'Most vaccinated' place on earth cancels Christmas

Amid a surge in Covid-19 cases, Gibraltar has canceled official Christmas events and “strongly” discouraged people from hosting private gatherings for four weeks. Gibraltar’s entire eligible population is vaccinated.

The government of Gibraltar recently announced that “official Christmas parties, official receptions and similar gatherings” have been canceled, and advised the public to avoid social events and parties for the next four weeks. Outdoor spaces are recommended over indoor ones, touching and hugging is discouraged, and mask wearing is advised.

“The drastic increase in the numbers of people testing positive for Covid-19 in recent days is a stark reminder that the virus is still very prevalent in our community and that it is the responsibility of us all to take every reasonable precaution to protect ourselves and our loved ones,” Health Minister Samantha Sacramento said. 

Gibraltar, a tiny British Overseas Territory sharing a land border with Spain, has seen an average of 56 Covid-19 cases per day over the last seven days, up from fewer than 10 per day in September. The rise in cases, described by the government as “exponential,” comes despite Gibraltar having the highest vaccination rate in the world.