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Border Level 2.5 FAQs

As of 24 May 2021, new changes to the Island’s borders make it more flexible for Island residents, and for those that are able to visit (currently limited to family members, partners, compassionate visits and those with a contractual obligation, such as property owners), by reducing the requirements for self-isolation and testing periods.

This latest easing of border restrictions is part of the gradual process to achieve the Isle of Man Government’s ambition of unrestricted travel within the British Isles by 28 June.

On this page:

What is changing with the Isle of Man’s border restrictions on 24 May 2021?

Why are these changes being made to border restrictions?

How can I apply for an exemption to travel to the Isle of Man?

What counts as immediate family?

Are there any isolation or testing requirements when travelling to the Isle of Man?

How do I get a test?

Can someone who has travelled isolate in my home?

Do the members of the household need to isolate while the traveller waits for results of their first test? 

Do members of the household have to be tested? If so, when? 

Can the traveller exercise outdoors?

Can the traveller go to a shop/petrol station/friend’s house etc. before going to their place of isolation?

Will the traveller need to apply for an exemption to travel? 

What declarations will those travelling need to make? What are the penalties if a false declaration is made? 

What proof will I need to show I am visiting a family member/I am a property owner? 

How long will this process take? 

I have travelled and arrived on the Island before 24 May 2021. Can I apply these measures to my current isolation period? 

Can I go to work/school after returning a negative test? 

If I have already applied for my exemption as a returning resident but am travelling back after 24 May, will the new or old rules apply to me? 

Is there a minimum number of days travellers can book to visit so the full testing is carried out? 

As there is no minimum number of days travellers can book to visit, if the traveller is coming to the Island for 3 days and gets a positive result on arrival, should they contact their travel provider to reschedule their return journey, and how long would they have to stay for?

Do I still have to isolate before surgery at Nobles hospital?

 

What is changing with the Isle of Man’s border restrictions on 24 May 2021?

On 24 May 2021 the Isle of Man will move from level 3 to Level 2.5 of its Borders Framework, with the following changes 

  • Entry to the Isle of Man is still limited to residents, immediate family, partners of residents, key workers, compassionate applications and property owners, these adjustments for the 24 May do not change who is eligible to travel.  
     
  • The travel history declaration will be reduced from 14 days to 10 days.  
     
  • Travellers who have been within the UK, Jersey or Guernsey within the 10 days preceding travel to the Island will be eligible for a “test to release” process, based on a test within 48 hours of arrival and isolation until negative result is received. Legal restrictions will be lifted after a negative test, other than a requirement to avoid health and care settings for the first ten days.  
     
  • Travellers who have been outside the UK, Jersey or Guernsey within the 10 days preceding travel to the Island (including the Republic of Ireland) will be eligible for a “7 day pathway”, with tests within 48 hours of arrival and on day 6. Legal restrictions will be lifted after the last negative test, other than a requirement to avoid health and care settings for the first ten days. 

  • If a traveller chooses not to undergo testing, they will be required to isolate for 21 days and will have to isolate alone or with fellow travellers. 

Why are these changes being made to border restrictions?

The changes are part of the Isle of Man Government’s COVID-19 Exit Frameworkwhich sets out the Government’s plan to move away from trying to eliminate COVID-19 to adapting to live in a world with the virus.  

The change in approach is possible for two reasons: 

  1. The Isle of Man’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is well advanced with the majority of the Island’s population now having some protection against the virus. This is important as it means people are less likely to die from or become seriously ill with the virus. 

  2. The level of infection in the United Kingdom – from where the majority of travel to the Island originates – has fallen significantly. At the end of April 2021 the level of infection had fallen well below the 100 cases per 100,000. Like the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is also well advanced, which also helps to reduce the spread of the virus. You can find details of the latest UK rates on their Daily updates page.  

The United Kingdom has border controls in place such as travel bans from “Red List” countries with high levels of infection.  These controls help to protect the Isle of Man. 

How can I apply for an exemption to travel to the Isle of Man?

You can apply online or in writing.  Full details can be found on the Travel and Borders page.  

You should not book any travel to the Island before your application is approved. 

What counts as immediate family?

Immediate family of as Isle of Man resident includes the following:

  • Spouse or partner
  • Father, mother, stepfather, stepmother
  • Son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter
  • Sister, brother, stepbrother, stepsister
  • Grandmother, grandfather
  • Grandson, granddaughter
  • The spouse or partner of any of the above.

Are there any isolation or testing requirements when travelling to the Isle of Man?

Yes. There will now be three isolation pathways – two that require testing and one for those who do not wish to be tested. The testing pathways cost £30 per person. The 3 pathways are;   

Travellers who have only been in the UK/Channel Islands within the 10 days before arrival in the Isle of Man: If they agree to undergo testing they will be eligible for a “test to release” process, based on a test within 48 hours of arrival and isolation until a negative result is received. The only restrictions after a negative result up to day 10 will be in respect of entry to health and care settings. Travellers will also be required to have a follow-up test on Day 6 for ongoing monitoring and assurance purposes. 

Travellers will ordinarily get test results between 24 - 48 hours after their arrival. Please note the time may vary depending on the particular arrival time and testing capacity. 

Travellers who have been outside of the UK/Channel Islands within the 10 days before arrival in the Isle of Man. This includes the Republic of IrelandIf they agree to undergo testing, their restrictions will now consist of a test within 48 hours of arrival and an exit test (day 6), the isolation period will be 7 days subject to negative test results. Exercise outdoors (away from others, for a maximum of one hour a day, wearing a face covering) is allowed after a negative arrival test. 

If you have travelled from, or transited through, a “Red List” country, you will need to undertake mandatory quarantine in the UK before you are able to travel to the Island. Please visit the UK Government website for further information: www.gov.uk/guidance/red-amber-and-green-list-rules-for-entering-england#red-list 

Travellers who do not wish to be tested: If a traveller chooses not to undergo testing, they will be required to isolate for 21 days and will have to isolate alone or with fellow travellers.  

How do I get a test?

Once you have completed your landing form you will receive a unique reference number to use when booking your test. Once you have this you will be able to book by calling the 111 team (8am-8pm 7 days a week) with your unique reference number.   

Or if dialling from off Island or using a UK mobile please call +44 1624 822111 

More details can be on the Testing & Results page.

Can someone who has travelled isolate in my home?

Yes, someone who is travelling to the Isle of Man may stay in a household with people who have not travelled, so long as the traveller agrees to undergo testing for COVID-19. Members of the household do not need to isolate unless the traveller returns a positive test. The Traveller in isolation should not be mixing freely with the other household members – they should continue to (where possible) use separate bathroom and kitchen facilities, as well as continuing to clean any shared items before and after use.  

Shared households are only allowed for travellers opting for testing, if you do not opt for testing you must isolate alone or with those who travelled with you only.  

Do the members of the household need to isolate while the traveller waits for results of their first test? 

No. If the traveller is on one of the testing pathways (‘test and release’ or ‘7 day pathway’) then the household do not have to isolate. This includes in the time the traveller is waiting for their first test result.  

Shared households are only allowed for travellers opting for testing, if you do not opt for testing you must isolate alone or with those who travelled with you only. 

Do members of the household have to be tested? If so, when? 

No, members of the traveller’s household do not require tests. (Unless a traveller goes on to test positive). The traveller is required to inform Travel Notification Service prior to leaving and a surveillance swab will be offered to the household at no cost. 

Can the traveller exercise outdoors?

For those travellers who opt for tests;  

If they have been inside the UK/Channel Islands in the 10 days preceding arrival and receive a negative test: they may leave isolation. Until the negative test is received they are unable to leave their isolation address for exercise. 

If they have been outside the UK/Channel Islands in the 10 days prior to their arrival following a negative arrival test, the traveller may exercise outdoors, away from others, for a maximum of one hour a day, wearing a face covering. 

If the traveller does not opt for tests (21 day isolation) they are not permitted to leave their house for exercise – but can use their gardens if they have direct access and it is not a communal area.  

Can the traveller go to a shop/petrol station/friend’s house etc. before going to their place of isolation?

No, the traveller must go directly to their place of isolation upon arrival on the Island, and must not visit/enter any other premises. If you are staying in a hotel or self-catering accommodation you must be able to access your accommodation immediately on arrival – please check with your accommodation provider before arrival that it is readily available.

Will the traveller need to apply for an exemption to travel? 

Yes, applications to request an entry certificate to travel to the Island for immediate family members/partners of Manx residents/Island property owners/those with a contract of employment are required. Applications can be made online or in writing and visitors are advised not to book travel before their application is approved. 

If you are a contractor from off Island or arranging  for a contractor to come to the Island, please contact exemptions.IOMG@gov.im or call +44 1624 687171, press option 2 to discuss the process. It is recommend that applications are submitted between 1-3 weeks before the date of travel to ensure you receive the certificate on time.  

Please be advised that submitting an application does not automatically grant approval to travel to the Isle of Man. 

What declarations will those travelling need to make? What are the penalties if a false declaration is made? 

Applicants will be asked to declare that they have not been outside of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Jersey or Guernsey for 10 days prior to their arrival on the Island they will also need to make a health declaration. 

The penalty for providing false information is a maximum penalty (summary – 3 months custody, a fine not exceeding 4 times level 5 on the standard scale (£40,000) or both). 

What proof will I need to show I am visiting a family member/I am a property owner? 

Travellers will need to declare the family relationship as part of their application, with false declarations being a criminal offence and subject to penalties (described above). At this stage we are not requesting documentary evidence. 

Property owners will be asked to declare ownership and explain how this can be evidenced. There will be a range of documents that can be used and it will be the applicant’s responsibility to show that the property is registered in their name. 

Those with a contract of employment will need to provide evidence of their contract and work permit if applicable.

How long will this process take? 

The majority of applicants will be processed quickly (same day approvals) but applications from non-residents that require the submission of evidence to confirm that they are eligible to enter the Isle of Man (compassionate, contractual/key worker/property owners) will be processed within 5 working days.

I have travelled and arrived on the Island before 24 May 2021. Can I apply these measures to my current isolation period? 

Anyone who travelled to the Island between 14 and 24 May and was still in self-isolation at 00.01 Monday 24 May will have the new isolation and testing conditions applied. 

If you were in the UK or Channel Islands for 10 day prior to your arrival into the Island and have already received a negative arrival test result you will be able to leave isolation. You will be issued with a new Direction Notice, or Entry Certificate, confirming restrictions on visiting health and social care settings up to day 10 and the requirement to still undertake a test on day 6.  

If you were outside the UK or Channel Islands in the 10 days prior to your arrival into the Island, and had a negative arrival test, you will have your second test brought forward so that it is on day 6, or as close as possible. Once you receive a negative result, on day 7 you will be able to leave isolation. You will be issued with a new Direction Notice, or Entry Certificate, confirming your reduced isolation period and the restrictions on visiting health and social care settings up to day 10.   

Can I go to work/school after returning a negative test? 

You may return to work or school after you leave isolation, i.e. following a negative test after arrival (for those who have not been outside of the United Kingdom, Guernsey or Jersey in the 10 days prior to arriving on the Island) or following a negative day 6 test (for those who have been outside of the UK, Guernsey or Jersey – this includes Ireland – in the 10 days prior to arriving on the Island). It is advised that you discuss this with your employer or school before you return.

If I have already applied for my exemption as a returning resident but I am travelling back after 24 May, will the new or old rules apply to me? 

If you have not yet completed your landing form then you don’t need to take any action.  When you complete your landing form this will automatically trigger the issuing of a Direction Notice with the new testing and isolation conditions.  

If you have completed a landing form the Travel Notification Service will be in touch with a new Direction Notice and will make any required changes to your booked tests. 

Please only contact the Travel Notification Service on +44 1624 687171 if you are unsure. 

Is there a minimum number of days travellers can book to visit so the full testing is carried out? 

No we have not set a minimum number of days travellers can book to visit but you are required to notify the Travel Notification Service if you leave the Island before your Day 6 test.

As there is no minimum number of days travellers can book to visit, if the traveller is coming to the Island for 3 days and gets a positive result on arrival, should they contact their travel provider to reschedule their return journey, and how long would they have to stay for? 

If the traveller tested positive on arrival, the traveller would be required to self-isolate in the accommodation they are staying in for a minimum of 10 days from the date of the positive test.

Do I still have to isolate before surgery at Nobles hospital?

Yes – patients being admitted to hospital for planned surgeries including day procedures will be required to have COVID-19 test 72 hours prior to going into hospital. Immediately following the test patients must self-isolate at home until hospital admission.

Testing is located at the Grandstand, and arranged through 111. A pre-admission screening form is sent in the post when confirming appointments which outlines everything patients need to know.

Failure to follow the swab and isolation process will result in patients hospital procedure being cancelled.