Fact Check: Gibraltar NOT Planning 2021 Holiday Lockdown Despite High COVID-19 Vax Rate -- Government Events Canceled

Fact Check

  • by: Lead Stories Staff
Fact Check: Gibraltar NOT Planning 2021 Holiday Lockdown Despite High COVID-19 Vax Rate -- Government Events Canceled Just Suggested

Is Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, undergoing a lockdown during the 2021 holiday season despite having a 100% COVID-19 vaccination rate? Not exactly: Although Gibraltar -- which has vaccinated most of its adult population and the workers who commute there -- has experienced a spike in COVID-19 cases since October 2021, the territory is only canceling its large, government-sponsored holiday events and encouraging its residents to exercise caution.

The claim appeared in a Facebook post (archived here) published on November 26, 2021. It featured screenshots of a Daily Express article about Gibraltar's COVID-19 holiday season precautions. There was also a screenshot of a claim that implied that COVID-19 vaccination was ineffective, that read:

Gibraltar is 100% vaccinated and still rising cases and headed into another lockdown... if that doesn't prove its absolutely pointless nothing does.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook on November 30, 2021:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Nov 30 19:17 2021 UTC)

Gibraltar's vaccination rate includes not only its residents but also those who commute to the peninsula for work, meaning that its vaccination rate may exceed 100%. On May 2, 2021, Gibraltar's health minister Samantha Sacramento told Sky News that 85% of the territory's entire population was vaccinated and that the vaccination rate for those over 60 years old was 98 percent. Lead Stories reached out to officials of the territory to determine its vaccination rate at the time of writing and will update the story with any response.

However, Gibraltar's high COVID-19 vaccination rate does not mean that its residents and commuters are immune to the novel coronavirus. Like any vaccination, there is no guarantee that COVID-19 vaccinations are 100 percent effective in protecting recipients from contracting the disease. One benefit of vaccination is the lessening of life-threatening symptoms. While cases were on the rise in the territory since October 2021, the Gibraltar Chronicle reported on November 23, 2021, that out of 747 cases, there was only one hospitalization.

As for Gibraltar's official stance on holiday plans, Fabian Picardo, chief minister of Gibraltar, took to Twitter to clarify that the territory has not canceled Christmas. Rather, official government events have been canceled, and residents are encouraged to heed COVID-19 guidance released by Public Health Gibraltar.

Picardo's tweet is embedded below:

And, contrary to the Daily Express article's claim Gibraltar was "headed into another lockdown," the government was working to prevent such a situation. In an official public health guidance released on November 18, 2021, Picardo said in part:

We want to avoid having to provide for any lock down in the coming weeks and months. To do that, we need the support of each member of the community. We really need to see people following guidance and in particular we need people to take up the offer of the Booster Jab as soon as they are offered it. People can see the numbers of cases rising throughout Europe and lockdowns taking effect throughout the continent. Here although cases are rising, hospitalisations are currently low. We need to keep it that way, but if numbers continue to rise exponentially, we may see numbers in hospital grow too.

At the time of writing, Gibraltar's booster COVID-19 vaccination program is underway.

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?

See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

Lead Stories is working with the CoronaVirusFacts/DatosCoronaVirus Alliance, a coalition of more than 100 fact-checkers who are fighting misinformation related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about the alliance here.

  Lead Stories Staff

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, deceptive or inaccurate stories (or media) making the rounds on the internet.

Read more about or contact Lead Stories Staff

About Us

International Fact-Checking Organization Meta Third-Party Fact Checker

Lead Stories is a fact checking website that is always looking for the latest false, misleading, deceptive or inaccurate stories, videos or images going viral on the internet.
Spotted something? Let us know!.

Lead Stories is a:


Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

Please select all the ways you would like to hear from Lead Stories LLC:

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.

We use Mailchimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices here.

Most Read

Most Recent

Share your opinion