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Island to enter 'circuit breaker' lockdown

Announcement comes after seven new cases reported

The Isle of Man will enter a lockdown from midnight tomorrow over fears of spread of Covid-19 in the community.

The announcement was made by Chief Minister Howard Quayle today (5 Jan), after seven positive cases were identified in the last day.

He says the changes will come into effect from after midnight tomorrow night, but is encouraging people to follow them as soon as possible.

Social distancing will be reintroduced and gatherings with those not in your immediate household are banned.

 

The lockdown will last for 21 days, in what's being described as a 'hard and fast' response.

Face coverings must be worn on public transport, with exercise permitted 'once a day' but not with those outside your household.

Those who can work from home are asked to do so by Thursday.

The construction sector will be asked to stop work

Weddings and collective worship will not be able to take place, and funeral's will only be able to be held with a maximum of ten people.

Attendance at schools will not be compulsory.

It's not yet known if the cases are the new, more transmissible variant of the virus.

Public Health Director Dr Henrietta Ewart says the seven new cases have a large number of close contacts, spread over several locations. 

It means Public Health isn't confident it has closed the 'wider chain', and that further transmission could take place while contact tracing is underway.

The decision was also taken to protect the government's vaccination programme and ensure health services aren't under pressure.

This story will be updated once more information is provided. 

Hear the chief minister's detailing the measures below: