Doctor says 'drastic measures' are needed to stop Omicron spread
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As part of the new crackdown, Gibraltar now requires immediate rapid coronavirus testing of all incoming travellers. Tourists must be in self-isolation until they test negative – or they could face a £300 fine if they break the rules.
As cases of the Omicron variant continue to rise in the UK, the Government of Gibraltar, on the advice of the Director of Public Health, has made changes to travel rules for those arriving by air to the Rock.
Under new regulations brought in on Friday, December 17, anyone arriving from a non-red-listed country must undergo a rapid lateral flow test on the day of arrival.
This replaces the previous rule that allowed travellers up to 24 hours to take such a test.
The new rule applies to everyone over the age of 12.
Upon arrival, British tourists also must abide by a legal obligation to self-isolate until a negative test result is received.
If tourists fail to comply with this, they will be in breach of the regulations and the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) will have the power to issue a fine of £300 to offenders.
As a result of the new policy, a COVID-19 rapid testing centre at the airport will remain open longer.
It will operate daily from 8am to 9pm, to cope with the additional demand.
The new restrictions comes after the UK Government removed all countries from its red list on Wednesday.
This was due to the Omicron variant being in general circulation across Britain already.
However, Gibraltar will continue to keep its red list unchanged but will be closely reviewing the list as the situation changes.
In Gibraltar, 107,273 coronavirus vaccines have been administered so far.
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Of these, 25,894 are booster vaccinations.
So far, Gibraltar has detected just 41 cases of the Omicron Covid variant.
While today (December 20) 8,044 new cases of the Omicron variant were recorded in the UK.
With the addition of today’s tally, there are now 45,145 total cases of the variant recorded in the country, according to the UK Health Security Agency.
Following a meeting of the cabinet on Monday afternoon, Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the Government “won’t hesitate” to introduce further Covid rules in England ahead of Christmas if necessary.
At the cabinet meeting, the Government advised they are keeping coronavirus data under “constant review” and are looking at it “hour by hour” as Omicron cases rise.
However, no new measures have been introduced yet.
Additional reporting by Maria Ortega
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