As there is no community transmission of COVID-19 in the Isle of Man, social distancing measures have been lifted.
You are no longer required to maintain a distance of 2 metres from those outside of your household, however social distancing may remain in place in some service provider environments.
What is social distancing?
We know that Coronaviruses are spread when people with the virus have close, sustained contact with people who are not infected. This typically means spending more than 15 minutes within two metres of an infected person, such as talking to someone.
Social distancing is essential to stop the spread of the virus in areas where community transmission is present, as it is more likely to spread when people are close together. An infected person can pass on the virus through talking, breathing, coughing or sneezing even if they do not have any symptoms.
When you should practise social distancing
In the Isle of Man, social distancing is not currently a requirement, however there may be some service providers that still have these measures in place.
If you are travelling to an area where social distancing is required, you should maintain a distance of 2 metres from anyone outside of your household.
When with people you do not live with, you should also avoid:
- physical contact
- being close and face-to-face
- shouting or singing close to them
You should also avoid crowded areas with lots of people; and touching things that other people have touched.
Where you cannot stay 2 metres apart you should stay more than 1 metre apart, and take additional steps to stay safe. For example:
- wear a face covering on public transport and in many indoor spaces (The requirement of personal protective equipment (PPE) still remains in health and care environments)
- go outdoors, where it is safer and there is more space
- if indoors, make sure rooms have a flow of fresh air by keeping windows and doors open
You do not need to be socially distanced from anyone in your household, meaning the people you live with. However, if you are self-isolating you should stay away from other family/household members as far as is practicable to reduce the risk of spreading infection.
Letting fresh air in (ventilation)
In addition to social distancing and other measures, you can also reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19 if you:
- avoid coming into contact with people in spaces with limited flow of fresh air such as rooms with windows that are never opened
- reduce or stop the amount of time you spend indoors with people you do not live with
- make sure you let plenty of fresh air into your home without getting uncomfortably cold if you have people working in or visiting your house (only where permitted). You should do this during their visit and after they leave
To increase the flow of air you can:
- open windows as much as possible
- open doors
- make sure that any vents (for example at the top of a window) are open and airflow is not blocked
- leave extractor fans (for example in bathrooms) running for longer than usual with the door closed after someone has used the room
If your home has a mechanical ventilation system which circulates air through vents and ducts, ensure it is working and increase its flow rate when you have visitors or if someone in your home is sick.
Good hygiene practices
We ask you to be responsible and continue to adhere to good hygiene practices.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Put used tissues in the bin straight away
- Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
- Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
- Stay home if you are sick
- If working with children, have them play with hard surface toys that can be easily cleaned
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces in the home
- If you are displaying symptoms of coronavirus, stay at home, call the COVID-111 line and ask about testing
Some of the above wording has been adapted from gov.uk social distancing.
If you develop symptoms see self isolation.