Behind the Borders: The day the Isle of Man started to lift restrictions – ITV News

It’s been four weeks to the day since the Chief Minister announced the Isle of Man borders would close.

In that time, the Island has been fighting its own battle with the coronavirus.

There have been deaths in the community, and sacrifices made Island-wide.

But today, the government has decided to take its first step towards normality.

“Next stage” of the plan

During the Isle of Man Government’s daily press conference, the Chief Minister announced that it was down to the resilience of the Manx public that has allowed them to make a step forward.

While, they say, the priority remains to be the preservation of life, it was decided by the Council of Ministers that now is the time to loosen restrictions.

From today (Friday 24th April):

The Isle of Man Director of Public Health, Dr Henrietta Ewart, highlighted the negatives that can come with keeping people in isolation for an extended period of time.

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Despite these new guidelines reflecting a loosening of restrictions, the Chief Minister has insisted it does not make the Island any more nonrestrictive than neighbouring countries.

The UK has continued to allow construction work to take place for example.

But this does not take away from the Isle of Man being one of the first places to start to relax some of its original guidelines.

Despite lifting restrictions, the Chief Minister has insisted it is still a choice to return to work.

And that includes the current biggest infrastructure project on the Island – the Douglas Promenade.

Work is scheduled to continue on the promenade from 4th May.

But for some, the choice is not worth the risk.

There’s no doubt this day is highly significant in the Island’s fight against coronavirus.

And many will question whether or not the move is a rushed one.

But the Isle of Man is one of the first to run the risk, and it will take some time before we see whether it truly will pay off.


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