Isle of Man Government has released an updated version of the Exit Framework, which outlines the Isle of Man’s longer term approach to COVID-19.
The exit approach contains three key phases: Preparation, Transition and Release.
Since the publication of the initial framework, significant progress has been made in terms of the Island’s vaccination programme, the UK’s vaccination programme, and scientific progress which evidences increased effectiveness of individual vaccines, and increased protection of transmission for first doses.
We are now approaching the end of the Preparation phase (March – April 2021) and are moving into the phase of Transition.
In this phase, significant amounts of change are expected, including to our borders, and the revised framework document key indicative dates that we expect to make these changes by. We cannot rule out major developments (such as variants of concern) that may impact our ability, but it does provide a blue print for restoring unrestricted British Isles travel, which supports many of our residents and businesses who need more freedom of travel:
- Transition Stage 1: 1st May – Borders Level 3 – Family, Partners and Property Owners
- Transition Stage 2: 29th May* - Borders Level 2 – Non-Resident Mitigated Travel
- Transition Stage 3: 28th June* - Borders Level 1 - Unrestricted Travel
*All dates are indicative, please see the strategy document for full detail
The revised framework also marks an important move from a strategy of Elimination to a strategy of Mitigation. Pursuing a strategy of Elimination meant aiming for eradication of the virus. A strategy of Mitigation does carry a higher acceptance of imported risk, but it also acknowledges that as a community we increasingly have the systems and mitigations in place to manage this risk.
We must assume that the virus will come back, but we must also assume that we are (collectively and individually) increasingly prepared to mitigate against it.
Moving to mitigation will mean that we need to adopt collective responsibility and adopt healthy habits to protect our community – it means that we acknowledge we need to learn to live with COVID-19.
Support and advice for individuals and businesses to adopt healthy habits will be developed and issued in due course, but we will all have a responsibility to:
- Maintain high levels of hygiene, keep hands clean and cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are unwell, stay at home and contact 111
- Wear a face covering if requested or based on personal choice
- Consider the WHO’S 3 C's
- Businesses can help staff and customers in maintaining hygiene and supporting personal choice
- Government will have a responsibility to maintain and develop robust policies and processes that support this approach