The Isle of Man’s current border restrictions will remain in place until at least mid-September.
The extension was agreed today at a virtual sitting of the Council of Ministers, and follows a commitment by the Chief Minister at last month’s Tynwald sitting to review the situation again by the end of August.
After considering the latest data in relation to infection rates and the number of people in hospital, in addition to the progress being made with the vaccination programme, Council agreed to postpone introducing unrestricted travel at this stage.
This approach is intended to bring a number of benefits, including:
- To continue delivering second vaccinations to those eligible, especially those who had doses delayed due to the current outbreak
- To enable 16 and 17 year olds to have their first vaccination
- To allow schools to reopen and to monitor the impact of students returning
The Isle of Man Government is also awaiting clarification from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI) regarding vaccinations for those aged 12 to 15.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said:
‘Reopening our borders to anyone who wishes to visit is vital to our wellbeing as a community as well as an important measure to support our economy.
‘As it stands today, the vast majority of the UK adult population, more than 77%, are fully vaccinated and therefore already eligible to come without restrictions upon arrival - 84% of the Island’s eligible adult population are also now fully vaccinated.
‘Allowing unrestricted travel remains the target – but welcoming more people to our shores now, especially those who are not fully vaccinated, may risk compounding our current situation.
‘Although the figure for weekly average cases is falling slightly, the numbers remain relatively high compared to what we have experienced in the past. People are also in hospital and this is, of course, our key consideration as we seek to protect our health and care services while learning to learn with COVID-19.
‘Taking into account a wide range of factors, Council has therefore agreed to postpone any changes in order to monitor progress and enable more vaccinations to take place. A mid-September review will take place to look at the situation in detail once again.’
‘Our vaccination programme is rolling out well, but there are still people we need to reach and I urge them to come forward. The vaccines that have been administered already are enabling our community to resume everyday activities, and it’s important that we all do what we can to prevent hospital numbers from rising.
‘I must also reiterate the need for us all to be vigilant and to take responsibility when it comes to personal hygiene: wash your hands regularly, wear a mask to protect yourself and others, and keep your distance, particularly indoors where ventilation is more difficult.’
Register for a vaccination online or call 111.