The Chief Minister Alfred Cannan MHK has set out a clear message that personal and collective responsibility sit at the heart of the preventing the spread of COVID-19 this winter.
Speaking at the launch of the COVID-19 Winter Framework, he set out three clear objectives for the Government over the winter months in relation to COVID-19:
- Minimising the harm and disruption caused by COVID
- Supporting people in making informed choices
- Mitigating against uncontrolled transmission of the virus.
The framework sets out three levels of response:
- Level 1 – Our base response – the things everyone needs to do
- Level 2 – Additional responses – the things people may need to do
- Level 3 – Legal interventions – the things Government must be prepared to do
The Isle of Man is currently at level 1.
Every winter brings additional pressure on health and social care services, particularly given the rise in respiratory illnesses such as cold and flu. COVID-19 places additional pressure on services, which needs to be minimised.
The Chief Minister said:
'Whilst there is no cause for alarm, we must be clear that COVID has not gone away. We cannot let complacency set in or have a false sense of security that the virus no longer poses a threat to us. COVID-19 is endemic and it’s likely to keep coming back.
'Vaccines are working, but their effectiveness will gradually reduce. So it is vital that when the time comes people take up of the offer of a booster.
'The best thing we can do for our families, friends and our community this winter is be responsible. The simple advice of hands, space, face, fresh air coupled with testing and vaccinations are the tools all of us can use to prevent spread and keep case numbers down.'