The Island will move to the next phase of the Government's COVID-19 Exit Framework on Monday 24 May, meaning travellers will benefit from shorter periods of self-isolation.
This latest easing of border restrictions is part of the gradual and managed process to achieve the Government's ambition of unrestricted travel within the British Isles by 28 June.
Anyone travelling to the Isle of Man who has not been outside of the United Kingdom, Guernsey or Jersey in the 10 days prior to arriving on the Island will no longer be required to isolate for seven days. Instead, they can opt to undertake a £30 COVID-19 test within 48 hours of arrival and isolate until they receive a negative result. A second COVID-19 test will also be required – free of charge – six days after arrival.
The only restriction will be the requirement to avoid health and social care settings – except to seek emergency treatment – until ten days after arrival.
Anyone who has been outside of the UK, Guernsey or Jersey – this includes Ireland – in the 10 days prior to arriving on the Island will only have to isolate for seven instead of 10 days, if they opt for a £60 COVID-19 testing package within 48 hours of arrival and on day six, and both the results are negative. Exercise will continue to be allowed after a first negative test. The same requirement to avoid health and social care settings – except to seek emergency treatment – until ten days after arrival also applies.
If a traveller opts for a testing pathway they can isolate within a household and there will be no restrictions on the rest of the household, unless a traveller tests positive.
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. The changes will be also apply simultaneously for those already in self-isolation on 24 May, to enable an early release where appropriate.
Chief Minister, Howard Quayle MHK, said:
"We continue to work towards the ambition of unrestricted travel to and from the Island from within the British Isles by 28 June. As I have made clear, however, we must continue to monitor developments, particularly with regard to variants of the virus that give us cause for concern. The increasing spread of the Indian variant of COVID-19 in the UK is one such concern – particularly the level of infection in the North West of England – but we do hope that the evidence will continue to develop supporting that whilst this variant may spread faster, the vaccine is effective against it.
"Our aim has been to move to level 2 of our borders framework by 29 May, if the average infection rate over in the UK over 14 days was below 30 cases per 100,000 people – as measured by the ECDC (European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control). The UK COVID-19 infection rate has not dropped below this level, but remains stable at between 50 and 40 cases per 100,000 people. Because of this and concerns about the Indian variant, we have adjusted our approach slightly for this next stage in easing our border restrictions.
"We are not yet making any further changes to who can come to the Island, which the Council of Ministers feels is a prudent approach to limit the numbers of people travelling here whilst work continues to understand the impact of the Indian variant. Those who are eligible to come today and choose to come – family, property owners, people with an offer of employment and of course returning residents – will benefit from a reduced period of self-isolation. This will make travel to and from the Island for residents and eligible visitors much more viable."
The Government will continue to closely monitor developments around the spread of the India variant of COVID-19 in the UK and what impact this has on transmission, and importantly on severe illness and hospital admissions.