Behind the borders: Why is the Isle of Man recording its highest number of active Covid-19 cases?


During most of the pandemic, the island has been cut off from the rest of the world – hidden behind the protection of its closed borders.

There was a time when the number of cases was at zero – a time many would describe as the “peak of the pandemic” for the rest of the world.

Another time the island locally cleared the virus in short 25 days during its globally publicized ‘blackout lockdown’.

But now the “elimination strategy” has been abandoned and a “mitigation strategy” has taken its place.

And as active Covid-19 cases increase more than ever, the government is doing everything possible to reassure the public that this is all part of the plan.

Isle of Man Chief Minister Howard Quayle and Health Minister David Ashford. Credit: Isle of Man Government


The one thing the Isle of Man has always been very proud of is the ability to control who goes to the island – something that has arguably been the best defense against the Covid-19 pandemic.

But after 16 months, the Isle of Man government made the decision to reopen the borders to all, having full confidence in the effectiveness of the vaccination rollout.

89% of the Island’s population aged 18 and over received the first dose.

As of this writing, there are few to no Covid-19 restrictions on the island for the majority of the population of the Isle of Man.

Social distancing is not required, wearing a mask is not compulsory, and many people’s lives have returned to “normal”.

Anyone can enter the island – those with double stings can enter directly without any testing, isolation or regulation.

But as a result, the number of active cases has reached its highest level and continues to increase day by day.

So why is this once overly cautious government now content with increasing the number of cases?

While previously many Manx residents (myself included) repeatedly checked the Covid numbers, members of the government say we only need to be concerned about two – hospital admissions and deaths.

Although active cases are breaking records, the number of people hospitalized has not reached any previous peak, proving that the vaccine is working.

And thankfully, no deaths have been recorded since March 2021.

For many on the island, their freedom has been widely granted.

Members of government have now started to encourage “personal responsibility,” but there is a fine line between letting people make their own decisions and shirking responsibility as leaders.

A government that, rightly or wrongly, has spent so long collectively protecting the population from the virus, now allowing them to reach every corner of a once largely untouched island.

If the efficacy of the vaccine had not been sufficiently tested before, it certainly will be now.



About Lillian Coomer

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