PEOPLE seeing doctors in the Primary Care Centre will still have to wear masks in Gibraltar but NOT in non-clinical areas of the hospital, authorities said.
The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) rang the changes after it said ‘levels of winter viruses, including influenza and COVID-19, circulating in Gibraltar’s population have now decreased’.
“Masks will continue to be required in clinical areas and will be offered to patients and visitors,” the GHA said.
“The GHA strongly encourages those who have weakened immune systems to continue to wear masks when attending St Bernard’s Hospital.”
The latest hospital moves to relax mask restrictions come after Gibraltar weathered the pandemic storm over winter.
Its highly vaccinated population has recorded no serious rise in cases apart from a small uptick after the Christmas festivities.
A sizeable outbreak of 13 cases at elderly people’s homes in early January was the biggest drama of the winter.
But that led to only 37 new cases and one death.
Since then, the GHA has seen the health system learn from the lessons of the past and keep new cases down to a minimum.
But the GHA still urged people to ‘avoid visiting the hospital or ERS with symptoms of a cold, flu, diarrhoea or vomiting’.
Local labs recorded around 20,500 cases of the coronavirus since March 2020.
A total of 111 people died from the disease, mainly during January 2021.
Since then, over 40,000 people got the twin jabs while nearly 5,700 took part in the autumn 2022 inoculation programme.