Here are some questions that members of the media might want to ask at the IOM Government briefing on 27 March:
Yesterday, the Isle of Man Government announced an extension of the Coronavirus Business Support Scheme to include the Construction and Education Sectors (note, as of writing, their website has not been updated).
-At the press briefing on Wednesday, 25 March, you said that the Treasury Minister would address the media during the press conference on Thursday, 26 March. Why was this promise not kept?
-Why was this extension of grants not disclosed during the press conference?
-Why won’t the Government extend this grant scheme to the entire small business economy, instead of on a sector-by-sector basis? Does the Government think this pandemic is only affecting workers and businesses in certain economic sectors?
Yesterday afternoon, immediately prior to the press briefing, Douglas Borough Council announced on Twitter that the Eastern Civic Amenity Site will be closed to the public from 3.45 pm on Thursday 26th March 2020 until further notice.
-Did the Isle of Man Government know of this decision prior to yesterday’s media briefing?
-If so, why did you not disclose it? If not, why did you not know about the closure of an important piece of community infrastructure?
At sometime yesterday, the Isle of Man Government Coronavirus website was updated to say that returning travellers “can also leave the house to exercise if you DO NOT have symptoms, but stay at least 2 metres away from other people.” This change was highlighted by Manx people posting on Facebook.
-Why and when was this change made? Why does this Government website say it has not been updated since Tuesday 24 March?
-Why was this change not publicised during the press conference?
-Why does the Isle of Man Government website not have a clear timeline showing updates and changes?
-How can the public follow the rules on self-isolation if not even Members of the House of Keys are informed of such changes?
At 5:35pm yesterday afternoon, the Isle of Man Police announced on Twitter the arrest, charging, remand and scheduling of a court hearing for the man. When did you find out about this?
Given that these pieces of important community news became widely shared and communicated to the public using social media, and not the “official” channels, does the Chief Minister regret his comments criticising the accuracy of social media on 19 March?