Isle of Man looks to ease Covid restrictions

AS GUERNSEY heads deeper into lockdown, another Crown Dependency has begun to look at easing restrictions less than a month after an outbreak.

Restrictions in the Isle of Man are starting to ease, less than a month after an outbreak. (29187803)
Restrictions in the Isle of Man are starting to ease, less than a month after an outbreak. (29187803)

The Isle of Man currently has 30 active Covid cases in a population of about 83,000 people and has had no new unexplained community cases for 10 days.

The island’s Public Health director, Henrietta Ewart, has said the spread of the virus in the community has been ‘contained’ and they were now able to look at releasing further restrictions on Monday.

From last Saturday, socially distant outdoor meetings have been permitted and tradespeople allowed to return to work under certain rules.

Primary age children in educational hubs are also due to return to their normal schools later today and all schools are planned to reopen on Monday.

Health minister David Ashford said the signs were encouraging.

‘We’ve now reached 14 days, a full incubation cycle of the virus, without any identified community spread,’ he said.

‘It is important this week that at the final hurdle we do not let down our guard.’

The island had been free from its initial lockdown of internal restrictions since social distancing was lifted on 15 June.

It entered a three-week lockdown on 7 January after seven positive Covid-19 test results in quick succession and a spread beyond the household of an index case who had travelled into the island and come into contact with a large number of people, combined with fears about community seeding and the deteriorating situation across the UK.

Its vaccination programme began at the beginning of January using the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.

More than 4,200 people have now been vaccinated. Another 600-plus people have had their second doses.

In Guernsey, on the other hand, islanders are now fully in their first week of a second lockdown, similar to the ‘hard and fast’ circuit breaker introduced in the Isle of Man, where schools and non-essential shops have been shut and islanders are advised to wear masks when out and about and social distance.

The two islands had shared a successful air bridge in the summer and there were hopes this could be re-established as the two followed similar strict border

control approaches to controlling the spread.

Guernsey entered lockdown following the discovery of four cases of Covid-19, without direct links to travel or

previously known cases. It is now at 84 active cases.

The Isle of Man has seen a total of 432 people test positive for the virus since last March, 25 of whom have died.

Guernsey Press comment: Isle of Man runs its own marathon

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