Credit: Pxfuel.com

100% vaccinated Gibraltar faces Christmas restrictions as Covid numbers rise 

The small territory of Gibraltar was celebrated by international news agencies when it rapidly achieved a 100% vaccination rate against Covid-19 back in April of this year. 

After Covid-19 deaths climbed last winter, the authorities enforced a strict lockdown and scrambled to administer vaccines as soon as they became available. Gibraltar’s vaccination rate quickly grew to 100% of the adult population, and then, as several thousand cross-border workers from Spain also got vaccinated, it became fully vaccinated to the rate of 121% according to Our World in Data.

But now, Covid-19  infections have shot up again in Gibraltar as winter approaches, and there are fears that Christmas will be “cancelled” according to local businesses.

Cases of the coronavirus are currently at 48% of peak and rising according to the Reuters tracker, with 1,269 infections per 100K people reported in the last seven days.

However, deaths remain low in the territory even as the number of cases rise.

 

The rise in cases prompted fears from local business that trading in the Christmas period could be “decimated”.

“The Catering Association is concerned a vital period of trading for them in the coming weeks could be decimated,” GBC reports.

“Following Friday’s advice by the Government to “be cautious and reduce mixing”, the association says its members have reported Christmas parties are being cancelled.”

“The Catering Association says restaurants, cafes and bars industry suffered a huge downturn in business during the Covid pandemic and many businesses are still struggling to catch up on bills, whilst accruing more debt.”

The rise in Covid-19 cases despite the 100% vaccination rates calls the efficacy of the measures against Covid-19 into question, including the use of Covid passes, into question.

In Ireland, Aontú leader, Peadat Tóibín asked: “why is the Government discussing extending the Covid Pass when everyone now agrees that it does not stop the transmission of Covid?” “Why are they still refusing to use antigen testing given that its the best way to tell if a person is Covid free and it does not discriminate?” he tweeted.

In Ireland, where around 92% of the adult population is fully vaccinated, cases of COVID-19 and deaths from the virus have roughly doubled since August with sharp increases as winter deepens. Two days ago, Prof Sam McConkey said that the Covid-19 booster programme was ‘unlikely’ to curb the virus.

Vaccines have been credited with reducing hospitalisation and deaths from the virus.

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