Christmas cancelled in Gibraltar - the ‘most vaccinated’ place in the world
Gibraltar has cancelled official Christmas celebrations despite its high vaccination rate and relatively low number of infections.
The small British territory tightened Covid restrictions over the festive period following a spike in cases.
Residents have been urged to limit mixing as much as possible in new guidelines announced last Friday following a rise in cases.
Officials said they should “exercise their own judgement” on whether to hold Christmas events and it “strongly advises against” doing so in the next four weeks while the Covid booster scheme continues.
Gibraltar has seen cases increase with 66 new daily infections reported on average - equivalent to 52% of its peak in January.
The Rock has administered at least 94,469 vaccine doses so far which is enough to have fully vaccinated 140.2% of the country’s population.
“Given the exponential rise in the number of cases, the Government for example intends to cancel a number of its own functions including official Christmas parties, official receptions and similar gatherings,” its Government said in a statement.
“The public, at this stage, are ultimately called upon to exercise their own judgement in this respect bearing in mind the current advice given.”
The advice also refers to the number of people, whether indoors or outdoors, ventilation and whether guests are vaccinated, elderly or vulnerable.
“It will also become necessary at this point to make sure that the use of official premises is carefully scrutinised and where necessary events are postponed to a later date,” it added.
Official guidance advises Gibraltarians to meet in open outdoor spaces where possible, open windows when indoors, wear face masks where required and maintain some distance when greeting.
Face masks are currently required in all shops and supermarkets, on public transport, in medical centres, at indoor funerals and at Gibraltar International Airport.
On Monday, Boris Johnson urged eligible Britons to get their booster jab to help avoid Covid restrictions being implemented before Christmas.
The Prime Minister said top up vaccines are absolutely crucial” in protecting the UK as a new wave of Covid sweeps through Europe.
On Wednesday, 38,263 new cases were confirmed in the UK following a further 37,243 on Tuesday - according to the latest Government data.
Another 201 people died within 28 days of testing positive for the virus, bringing the UK total to 143,360.
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