Changes proposed to ease island border restrictions – Energy FM


Wed, Jun 16, 2021

Proposals for a revised approach to ease the island’s border restrictions will be presented in Tynwald today.

The government’s COVID-19 exit framework has set a target to remove travel restrictions on travel between the Isle of Man and the rest of the British Isles by Monday, June 28.

The delta variant of COVID-19 – now the predominant strain of the virus in the UK – appears to be easier to catch and is more likely to lead to hospitalization than previous variants, where a person has not been vaccinated. Given an increase in the number of cases in the UK, and in the North West in particular, and an increase in hospitalizations as a result, the Council of Ministers considers that it would be premature to remove the remaining border restrictions of the island at the end of this month without further mitigation. .

Due to the spread of the delta variant, England, Jersey and Guernsey have all announced changes to their border or reopening plans in recent days.

The revised approach to the island’s borders, subject to Tynwald’s approval, would allow residents and non-residents of the UK and Ireland to travel without restriction who have received both doses of the COVID vaccine. 19 at least two weeks before their proposed arrival. This greatly reduces the likelihood that a person will spread the virus and become seriously ill.

Existing arrangements will remain in place for those who have not yet received the two doses of vaccine.

Chief Minister Howard Quayle MHK said: “We remain firmly committed to restoring unrestricted travel to the British Isles and welcoming visitors to our island. I know how important this is to residents and to our economy. But we’ve always been clear that any decision will have to be based on data, not dates.

“The exit framework, approved by Tynwald, clearly sets out a number of considerations that we must take into account before lifting our remaining border restrictions. These include the progress of vaccination programs in the UK, Ireland and the Crown Addictions, as well as infection levels and – most importantly – the emergence of any variant of the virus that causes concern.

“The Manx public will no doubt be familiar with the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the UK, especially the delta variant. Now the predominant strain, the delta variant is causing an increase in the number of cases and emerging hot spots, especially in the north-west of England.

“While we must learn to live in a world with COVID – where we focus on critical illness levels and hospital capacity rather than the raw number of cases – we must be cautious and not risk everything. we won, especially when we finished our immunization program. “

Evidence suggests that vaccines are less effective against the delta variant after a single dose, but continue to provide the same level of protection overall after the second dose. Other recent evidence encouragingly suggests that vaccines are very effective in reducing the risk of serious illness and hospitalization when a person has the delta variant.

The Chief Minister continued: “The timing of further changes to our border restrictions must take into account changing circumstances. A short lead time to remove our remaining border restrictions will allow us to learn more about the delta variant and, most importantly, provide more second doses of the vaccine.

“Subject to Tynwald’s approval, island residents who are fully vaccinated will however see an improvement with the ability to travel without restriction. They will also see an improvement in the way that contact tracing identifies, tests and isolates anyone who is in close contact with a positive case. When a person is fully vaccinated two weeks ago, they will not need to be tested or isolated.

“This change would have a significant impact on the number of people who are indirectly isolated during an epidemic and this is yet another reason why we are asking everyone who can to get vaccinated.”

If the proposed measures are adopted by Tynwald, the chief minister will hold a live COVID-19 briefing tomorrow.

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