Health Minister David Ashford MHK today outlined plans to allow the safe return of Isle of Man residents who did not make it back before the Island’s borders were closed on Friday 27 March.
Those returning will be placed in quarantine for 14 days at a specially-repurposed hotel on the Island.
During those 14 days, people will be required to follow strict self-isolation procedures but will be able to use a dedicated exercise area, under supervision. No visitors will be allowed.
Only those showing no symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed to return and health checks will take place at the port.
Isle of Man Steam Packet ferries will be used to transport residents, who will be kept separate from others and required to self-isolate.
The first sailing will be on Wednesday 15 April, leaving Heysham at 2.15pm.
After reaching Douglas, passengers will be escorted to the quarantine facility.
There will be an application process for those wishing to return, who will be allocated one of the weekly sailings. Further information regarding the application process will be released over the next week.
Manx residents who are currently off-Island and have already contacted the Isle of Man Government will be told how to apply. Those who have not been in touch must make contact to start the process, and should email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Minister Ashford said:
‘We have been working on establishing the protocols of how we could return our residents in a safe and managed way since the borders were closed.
‘The Chief Minister has always been clear that it had to be at the right time and done in the right way to ensure the Isle of Man is not put at greater risk.
‘The plans that we have established have been informed by the very best clinical advice that we have received.’
All costs must be met by those returning, including those incurred at the quarantine facility. Those on certain benefits may be exempt.