Retail businesses closed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak on the Isle of Man will be allowed to reopen next week, the chief minister has confirmed.
Howard Quayle said the shops, which have been closed since late March, will be able to open their doors to the public on 18 May.
Both staff and customers would be expected to follow social distancing rules, he added.
The move is part of a phased relaxation of the island’s lockdown restrictions.
However, Mr Quayle asked people to be “a little more patient” with the current ban on gatherings.
An announcement on the “incredibly complex area” would be made on Monday, he added.
The list of recreational activities permitted during the pandemic has also been widened, provided social distancing is observed. Restrictions on fishing and golf have already been lifted.
The new permitted activities are:
- Target shooting
- Paddle sports
- Crown green bowls
- Lawn bowls
A ban on using pleasure boats is due to be lifted from Saturday, although trips out will be restricted to a maximum of four hours and during daylight only.
House sale viewings will resume on 18 May, but will be limited to people from the same household.
The children of workers in the construction and horticulture sectors will also be allowed to attend the island’s hub schools from Monday.
Commenting on the ongoing review of the rules on gatherings, Howard Quayle said the government was “close to being able to make changes”.
He said: “The approach of the Council of Ministers is that we want as far as possible to step out of your home and social lives and trust you to make the right decisions for your circumstances.”
“I do, however, need to ask you to be a little more patient on this.”
The island’s border remains closed.