The Council of Ministers this morning confirmed that the Bank Holiday initially scheduled for Friday 12 June has been moved to Friday 28 August.
In a letter to Tynwald Members today, Treasury Minister Alfred Cannan apologised for the poor communication and said:
‘Whilst matters are of course dependent on the release of the Coronavirus control requirements, there are three core reasons as to why this is considered appropriate.
i) We trust that this date is far enough ahead so that some extended gatherings of family and friends could be allowed.
ii) Similarly, that we consider that our retail, hospitality and leisure industry will have not only opened, but will have had some time to work out how to operate safely. A properly organised four-day weekend could provide a significant boost to the domestic economy in this respect.
iii) An extended weekend will allow us to recognise in a suitable manner the efforts of the NHS and care staff, key workers and others across the community during the pandemic.’
Minister Cannan added:
'I recognise that some members of the public were upset with the manner in which this has been communicated and I can only offer my sincere apologies in that respect.
'It is too early to expand further on how we might choose to enhance this extended weekend to maximise the benefit to the community and the domestic economy, but I do hope that our reasoning for this move is better understood.'