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Delays expected for first arrivals under new 'vaccination exemption'

Extra teams at ports to help Monday arrivals

People arriving on the Island on Monday under the 'no test or isolation' vaccination exemption pathway, should expect some level of delay as the new system beds in.

The border policy changes at 12:01am on 28 June to allow those fully vaccinated to travel to the Isle of Man without having to isolate or have a Covid-19 test.

The move marks the most significant shift in the border policy in more than a year.

Government says extra teams are going to be working at the ports as the change is established.

Potential 'bumps' in the system are expected but are being prepared for by those on hand to help arrivals.

What are the issues we're expecting?

Currently the law allows family and loved ones to come here, with a mandatory test and isolation on arrival, and then you can move freely after a negative test is returned.

And that means when you register to travel and fill out your landing form, you do so under those measures.

The potential issue for some arrivals early next week, who qualify for the new exemption, is that they can only apply online from 10am on Monday.

That's because the new rules come into force, and into law, at one minute past midnight on 28 June.

Legally, the new process cannot start and applications cannot be taken until the law changes. 

But people don’t need to worry, anyone arriving who is fully vaccinated can still avoid isolation and testing if they bring photo ID and proof of their vaccination status with them.

They’ll also need to complete the paperwork when they arrive at the airport or sea terminal.

This may include people who have applied under an existing exemption, such as being immediate family.  

What do people do to prepare?

First, don't panic. The good news is government is very aware that there will be teething problems as the new system beds in, which is why extra teams are going to be working at the ports for the first couple of days.

Essentially, they're expecting people to present these issues, and will be able to sort it out manually.

That may mean applying and approving the new applications then and there, which could take a bit longer than normal.

Basically whatever the issue, they will be able to help you, and want to reassure people that no one who qualifies for the new exemption will be turned away.

What documentation do people need?

First and foremost, whatever travel exemption you're coming here under (or leaving) you need to have ID - passport or driving license.

With this new exemption people are also asking how they can prove that they've had both vaccinations and two weeks have elapsed.

To do this, you can show the card you were issued with when you had your vaccination.

For those happy with phones and apps - there's the NHS AppPatient Access app, however this is not yet available for IoM residents wishing to return to the Island to use as patient vaccination data is still being transferred.

Once the app has been finalised, you will be able download it, register, and have access to all your medical records - including your Covid-19 vaccines - and therefore you have your proof.

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