New civil contingencies laws have come into effect in Gibraltar banning gatherings of more than twenty persons in public places.
The Civil Contingencies Emergency (Coronavirus) (Restrictions on Gatherings No.4) (Amendment) Regulations 2020 were published in the Gibraltar Gazette today.
Under its provisions such congregations are forbidden on public health grounds and police officers have the power to issue fixed penalty notices on anyone in breach of the regulations.
Welcoming the move, Commissioner of Police Richard Ullger said: “While we uphold and recognize people’s constitutional right to freedom of speech, in the current public health crisis and acting on advice from the Director of Public Health and the Civil Contingencies Committee, it was sensible that legislation should be put into effect to give us the appropriate instruments to be able to police demonstrations or illegal gatherings effectively and prevent situations which may put the health of the public at risk.
“We urge the public to use other means to express their concerns be it via social media and other telecommunications outlets which do not carry the risk of spreading the Covid 19 virus.”