The Isle of Man has exited lockdown after a 25 day ‘circuit break’ worked to stop the community spread of Covid-19.
The island’s government said that life can now “return to near normal”, with no requirement for social distancing and no recommendations that the public wear face coverings.
The move comes as a boost for hospitality businesses, as all businesses that were required to close or switch to a take-away service are now free to reopen and return to normal service with immediate effect.
Strict controls remain in place at the island’s borders, however, including restrictions on those who can travel to the Isle of Man, as well as isolation and testing regimes which aim to prevent anyone carrying the virus from spreading it within the community.
Chief minister, Howard Quayle MHK, said: “After almost a month of lockdown, this is the moment we have all been waiting for. The Isle of Man has achieved local elimination of the virus for a second time, meaning the risk of community spread of Covid19 is extremely low. We beat the virus once and we have done so again.
“This has only been possible due to the seriousness with which the public have approached the measures set out by government to bring the virus under control and eliminate its spread. This achievement is thanks to the collective determination, the sense of duty, and the community spirit of the Manx people, for which they are to be commended.”
He added: “Although this is a moment for relief and celebration, we cannot let down our guard. We are seeing other jurisdictions that have achieved local elimination battling with outbreaks. We must remain vigilant.
“Although the government has put in place significant restrictions around who can travel here and what they must do when they arrive, the potential risk of a new outbreak remains. Those travelling to the Island must follow the rules to the letter. It is people’s behaviours that are the frontline in the battle to prevent any future spread of the virus.”