Wearing a face cover is now compulsory in public transport and in all health and social establishments.
During a government briefing this evening, Chief Minister Alfred Cannan said it would be “mandatory” to wear a mask on public transport, including on the ferry and on a plane, and in hospitals and offices. medical.
He also said the government “now expects everyone to wear a mask” in other settings, such as retail businesses.
“We do not want to make the non-wearing of masks a criminal offense, but we will legislate more if necessary,” he added. âFor now, we’re asking everyone to wear them in these indoor public places. Like the UK, we will not insist on further hospitality measures.
These measures will come into effect from 4 a.m. on Tuesday, November 30.
The Chief Minister raised the status of the island in the winter framework of Covid-19 from level one to alert level two.
Mr Cannan said: âWe have always said that the emergence of a new mutation could be a potential trigger point, which means that we may need to act and take action to protect our community.
“Early evidence suggests there may be a higher risk of re-infection with omicron, but there is still so much we don’t know.”
A meeting of the National Covid Response Group, followed by a Council of Ministers meeting, was held this morning where they discussed developments regarding the new variant, Omicron.
It has been decided that all fully vaccinated international travelers arriving from outside the common travel area – i.e. anywhere outside the UK, Ireland, Jersey and Guernsey – must self-isolate and undergo a PCR test within 48 hours of arriving on the island. of Man.
They must remain isolated until they have received the result. If they are not fully vaccinated, they will still have to undergo the seven-day isolation period.
In addition, all travelers arriving from the common travel area, regardless of their vaccination status, will be required to undertake a lateral flow test within 12 hours of arriving on the Isle of Man.
All arrivals from the common travel area will need to make a clear statement as to their intention and understanding of this new testing requirement on their landing form and we will develop a facility for them to let us know when they will. will have done.
These measures will also come into effect on November 30.
There will also be a change in the government’s position regarding positive results from PCR tests suspected or confirmed to be Omicron.
In these cases, the entire household should immediately self-isolate for 10 days.
Mr Cannan also confirmed that the government was aware of 22 people who visited the island and were in southern Africa in the past 10 days.
“The 22 people have been contacted and those still on the island have agreed to undergo tests,” he added. “The test results we have received so far are all negative for Covid-19.”
The chief minister urged the public to accept any booster vaccine offer.
He said: âIn the coming days we can expect a significant acceleration of the UK recall program, which we will likely follow.
âVaccines always offer the best possible protection against Covid-19 and it is thanks to them that we have been able to return to relative normality. We don’t yet know how effective the current vaccines will be against Omicron, but ensuring our population the highest level of protection against Covid will help us prepare for a new variant or another wave of infection.
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