While everyone was talking about Israel, the United States or Denmark, Gibraltar was focused on seizing a historic opportunity: that they had vaccines. And the results are obvious: almost 90% of its population has already received at least one dose of the vaccine, 72.29% already have the complete guideline and have been days without any case, hospitalization or death from COVID.
So much so that yesterday was the first day without a curfew and, from this weekend, outdoor masks will not be mandatory. That is, in the next few weeks we will have a great social experiment on how de-escalation evolves once you reach a threshold of vaccinated a few meters from Andalusia. And that is excellent news because while the middle of Spain is wondering “when can we remove the mask”, Gibraltar is back to true normality.
The near future looks a lot like Gibraltar
The Gibraltarian ‘miracle’: Because the first question that arises when seeing how advanced the vaccination campaign is in the Rock is “where did they get the vaccines from?” But, in reality, the situation is not too mysterious. Gibraltar has received five shipments of vaccines from London (most of them, in fact, from Pfizer-BioNTech) and that has covered the vast majority of the population of 35,000 (and almost 2,000 cross-border workers). Thus, the authorities of the colony have put 162 doses for every 100 inhabitants and it has been days since they overtook Israel.
Time to open the city: That, at least, is the idea of the Picardo government that last Monday showed off the current low incidence of the virus in the Rock that not only does not have active cases of Covid-19 in the St Bernard Hospital or in residences of the third age, but has not registered any new infection for days.
For this reason, the Government of Gibraltar announced a de-escalation program that, for example, will allow walking without a mask in the open air; although, yes, it will continue to be necessary to carry them in closed public spaces, shops and public transport. Also, as we have explained, it will remove curfews and will allow restaurants to be open until 02:00 in the morning.
How does it affect us? Let’s not be fooled, Gibraltar is a very particular case. It is a place with a very small population and an unusually large supply of vaccines even for part of the UK. However, it is a city very similar on a sociocultural level to Andalusia and Spain. The closest place to us that is close to group immunity, in fact. In other words, Gibraltar is very much like our near future and analyzing it in great detail is something that we cannot afford not to do.