Changes to the Island’s border restrictions have come into effect to reflect simplified rules for international arrivals into England, announced last month by the UK Government.
The current red, amber, green traffic light system has been replaced with countries being either on the red list or the rest of the world list. The rules in place for people travelling to England and onward to the Isle of Man from countries not on the red list will depend on vaccination status.
The Council of Ministers has decided that the Isle of Man will continue to broadly align its own border restrictions for international travel with those in place in England. This will ensure the process for Isle of Man residents travelling internationally into England and then back to the Island remains as simple as possible.
It means the existing ‘test to release’ pathway will no longer be available for those who have travelled outside of the Common Travel Area (CTA) in the 10 days prior to arriving on the Island. All unvaccinated individuals who have been outside of the CTA will now follow one pathway.
Fully vaccinated residents and fully vaccinated non-residents who have travelled outside of the CTA within the preceding 10 days of arrival to the Island will still be allowed to enter the Island with no testing or isolation.
Non- or partially-vaccinated residents as well as non-residents who have permission to travel to the Island, who have travelled outside of the CTA within the preceding 10 days of arrival, will be required to follow the ‘7-day pathway’. This involves a PCR test on the day of arrival, isolation for 7 days and a further test on day 6 which, if negative, means release from isolation.
Any person travelling from a country on the red list within the preceding 10 days to arrival on the Island is still prohibited from entry to Island and must follow the UK’s red list requirements.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said:
‘After the initial opening of our borders earlier this year, our defences for COVID-19 have relied on that of the England’s border policy. Therefore, it makes sense to adjust our own pathways to maintain alignment with measures in England. The removal of the green and amber lists is a significant step forward, making it easier for people to go abroad and return home.
‘Individuals who are transiting through the UK following international travel are reminded that they need to complete a passenger locator form and state they are transiting through to the Isle of Man.’
As part of the changes, the UK Government has also removed the need for pre-departure testing for those returning to the England, reducing the cost for travellers.
Full details of the Island’s travel pathways can be found on the Travel and Borders webpage.
The changes are only for international travel. The rules for those travelling within the CTA in the 10 days before their arrival in the Isle of Man will not change.
Additionally, all 12-15 year olds who have received at least one vaccination dose are now eligible to arrive in the Isle of Man with no isolation or testing requirements, following the commencement of the vaccine programme to this age group.
In order to qualify for this, individuals must meet the following conditions:
- Have received the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine
- On arrival, at least two weeks must have passed since the vaccine was administered
- Applicants must not have visited any country on the UK red travel list in the 10 days prior to their arrival
For young people aged 15 and under, parents or guardians will be required to complete the vaccination exemption on their behalf.