Following on from a discussion held last month with HMGoG, British Airways will continue to run services to and from Gibraltar in May, with regular reassessments to consider changing circumstances and emergency regulations.
The Chief Minister, the Hon Fabian Picardo commented, “I am delighted that we have been able to agree that British Airways will continue operating to Gibraltar providing a lifeline to our community and those around Gibraltar, not only for those people that need to travel for essential purposes but to ensure the carriage of persons and goods which may be vital to the current crisis as well as mail, cargo, courier services and other items that are crucial at this time. This is a great result for Gibraltar at this challenging time.”
Brexit Contingency Pays Off
Local medical gas supplier, Oxy Limited, was at the forefront of the installation of an oxygen production plant for use by the medical sector.
It formed part of an existing Brexit contingency plan in order to make Gibraltar as self-sufficient as possible, especially when it came to matters as potentially sensitive as medical supplies.
The new plant can produce more oxygen than St Bernard’s Hospital would normally need and can also be used to fill the Rock’s own cylinders.
At the Europa Point Hospital Nightingale Facility, oxygen is being provided through a combination of portable oxygen concentrators, and compressed oxygen cylinders. Soon, it will make use of a temporary liquid oxygen tank and fixed oxygen points, installed by multinational medical gas supplier, Linde Plc, in conjunction with Oxy Limited.
The Minister for Health and Care, the Hon Mr Paul Balban stated “St Bernard’s and the Nightingale facility now have their own guaranteed capability. Going forwards the GHA will be self-sufficient in oxygen provided from its own plant for normal usage and will continue to work closely with Oxy Limited to ensure that we have access to imported oxygen as a back-up or for circumstances where our demand greatly exceeds normal requirements.”
CELAC kept to its regular meeting schedule and included representatives of all constituent organisations plus the Chief Minister, the Ministers for Financial Services and Gaming, Albert Isola, and for Business, Vijay Daryanani, as well as the Financial Secretary, Albert Mena.
Included in the agenda was how to stave off insolvencies in the period of the COVID pandemic, and how to pro-actively stimulate the economy post-COVID (including loan schemes for businesses) via Task Force Future.
CELAC also started work on resolving issues relating to sick leave and holiday pay that fall to be considered as a result of the enforced closure of businesses during this difficult time.
The other representatives included Stuart Davies and Christian Duo for Unite, Wendy Cumming for the GGCA, Christian Hernandez for the Chamber of Commerce, Julian Byrne for the Federation of Small Businesses, Marc Ellul for the Finance Centre Council, Nigel Birrell for the GBGA and Cecilia Bravo Garcia for the Landlords Association.
Workers’ memorial day
This year’s service took on a different format, given the COVID circumstances.
The Chief Minister, The Hon Fabian Picardo QC MP, the Minister for Employment, The Hon Gilbert Licudi QC MP and two representatives from Unite the Union, laid wreaths at the Lobby of Parliament. In addition, candles were lit to remember all those workers who have died worldwide since the start of the pandemic.