Schools on the Isle of Man will be forced to close in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus – especially among young people on the island.
The move, which will see the closure of all schools and daycares from Friday, comes just days after a circuit blockade on the island went into effect following an increase in coronavirus cases after that a member of the ferry crew has tested positive.
The island emerged from lockdown on February 1, with schools and businesses reopening after no reports of unexplained community cases of coronavirus for 17 consecutive days.
But on Tuesday, Chief Minister Howard Quayle announced a new 21-day lockdown following a “transmission in our community that we cannot see and understand”.
He confirmed that the Isle of Man had seen “a strong level of transmission between its young people âandâ every opportunity âhad to be seized to interrupt this.
All schools and daycares on the Isle of Man will be forced to close in order to stop the spread of the coronavirus. (Archive image)
Mr Quayle said: ‘As we know, the Kent variant of COVID-19 is particularly virulent and we are seeing it spreading rapidly within our community.
âThe virus is spread when people mix, so we need to do everything we can to minimize this mixing.
âWe are currently seeing a high level of transmission between our young people and we must take every opportunity we have to interrupt this.
âAlthough much of the transmission possibilities have been minimized by the blackout, there are still a number of settings where children move outside the home.
âIn the interests of children and of society in general, we must prevent children from mixing.
âClosing schools and daycares on Friday will create a firewall, and the message is simple, if you have kids they shouldn’t mix with kids from other households and should stay home on Friday.
âThis decision was not taken lightly and is on the advice of public health and other professionals who are managing our response to this pandemic.
“I understand that this will be a challenge for our children and for a number of people who provide essential and essential services to our island, but at the moment we believe that this action is in the best interest of our young people and our community.”
Chief Minister Howard Quayle has announced a new 21-day lockdown following a “transmission in our community that we cannot see and understand”
The island currently has 58 cases of the coronavirus, three of which have no immediate link to identified clusters of the virus.
On February 18, Mr Quayle announced that there were cases of Covid-19 on the Isle of Man that were not among those who had traveled there and had gone into self-isolation.
All leisure and reception areas are closed, but take-out and delivery services will be authorized.
All lifestyle businesses such as hairdressers have also closed and non-essential retail businesses have also been forced to close although they are allowed to operate click and collect and delivery services.
They were linked to a member of staff working for the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company, which operates ferries to and from Liverpool, Belfast, Dublin and Heysham, Lancashire.
At the time, the company said the crew member, who was not in a role facing passengers, was tested after hours of duty and was placed in immediate isolation, with contact tracing. In progress.
Under the new measures, which took effect on Wednesday shortly after midnight, schools and businesses will close and residents are urged to stay at home.
Mr Quayle said the island’s vaccination program was on track to deliver the first doses to everyone over 50 and clinically vulnerable adults in April.
Chief Minister Quayle made the official announcement in an official address on Tuesday and said the measures would be constantly reviewed and kept in place only as long as needed.
Mr Qualye said: âFrom Wednesday we will reactivate financial support measures including MERA, Salary Support and the Business Support Scheme. The Treasury Minister will make a statement to the House of Keys later today.
âI know it will be far from easy this time around for so many people.
âI know there is a high cost to locking down our island and your lives. But we believe the alternative is now even more expensive.
‘I know we have asked you so much in the past and do I know how to ask you again.
Residents of the Isle of Man gathered in their hundreds in November for the annual lighting up
âAnd I’m so sorry that this is happening.
âBut our collective judgment throughout yesterday and last night, as more and more information became clearer, was that this is what we need to do.
âI always said we would do what’s right for the island. And that’s what we do. The good thing.’
The lockdown was lifted on January 31 – 19 days after the last case of coronavirus was detected before this latest outbreak.
Schools and businesses reopened, and the island’s 50 bars and pubs welcomed revelers over Christmas when they were allowed to welcome customers again.
Social distancing measures and mask-wearing rules were also removed, but strict border controls – prohibiting all residents and key workers from entering – remained in place.
The island was the only place in the British Isles that could celebrate a normal Christmas
The island, which is a crown dependency and has its own government, was plunged into a similar 25-day breaker lockout after a Covid outbreak at the start of the new year.
But pubs, bars and restaurants were finally allowed to reopen in late January after authorities announced the outbreak had been brought under control.
The island’s vaccine rollout has started, with Health Minister David Ashford saying everyone on the island will be offered a coronavirus vaccine by the end of September.
People aged 50 and over would receive the jabs by the end of May.
With its strict border controls, the Isle of Man went unrestricted for almost seven months last year.
It closed its borders in March, before allowing residents and essential workers to return to the country from July.
With the latest lockdown, Mr Quayle says he hopes the virus will be eradicated for good, adding: âIt’s tough. I know it will be tough on families and on our businesses.
âIt will be hard on our health and well-being and it will be hard on our children.
“I think, however, that if we are successful once again – if we eliminate once and for all the transmission that has been lurking beneath the surface for some time now – and at the same time if we protect our immunization program – it could, hopefully. the, be the last time.
âHopefully, as we move forward over the next 21 days, I sincerely hope we don’t have to tighten up any further. It has worked before. We know what to do.