HEALTH bosses in Gibraltar will no longer legally require people who catch COVID-19 to self-isolate at home.
Director of Public Health Dr Helen Carter said it was now ‘the correct time’ to remove the legal requirement as infections were ‘mostly causing mild disease’ and immunity was high in the community.
But she said it was her ‘strong advice’ people who catch the coronavirus isolate for at least five days and ‘limit social interactions’, especially with ‘vulnerable’ groups.
Dr Carter said there were ‘no new variants of concern globally’ at this time.
Gibraltar recorded 111 deaths from COVID-19 since the pandemic started in March 2020.
And although on March 10 there was an outbreak of 20 cases among elderly people in residential homes, there have been no serious problems since vaccinations arrived in January 2021.
That was the worst month for pandemic casualties, with the large majority of deaths occurring in December and January.
But Dr Carter’s latest decision signals a global awareness the COVID-19 emergency is finally over.
“I am satisfied that it is the correct time to introduce these changes to self-isolations rules,” Dr Carter said.
“The COVID-19 infections in our community are mostly causing mild disease and immunity is high because of our successful vaccine programme.”
Only people who work at or visit family or friends at the hospital or elderly people in their residential homes will need to take more care.
They will only be able to visit the hospital or elderly home when they get a negative test.
“The changes to entry requirements into Gibraltar also come at a good time as there are currently no new variants of concern globally that could cause a fast spike to cases locally,” Carter added.
“However, we will continue to closely monitor these trends and reintroduce regulations if necessary.”