reduction in positive cases, further relaxation of the isolation rules can be considered.