Less than 920 km from Brussels, life is back to normal

All covid restrictions on the Isle of Man have been lifted with immediate effect. People should no longer wear face masks or respect social distance. All catering is reopened. However, an entry ban for tourists remains in force.

Just like six of the 10 countries that formulated the best response to the corona crisis, according to Australian think tank Lowy, the Isle of Man is … an island.

The island has 85,000 inhabitants and is located in the middle of the Irish Sea, somewhere between Liverpool in England and Belfast in Northern Ireland. Like the Channel Islands, the island is British Crown property, but not part of the United Kingdom.

After a series of new outbreaks, the local government decided on January 7 to lock things up completely. 25 days later it appears to have been the right strategy. The strict lockdown will be replaced by a full reopening. Face masks and ‘social distancing’ are no longer necessary. Schools, restaurants, non-essential shops and cafes can also reopen their doors.

In the past 20 days, no more corona infections have been recorded that cannot be traced back to known cases. At the moment, eleven people on the island have corona, but none of them are sick. Also, no one is in hospital with Covid-19 anymore. In total, 434 confirmed coronavirus cases have been recorded since the start of the pandemic. 25 people did not survive the disease.

Isle of Man (Photo: Daniel Aufgang, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

The authorities are not taking any risks and are keeping the borders closed for the time being. Only residents and people who work on the island are allowed in. The rules are strictly adhered to. A Scot who tried to enter the island by jet ski to visit his girlfriend was imprisoned for 4 weeks for violating Covid-19 laws.


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