Behind the Borders: How much has the Covid-19 pandemic cost the Isle of Man?

Video report by Joshua Stokes

New financial estimations from the Isle of Man government suggest the Covid-19 pandemic could cost the Island up to £250m.

The Treasury Minister, Alfred Cannan MHK, confirmed the figure after announcing his intentions to borrow £400m.

During the pandemic, the Isle of Man has been through three separate lockdowns, but has spent the majority of time with little to no on-Island restrictions.

However one thing that has remained a constant are the measures on the borders - remaining closed to tourists since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020.

This has meant business owners in the travel sector have continued to suffer for over a year.

Rikki Dunnage owns the travel agency, Island Travel.

Rikki Dunnage says his travel agency has not sold a holiday since March 2020. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

He is currently benefiting from a government salary support scheme which covers 50% of bill payments, but he said that still leaves half unpaid.

But he also owns a bar below the business, which he said has been crucial in keeping the travel agency going.

Rikki is also the owner of The Front Porch in Douglas. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Unlike the UK, pubs and restaurants are open and have remained opened for many months while the Island was 'Covid-free'.

Chief Minister, Howard Quayle, has said the plan is still to reopen the Island to tourists on June 28.

This will see all remaining restrictions lifted, meaning anyone can enter the Island for the first time since the start of the pandemic.


The Island's Treasury Minister will be approaching parliament to ask members to support £400m of government borrowing, but claims its not to pay for the pandemic.

These funds will be used to cover loan refinancing, to pay for the new Steam Packet Company ferry and to fund future government infrastructure projects.

Alfred Cannan said 'there has been a cash impact from Covid' but claims the decision to borrow money was not to pay for the pandemic. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

He also said around £260m of the money would be put into the reserves which the Minister says remain 'healthy' at approximately £1.65bn.

Tynwald will be asked to support the move at the next sitting of Tynwald in June.