Her Majesty’s Government of Gibraltar regrets to announce the first probable case of the new Omicron variant is now confirmed.
Two further cases linked to the first case have also been confirmed as the Omicron variant. However, these two cases reside in Spain.
The Director of Public Health, Helen Carter, said: “We regret to confirm that the Omicron variant is in Gibraltar. Although we took a cautious stance by isolating all close contacts before the case was confirmed, a further two close cases have now been confirmed.
“Our best protection against the Omicron variant is vaccines. We now know that three doses of the Pfizer vaccine provide much more immunity against the worst effects the new Omicron variant.
“Early analysis suggests that the booster shot prevents about 75% of people from getting any COVID-19 symptoms which relieves pressure from our health care systems and protects the most vulnerable within our community”.
The Chief Minister, Fabian Picardo, said: “Now that the Omicron variant is confirmed in Gibraltar we must curb the spread of this new variant if we want to safeguard each other and our chances at enjoying the Festive Season with our families and friends.
“It appears that the first Omicron variant case detected arose from a party in Spain, and although the two new cases of Omicron variant are residents of Spain, the link to Gibraltar is through their places of work. This establishes the danger that further transmission has already occurred.
“The Government, following the advice of Director of Public Health, is prepared to deal with this new variant, and today has received more lifesaving vaccines, which is our greatest defence against COVID-19.
“The most effective way to help the community is to take up the booster. We are also expanding our vaccination programme this week by offering walk-in clinics from Monday 13th December to Friday 17th December from 09:00to 20:00 on a drop-in basis.
“Our aim is to protect our loved ones and prevent any situation which could reflect what we went through as a community not even a year ago. Get your booster, protect your family and friend this Christmas.”