Isle of Man winter Covid plan published

There have been 64 Covid-19 related deaths in the Isle of Man since the beginning of the pandemic. Credit: ITV Granada Reports

The Isle of Man Government has released its plans to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic over the winter period.

While, it says, it hopes Island life can continue as normal it added it wants to ensure "our economy, our society and our health and care services operate as best they can."

The government warned that 'additional mitigation measures' were likely to increase over the coming months in order to protect the NHS and the Island.

The plan lists three levels, a base level, additional responses, and legal interventions.

What are the levels?

  • Level 1 - Targeted Intervention - personal responsibility for helping to keep cases down within manageable levels, with targeted interventions throughout Winter.

  • Level 2 - National Intervention - things may need to be increased with national mitigations

  • Level 3 - Legal Intervention - the things the Island must be prepared to do, but aim toavoid through increased responses at level 1 and 2

Ministers say they hoped to keep the Island on Level 1, focusing on collective responsibility to protect the community and NHS, while maintaining cases at manageable levels and protecting those most vulnerable to serious illness.

Measures include encouraging vaccinations, wearing face masks, self testing and interventions based on local outbreaks.

Level 2, which would be implemented if "winter pressures increases the risk to our health and care provision" would involve what ministers call a 'more robust approach'.

Face masks would be expected to be worn, testing would be increased while households will be told to avoid unnecessary mixing. Working from home would also be encouraged.

The highest level, Level 3, is one the government say it hopes "will not be required".

It involves deploying a full outbreak plan, which could include interventions as previously seen over the last 20 months, including mandatory face masks, social distancing and some business restrictions.

The Government said there were three considerations which could move the Island to Level 3 - health and care services are in danger of being overwhelmed, a new variant of concern threatens the vaccine efficacy, or, a significant level of disruption to our Island’s economic and social infrastructure.