Brexit: UK and Spain agree on draft deal for Gibraltar
When you subscribe we will use the information you provide to send you these newsletters.Sometimes they’ll include recommendations for other related newsletters or services we offer.Our Privacy Notice explains more about how we use your data, and your rights.You can unsubscribe at any time.
The British colony has administered the first doses of the vaccine to more than 13,000 people – meaning 38.5 percent of its 33,700 population has been treated against coronavirus. According to the latest figures, a further 5,573 people living on The Rock have been given their second booster jab.
The impressive numbers are in stark contrast to Spain, which has inoculated just over four percent of its total population.
The British Overseas Territory has benefited hugely from the UK’s vaccination programme, unlike Spain which has been hindered by the EU’s supply problems.
The European Union has seen its supply thrown into chaos after problems at a manufacturing plant in Belgium.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen negotiated vaccine deals on behalf of all 27 member states – reports suggest supplies could be cut by as much as 60 percent until March.
The British military has been pivotal in supplying doses of the vaccine to allies in Gibraltar and delivered a further batch of jabs and medical equipment on Monday.
Last night, the Royal Air Force 400M Atlas flew over a shipment containing 12,000 doses of the Pfizer/Biotech jabs as well as auxiliary kit including needles.
Just last weekend, a shipment of 6,825 vaccines were delivered by the UK military.
Warrant Officer Greg Saunders led the team consisting of two RAF movers and two civilian contractors.
He said the UK military has been worked closely with the Royal Gibraltar Regiment in order to safely transport the jabs to hospitals.
The Pfizer/Biotech needs to be carefully managed and stored at temperatures of -70C.
Speaking on Monday, Officer Saunders said: “The vaccines and the auxiliary equipment were then transferred to a waiting refrigerated vehicle supplied by the Royal Gibraltar Regiment.
“There is quite a lot tonight, this is the biggest delivery so far.
“There is probably about 650kg of equipment arriving.”
Gibraltar’s Chief Minister, Fabián Picardo, has expressed his “sincere gratitude” to the work othe British Air Force to make possible the arrival of vaccines to the Gibraltar Hospital of San Bernardo.
He added: “The logistical work necessary to get the vaccine here has been extraordinary.”
On Monday, Mr Picardo confirmed a further three coronavirus fatalities, taking the total number of COVID-19 deaths to 83.
Cornish fishermen pushed into post-Brexit rebrand [INSIGHT]
Royal Family LIVE: Meghan Markle’s ‘self-help’ book blasted [LIVE]
UK snow forecast: Second Arctic blast to batter the WEST in days [FORECAST]
He said: “It is with great sadness that we confirm the news of three further losses of life within our community.
“My deepest sympathies go out to their families and friends.
“Gibraltar continues to see a downward trend in active cases, but we are at a crucial point where we must not let down our guard.
“For now, our prudent actions are still our strongest defence against the worst effects of Covid-19.”
Spain has wrestled for control of the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar for more than 100 years.
The relationship between Gibraltar and Spain has grown closer after Brexit was finally completed on December 31, 2020.
Gibraltar voted 96 percent in favour of staying in the EU during the 2016 EU referendum.
As part of the new trade deal, Gibraltar will align closely with EU customs rules and will effectively become part of Europe’s passport-free travel area – the Schengen zone.
A land border between the two nations is expected to be removed in the next six months.
(Additional reporting by Maria Ortega)
Source: Read Full Article