Isle of Man lifts lockdown as pubs open and social distancing scrapped
Isle of Man lifts ALL lockdown rules as pubs, schools and shops reopen with social distancing and face masks scrapped – but borders remain shut
- Pubs have reopened on the Isle of Man after it scrapped its lockdown measures
- The island, which is self-governing, had held a 25 day circuit-breaker lockdown
- Rules including social distancing and face masks scrapped, but borders are shut
- The Isle of Man Government recorded just 15 active Covid cases as of January 31
The Isle of Man has today lifted all of its lockdown laws – with pubs, schools and shops reopened and social distancing and face mask rules scrapped.
The measures on the self-governed island were lifted in the early hours of this morning after a 25-day circuit breaker lockdown came to an end.
It comes after the Isle of Man Government recorded just 15 active cases yesterday on the island – located in the middle of the Irish Sea between north-west England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Ireland.
But while pubs have thrown open their doors, the island’s borders – which have been shut since March – remain closed to all but residents and key workers.
The tight border controls and strict isolation measures helped keep the island Covid free for seven months until an outbreak after the new year led to a ‘short, sharp’ lockdown.
Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK, today said: ‘After almost a month of lockdown, this is the moment we have all been waiting for.
The Isle of Man has today lifted all of its lockdown rules – including reopening pubs, schools and shops and scrapping social distancing and face masks. Pictured: The Seven Kingdoms in Douglas welcomed customers in at one minute past midnight this morning
The measures on the island, which is self-governing, were scrapped today after a 25-day circuit breaker lockdown came to an end. But while pubs have today thrown open their doors, the island’s borders – which have been shut since March – remain closed to all but residents and key workers. Pictured left: A pub-goer on the Isle of Man enjoys a pint after the end of lockdown. Pictured right: A pub boss pulls a pint on the first day of the end of lockdown
‘The Isle of Man has achieved local elimination of the virus for a second time, meaning the risk of community spread of COVID-19 is extremely low.
‘We beat the virus once and we have done so again.’
Mr Quayle praised residents on the island for the ‘collective determination’ and ‘community spirit’ which he said had helped them eliminate Covid from the island.
However he urged residents not to get complacent, adding: ‘Although this is a moment for relief and celebration, we cannot let down our guard.
Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK, today said ‘this is the moment we have all been waiting for’
‘We are seeing other jurisdictions that have achieved local elimination battling with outbreaks. We must remain vigilant.’
Under the new rules, gyms and restaurants will reopen and employees can return to work as normal in most settings.
The majority of public services will return to normal operation in the coming days.
However strict border controls will remain in place. The Isle of Man is currently operating at its ‘Border Level 4’ – the third highest tier of restrictions.
This means Isle of Man residents and key workers are able to freely travel – air or sea with no limits on numbers.
Travel is banned for non-residents – though compassionate and contractual applications are considered.
But there is a mandatory 21 day self-isolation on return or testing for release on day 14, with those isolating having to isolate alone.
Mr Quayle praised residents on the island for the ‘collective determination’ and ‘community spirit’ which he said had helped them eliminate Covid from the island. Pictured: Residents on the Isle of Man return to the pub after lockdown is ended
The majority of public services will return to normal operation in the coming days. However strict border controls will remain in place. Pictured: A resident on the Isle of Man returns to the pub for the first time since lockdown measures were introduced
Meanwhile a vaccine roll-out on the island has begun. Health Minister David Ashford said everyone on the island will be offered a coronavirus jab by the end of September.
Those aged 50 and over would receive the jabs by the end of May.
With its strict border controls, the Isle of Man remained Covid free for almost seven months last year.
It closed its borders in March, before allowing residents and essential workers back into the country from July.
The island’s circuit breaker lockdown was imposed after the new year, when an individual tested positive after completing their two weeks in isolation.
The country’s isolation policy was also adapted, going from two weeks to three weeks in mandatory quarantine or two weeks with three swab tests on day one, seven and 13.
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