Success for Gibraltar! UK vaccine victory as Brexit tensions on the Rock finally ‘eased’

Gibraltar residents discuss coronavirus vaccine rollout success

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Around 95 percent of the Gibraltar population has received their first vaccine with all elderly groups given their two jabs. As the programme now targets younger people, analysts suggest that tensions between the Rock and the UK over Brexit have “eased” in light of the successful rollout. Spaniards working in the area have also been offered coronavirus jabs as they praise the speedy programme that would have taken months to do in their home country.

Over 600 people a day are vaccinated in Gibraltar which has a population of around 35,000. 

All elderly British residents have received two vaccinations as London ships more Pfizer doses to the overseas territory. 

Younger people are now being targeted to receive their vaccination. 

Julian Avellano, a 21-year-old Gibraltar resident, told France 24: “The majority of my friends have been vaccinated, it’s a privilege to have it offered to us very quickly. 

“And it will be a shame to miss out on the opportunity.”

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In an attempt to limit the import of COVID-19 on the Rock, Spaniards working there have also been offered a vaccination. 

Around 15,000 Spaniards go to Gibraltar for work every day. 

Vanessa Nieto who works there told France 24: “We’re very grateful for that because if we had to wait to be vaccinated in Spain we would have had to wait at least until the summer.”

Lockdown restrictions, such as curfews and mandatory mask-wearing, were removed at the beginning of March as a large percentage of the population are now protected from the virus. 

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Some political analysts suggest the successful rollout is helping with Brexit disagreements between the UK and Gibraltar, as the overseas territory wished to remain in the EU. 

The Rock was not included in the EU deal in December last year as ministers continue to negotiate terms. 

Gibraltar is concerned about free movement between Spain and themselves.

Dr Jesus Verdu Baeza, a specialist in Gibraltar’s international relations, told France 24: “Brexit was an earthquake which shook Gibraltar to its core.

“To a certain extent, the vaccine has calmed the situation down and eased tensions and in that sense it’s been positive.”

In Spain, cases continue to rise as the Government pilots a new four-day working scheme using EU funds. 

It hopes to cut down the exposure between workers by subsidising the wages of several mid-sized businesses. 

France announced it would enter another national lockdown as the country struggles with new variants. 

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