This is a very rough and unverified transcript of the Isle of Man Government’s Coronavirus Media Briefing held on Thursday 29 April 2021. In particular, for any legal guidance, you should seek advice from official sources.
You should not rely heavily upon it — it is transcribed by an automated speech recognition service, and I cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any local Manx words (especially in Gaelic) are more likely to be inaccurate. Also, the automated speech recognition service often converts proper nouns incorrectly (especially the spoken words “Isle of Man” to “Ireland” or “all of man”).
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Howard Quayle 0:00
Well, good afternoon, everyone. And thank you for joining us today, here with me at the podium is the Minister for Health and Social Care. And also with us is our Director of Public Health. There are quite a few changes to take you through today, which will, will require some detail. But before that, let’s get the latest figures from the Minister for Health and Social Care. David,
David Ashford 0:21
thank you, Chief Minister, the total number of tests undertaken is 53,115. The total number of tests concluded is 53,100. That means there is 15 results awaited. In the last 24 hours, there have been no new cases identified. That means the total number of cases remains at 1587. The total number of active cases is 13. And of those 13 cases, two are in hospital, one in ICU. Thank you, Chief Minister.
Howard Quayle 0:52
Thank you very much, David. And that really is good news. Doctor, you it would you like to add anything to the Minister’s comments?
Henrietta Ewart 0:59
There’s little to add other than to reaffirm the good news that we haven’t seen any sporadic cases for a week now, which suggests that the group of sporadic cases we had beyond before that have not led to any sustained transmission chains in the community. The one thing to note on that, as always, is that we still very much want people to be aware of symptoms, and to come forward for testing if they experience them. Because if we don’t test we won’t know if there is any out there in the community. Clearly at the moment, we won’t be able to pick up asymptomatic, but anyone with symptoms should come forward for testing. Thank you.
Howard Quayle 1:41
Thank you very much, Dr. urid. At Monday’s briefing, I set out changes to our self isolation period for those who contract covid 19, as well as for those they live with and high risk contacts. I also spoke about changes we were planning to make to our border restrictions, and related matters from this Saturday, the first of May. As you may recall, this is part of our COVID-19 exit framework, which was unanimously approved by Tamils last week. The framework sets out a journey for Ireland as we move away from trying to eliminate COVID-19. Instead, adapting to live in a world with the virus. The changes I am announcing today are a significant step in this journey. I’ve gone through the rationale for these changes previously. But I will do so again briefly. As it is important that remember why we are able to change our approach to COVID-19. Our vaccination programme as well advanced with the majority of the island’s population now having some protection against the virus, over three quarters of adults have now received their first dose. This is important, as it means people are less likely to die or become seriously ill with the virus. It also reduces the likelihood of transmission game changing stuff. I want to pay tribute once again to everyone who has been involved with our vaccination programme. The Isle of Man stands out with just a handful of other jurisdictions. As a world leader in COVID-19 vaccinations. Another critical factor is the level of infection of the United Kingdom. This is after all, the point from which the majority of travel to Ireland originates. The case numbers of COVID-19 in the United Kingdom have fallen significantly. Now less than 50 cases per 100,000 people. And like the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is also well advanced, helping to reduce the spread of the virus. Our third and final factor is the United Kingdom’s own border controls, such as travel bans from Red List countries with high levels of infection. These controls help to protect the Isle of Man. Let me set out then what the changes will be from this Saturday as agreed by the Council of Ministers. I apologise that there is quite a bit of detail here. But I think it is important that we set out clearly what is changing and how it will affect different people in varying circumstances. From 12 noon tomorrow, immediate family members and partners of Alamin residents, as well as those who own property on the island will be able to apply for an exemption to travel here on or after this Saturday, the first of May. As with current applications for exemptions to travel, these can be made firstname.lastname@example.org m forward slash COVID-19 or in writing. Many applications will be approved the same day, but where we need more information, a decision may take longer. For details of who qualifies as an immediate family member. are available on the COVID-19 website. But the list is extensive and includes the partners of these relatives. travellers will need to declare the family relationship as part of their application. Whilst those with property on the island will need to provide evidence of ownership. I can also announce that from the first of May, anyone with a contract of employment for at least three months can apply for an exemption to travel to the island, a reduction from the current minimum of six months. I know that our board restrictions whilst necessary and widely supported have been hard for many of our community, and of course families and loved ones off Island. But they have served as well throughout the pandemic, creating our Manx bubble, and acting as a vital line of defence against the importation and spread of COVID-19. They have undoubtedly saved lives and have bought us time for the development and rollout of vaccinations. I really am pleased that they were that we are now in a position to welcome immediate family members and partners back to our beautiful island, whilst maintaining appropriate restrictions and safeguards through isolation and testing to reduce the likelihood of the virus being brought to the island and spreading in the community.
Howard Quayle 6:20
On the subject of isolation, I also have changes to announce both the resident and non resident travellers who have been in the United Kingdom jersey and Guernsey for 14 days before their arrival onto the island will now only have to isolate for seven days instead of the 14 days to benefit from the reduced isolation period. And negative COVID-19 test will be required on arrival and on day six of isolation. After seven days of isolation and subject to negative test results on arrival, and on day six, travellers will be able to leave isolation. There will however be restrictions on where travellers can go between day seven, and day 10. These restrictions will be sensible precautions that I’m sure you would expect, for example, not taking public transport, not going to restaurants, pubs, clubs, cinemas and theatres. A similar situation to when we had de seven tests and isolation for a period last year. Full details of the restrictions will be set out in the travellers direction notice. I’m also pleased to announce that the Council of Ministers has agreed that travellers will also once again be able to isolate in shared accommodation with people they did not travel with, so long as the traveller agrees to undergo testing. Everyone in the household will be required to isolate for the seven days, but only travellers will be required to undergo testing. If a traveller chooses not to undergo testing, they will not be able to isolate and shared accommodation, they will have to travel to they will have to isolate on their own, or with those they have travelled with. If a traveller chooses not to undergo testing, they will be required to isolate for 21 days. All travellers who receive a negative arrival test result will be able to leave isolation once a day for exercise, as well as others in their household. A face covering must be worn with social distancing from anyone outside of the household. The new isolation requirements will not apply retrospectively to travellers already in isolation. So to be clear, these changes only apply to anyone who arrives on the island from Saturday onwards. I know this will be frustrating for some of those affected, but of course, we must draw a line in the sand somewhere. An important point I need to make is about additional restrictions for anyone travelling who has been outside of Guernsey, the Isle of Man, Jersey or the United Kingdom in the 14 days prior to their arrival date here. This includes Ireland, and these circumstances the traveller will need to isolate for 14 days with a test on arrival and on day 13. If a traveller chooses not to undergo testing, they will be required to isolate for 21 days, and travellers will not be able to isolate and shared accommodation. As I set out at the start the relax a lack reracked relaxation of our border restrictions reflects the progress with the vaccination programme in the UK. And they’re reducing case levels. The picture is not the same in other countries, and we must continue to protect our community. Finally on testing fees, I’ve also have changes to announce from Saturday the first of May. The fee for COVID-19 test for travellers will reduce from 50 pounds to 30 pounds per test, with only two tests required on arrival and days. So day 13 depending on the period of isolation the traveller is required to undertake. This means the overall cost of testing for a period of self isolation will reduce from 150 pounds to a maximum of 60 pounds per person. I appreciate there is a lot of detail there, and a fair amount of information to digest. The COVID website will be updated to reflect these changes, along with additional questions and answers. And of course, full details of the rules will be set out and the direction notice each traveller receives when they arrive. It is important travellers read and fully understand precisely what is legally required of them. The changes I’ve set out today are significant. Some are welcome, these changes will open arms, whilst others may be more cautious. We have restricted our borders throughout this pandemic. As we gradually ease these restrictions in a managed way, it is understandable that it may take time for seminar community to adjust.
Howard Quayle 11:04
The government will continue to closely monitor the situation. Please remember that we all have a role to play making the right choices and doing what is right for each of us personally. At the beginning of the briefing, I spoke about our journey. Our Saturday’s changes are a significant step. But there are more to come. Our attention will now turn to planning for a move from level three to level two of our borders at the end of May. I know there are a few topics that the health and social care minister would like to cover. So I’ll hand now over to David.
David Ashford 11:39
Thank you, Chief Minister mainly vaccine reminders today. The first thing as a reminder is that from the 10th of May, the stock we receive will be prioritised for delivering second doses to those who have already been vaccinated with their first. So I would urge anyone who has not registered aged 18 or above to register now because after the 10th of May, it could be up to an eight week wait for first doses. So it is supply dependent of course before we can come back and concentrate on first doses again. So I really would urge anyone who hasn’t yet registered in the age groups available which is 18 and over to please do so and get their vaccination before the 10th of May. Also another reminder for those who are receiving their vaccine appointments via email, this is not simply a confirmation email, it requires you to click the confirm my booking link within the email to confirm that you have accepted the appointment. If that is not done, then the appointment is cancelled. We have had people turning up for appointments without having confirmed and therefore the appointment had been cancelled in the system. So if you receive your appointment via email, please open the email and click on the confirm my booking link. So please also make sure you check both your inbox and junk folders for the email. Also turning to the situation with vaccines and students I know there’s been a lot of parents and students themselves who University wondering what the situation is with them and the vaccine. So those at university will be able to receive their first or second dose in either either on Ireland or in the UK, or indeed one in each jurisdiction. The likelihood is that most students will receive their first dose here on Ireland during the summer break due to the fact that we are ahead of the UK in terms of the programme. And we’ll be publishing further information on this in the coming weeks. However, in order to do so students who have registered with a GP in the UK, most registered as a temporary resident with their local surgery in the island, and those heading to university for the first time should register with a GP on arrival in the UK. This will ensure that they receive the correct second dose if it is not given in the same place as the first. So just to clarify again with university students, they will be able to receive first and second doses on Ireland or in the UK, or a mixture of the two. Thank you, Chief Minister.
Howard Quayle 14:07
Thank you very much, David. Let’s now move to questions. And first we have is Simon Richardson from business 365. Good afternoon, Simon faster mine.
Simon Richardson 14:16
Good afternoon, Chief Minister. My first question is for you in respect to the new seven day quarantine option with a test on day six. Are you confident that the testing services will be able to cope with any surge in demand on specific days and they’re all people will get their results in time to exit quarantine on day seven, and also must the book in advance.
Howard Quayle 14:39
Thank you very much. Good question, Simon. I’m sure they will. It’s something we’ve done before if you remember we had day seven testing when the situation and the figures in the United Kingdom were easier. So I hope as we move forward, we will obviously the team are working hard there will be an increase in visitors now to the island both from Saturday going forward and hope From the first of May, going forward when we can make further changes to our borders, so, yeah, we’ve got a good team. They’ve done really, really well. I’m sure there’ll be the odd teething problem, but people can bear with them. But on the whole, I am sure they will deliver and they continue to deliver the good service they already have done.
Simon Richardson 15:18
Thank you. And secondly, the prospects for people hoping to travel abroad for holidays this summer, two specific countries appear to have improved as a result of progress in the vaccination programmes in the British Isles. The rate of improvement continues. Well, young man replicates any requirements for international travel documentation that the UK may introduce in the coming weeks. And if not, will the Manx government be prepared to make its own arrangements with countries that have said they’d welcome British visitors?
Howard Quayle 15:48
Well, all our residents normally have to travel off Island through the United Kingdom, Simon to go on these holidays. So if the UK say that they will need to have a some form of identification or proof that they’ve had the vaccinations, then that’s something that we will of course, work with our people to enable them to have that documentation. So I don’t see that in the coming months, we’ll have direct flight to Europe from the Isle of Man. I think they’ll all go through the UK and therefore UK rules and regulations will have to be followed. But we will of course assist with our own population to help that. Thank you. Thank you very much, Simon. Next we have Alex Bell from BBC Isle of Man. Good afternoon, Alex faster. My
Unknown Speaker 16:30
Good afternoon, you mentioned that isolation will remain an enhanced level for people travelling from outside of the UK. And indeed Ireland. does this apply to the whole island of Ireland? And will people travelling from abroad to the Isle of Man have to quarantine in the UK first and then self isolate when they get to the Isle of Man to
Howard Quayle 16:50
know it applies first and foremost to Southern Ireland. Obviously, Northern Ireland is part of the United Kingdom and therefore they will be treated, they will be allowed to come in with the seven days, the Republic of Ireland is not far away. But sadly, their cases per 100,000 have just gone up. They had been at about 114 17 they’re now about 119. So don’t hold me to that Alex, but they need to get under 100,000. So if Island cases per 100,000 go under the magic 100 then we will be able to make changes to allow the people of Ireland to come to the island with those restrictions. They can come already if they need to come for a funeral, etc. But equally getting you have to get permission to leave Ireland in some cases. And regarding other European countries, obviously the UK has its traffic light system. And will they monitor people from countries where there are a significant infection rates or maybe a variant that causes concern? So they effectively are the gatekeeper but we will be asking people from Europe to quarantine and and wider have failed to quarantine for the 14 days. For the time being obviously, situations change when countries get to themselves get to the position that the UK is in have excellent vaccination record and infection rates being so low, then obviously we will change our position.
Unknown Speaker 18:18
Thank you. And given that we are now preparing to accept non residents onto the island for the first time on mass since last March, will there be a review of the messaging and the penalties given to people in the event of breaches of self isolation?
Howard Quayle 18:33
Yeah, there will be direction notices given to people when they arrive on the island, advise them of the rules and regulations. And obviously some of this has to be dealt with on trust. If you say you are a close relative of residents, and it turns out that you’ve lied, then there are serious penalties of such a hefty fine or imprisonment. So we will be making that clear to people but you can’t check everyone you have to go on an element of trust. But equally as I say, if there is abuse and it’s and the person is caught, they will expect a serious outcome. Thanks very much, Alex. Next, we have Sam Turton from Jeff Good afternoon, Sam faster, my
Sam Turton 19:18
faster my chief minister, first of all, it’s a question perhaps for mix the two of you in terms of visiting the prison and that the hospital that was suspended last week, initially for a period of 48 hours on review. But people haven’t heard anything forever on that and we’ve got to see what’s happening in both of these areas and when visiting is going to be allowed again. Okay,
Howard Quayle 19:37
David, are you able to
David Ashford 19:38
Yeah, I can’t. I can certainly take the health one. In relation to the hospital sandbanks cares. We assess the situation, and they’ve decided to keep the visiting restrictions in place for another week. They will then review it and the chief executive of Manx care was on the radio I believe earlier today or late yesterday, actually giving an interview explaining that it will be kept on the cons To review. But while we have still got though those three cases as it was where we didn’t know where they came from, basically, it’s been felt important that we keep the restrictions in place for the hospital visiting just to protect the vulnerable patients in the hospital. But that will be reviewed going forward and will be reviewed again at the start of next week by monks care, at which point they may be able to lift restrictions further.
Howard Quayle 20:22
I’m sure from the prison point of view, Sam, the management there will be following advice from the department of health and social care or for man’s care now on how they’re handling the hospital situation, obviously, the welfare of the prisoners, and the staff is important that we we do protect them. But I’m equally getting to see your loved ones at the weekend, I know will be important, too. So the sooner that we can move on this, I’m sure our team well.
Sam Turton 20:49
And just secondly, in terms of how well we’ve done on our own vaccine rollout and how the UK has done. There’s been pressure put on the UK government in terms of the international scene and sharing the vaccines, is this something that we’d be involved in or even our international aid which will be involved in?
Howard Quayle 21:05
Well, there’s two points there first are international aid, we have suggested that any underspend in the year will go towards helping those countries that are deemed vulnerable and need support with a vaccination to money towards buying vaccine. from the UK supply point of view, they give us the vaccine on a pro rata basis based on our population. So they are the ones with the surplus. And when they have a surplus, they have indicated that they would help out certainly with India, I know they’ve sent a lot of equipment off to when they bought at this moment in time, due to problems with printing of labels with rules and regulations and the movements of the vaccine out of Europe etc. They haven’t necessarily got this fair amount of vaccines that they would like to give to other countries at this moment in time because obviously, there’s a vast amount of second doses coming forward now. And they have to be administered within a certain period of time. But I do see support being given to other jurisdictions that need help in the near future, either financially from us or from vaccines from the UK. Thanks very much. Now we move on to Helen McKenna from Alamein newspapers. Good afternoon, Helen fester, my sister, my
Helen McKenna 22:19
ministers. My first question is for yourself, Chief Minister, what’s the government’s acting prematurely when it came to cancelling the MGP in August considering that the recently published exit framework means the islands will be open for business by July?
Howard Quayle 22:36
No, we did think long and hard about this Helen. And we spoke with the industry those are the coalface that the racing teams, the sponsors etc. and teams need to plan well in advance they need to know where they’re going to get their sponsorship from etc. And based on the feedback feedback from the industry itself, we took the decision to sadly cancel the main scrump and that’s something I personally as a man’s Grand Prix TT fan TT classic fan regretted having to do but it was based on the feedback working with the industry.
Helen McKenna 23:10
As a supplementary question, are there any funds to hold any events to attract visitors here after this point?
Howard Quayle 23:17
Yeah, I know the Department for economic development are working on events at this moment in time and I’m sure when they have more information, they’ll they’ll come forward Helen with details.
Helen McKenna 23:28
Okay, my second. Thanks. My second question for Dr. Europe please.
Unknown Speaker 23:39
Helen McKenna 23:40
thank you. Are you in support of the Guernsey style border testing here at the airport and the C terminal. And for people that are obviously once they arrive and once the borders start reopening?
Henrietta Ewart 23:53
The problem with border testing at point of arrival is it has a significant infrastructure cost. And I think the cost for Guernsey to get that set up last summer was around the 4 million mark. So that is clearly something that needs to be taken into consideration by those with responsibilities other than mine. I certainly am of the opinion that we need to keep monitoring at the border for a while yet. But how we do that has to take into account cost utility as well as just getting the tests done. So probably not a Guernsey style infrastructure at the border setup I think Thank you.
Unknown Speaker 24:35
Howard Quayle 24:35
But as Dr. You rightly said Halloween is something we constantly review when should the situation change then obviously, we will review it is not set and tablets of stone but you would have to duplicate your teams at the moment we’ve got one team at the TT grandstand. doing an excellent job we would have to have a team at the airport or team at the boat. They would have to be there all day long for when various flights and and Boat arrivals. It’s sort of logistics thing, but if it’s felt to be necessary going forward, then of course, we will revisit it. Thank you very much, Alan. Now we move on to the uncocked from three FM. Good afternoon, Leanne faster. My
Helen McKenna 25:14
Good afternoon. Both my questions are actually for the health minister, please.
David Ashford 25:23
Helen McKenna 25:25
Good afternoon. So my first question, I just wondered if the island is still on track to start allowing visits to care homes again, from May the first and if so, do you know what measures will be in place?
David Ashford 25:36
Yes, my understanding is that Manx care says that they are still in line to lift the restrictions around nursing homes next week. And the end, there may be homes that keep individual measures in place, because we have to remember that over 90% of our care homes are private homes. So while dhsc can issue guidance, it will be up to the individual homes, if they decide to keep any measures in place, but formal restrictions will disappear. So people might see a slight difference home by home, depending upon what the operators of that home decide. But certainly the formal advice is still planned to fall away on Monday.
Helen McKenna 26:11
Okay, And my second question, it’s been reported the number of people in England waiting to start hospital treatment has risen to a new record high. Do you know where that figure stands for the outlook man,
David Ashford 26:23
it differs speciality to speciality, the story you’re taking there with is the overall figure. With the UK. It’s it’s a rather blunt instrument to try and say that because what that is, is is mashing all the NHS trusts in the UK together on all the different types of operations. So actually, in some cases, which people can go online and look at because we publish quarterly, our waiting lists data. In some areas, the waiting list has actually come down. But in other areas, it’s gone up. So orthopaedics, for instance, which is what I’ve mentioned before these conferences, is something where we do need to look at what we can do to bring that down. And I believe max care will be bringing forward proposals as to how we can actually try and bring an extra resource to try and bring the lists down. But our big challenge is exactly what you’ve just identified, the UK is in the exact same position. So the amount of support we’ll be able to get from the UK will be limited when they’re dealing with their own lists.
Helen McKenna 27:20
Howard Quayle 27:21
Thank you very much. We are now we move on to Alex Watson for Manx radio. Good afternoon, Alex foster my
Unknown Speaker 27:26
Unknown Speaker 27:27
My first question is for the public health director, please.
David Ashford 27:37
Unknown Speaker 27:38
So this, it might be helpful to ask in two parts this question really, first of all, could you just clarify the purpose of the meeting that you had with the steam packet on the 25th of January, you discussed this yesterday at the Public Accounts Committee on ways to relax some of the isolation rules, could you just re clarify that the purpose of that meeting,
Henrietta Ewart 27:56
it was exactly as you’ve described it, to discuss with them the possibility of relaxing the isolation rules for their stuff based on Island.
Unknown Speaker 28:07
So the second part, then, as it was said, about three weeks, three and a half weeks later at the press conference on the 18th of February, it was then that you said that was the first time you became aware that the steam packet hadn’t been undertaking the isolation for that time that you believe them to be, which was around a year at that point. So the question is, how did you come out of the meeting on the 25th of January with the steam packet about relaxing restrictions, without finding out that those very restrictions hadn’t been in place? Because we were talking on the basis of bringing in mitigations to enable them to relax as in testing. So nobody from the steam packet said those those restrictions weren’t in place in the first place. No. So just to be clear that you think the steam packet hadn’t been truthful?
Henrietta Ewart 28:55
The steam packet did not mention that whether that is constituting deliberate lack of truthfulness or not, I wouldn’t like to speculate.
Unknown Speaker 29:05
Okay, thank you. Pleasure.
Howard Quayle 29:08
Okay, Alex, thank you very much. Next we have Paul Moulton from Alamin television. Good afternoon, Paul foster my Good afternoon.
Paul Moulton 29:17
I just won’t go back on what you were saying that about border testing. And it was said it could cost 4 million pounds put in place. You saying it’s not going to happen but you it’s not set in stone isn’t exactly what how Guernsey has been ahead of the curve because it’s being proactive, not reactive, because you’re saying you may have to go and revisit this. So it was important to you could spend the 4 million and save the 20 million per week it could cost and have us all locked down again.
Howard Quayle 29:42
No pilots that they had their own strategy. It cost 4 million with a population of 60 odd 1000 people we analysed they don’t have facilities like our TT grandstand that are much smaller jurisdiction. And we felt that our system of one centre where all our people can go to be tested work better for the Isle of Man What I said was as we move forward, it may well be that we adapt our policy, we never try and have things in tablets of stone, we’re always constantly reviewing the situation to see if we can improve as circumstances change. And health minister has anything you’d like to add on that.
David Ashford 30:17
Yeah, if I if I code Chief Minister, when jersey brought in, sorry, Guernsey brought in those border restrictions, we have to remember, they were the same as us in an elimination phase. So the amount they spent on the border testing, and all the infrastructure they put in place, was in order to facilitate an elimination strategy. We are now in a mitigation strategy. So that’s a very, very different thing. And then once we move forward from mitigation to living with COVID, as the Director of Public Health, quite rightly said, a few minutes ago, you’d still want to keep some level of testing because you’d want to do surveillance testing. But it wouldn’t necessarily be what Jersey has done, which is basically for us to keep saying jersey, Guernsey has done, which is basically in relation to a false board setup. I don’t think now with the phase were in it would be appropriate to be spending, those saw that sort of money. And as the chief minister said, there were much smaller jurisdiction that loss, they have limited entry areas, whereas we would have to duplicate the resource we already have multiple times. Now, maybe the argument could be made that that might have been made for an elimination strategy. And if we were going forward with an elimination strategy still, maybe that could be justified, but I don’t think it can when you’re in a mitigation strategy, and then moving towards a longer term strategy of living with COVID.
Paul Moulton 31:33
And as an aside, Mr. Ashford, you must be pleased that jersey have now switched us to green after leaving us on red for so long.
David Ashford 31:39
Yes. I think I said in answer to someone’s question. The other factor was when we did our interview, Paul. Yeah, it was an error on behalf of the jersey government, and they’ve corrected it as soon as it was pointed out to them.
Paul Moulton 31:52
My next question is, again, once the borders open, you’re saying people can start applying? Will you have a quota? Because I mean, obviously, there’s, you know, how many people can you look after me and we’ll all be visited during their having their new lockdown period? You know, can I get anything and get a seat on the on a boat or plane? In other words,
Howard Quayle 32:10
well, obviously, you have to have the approval pole to get there. So you go online, from Friday 12 o’clock, you will then be able to book your form, you’ll get your approval notice and then you can then travel with that. So no one can just rack up if they haven’t got their approval notice to come to the island.
Paul Moulton 32:28
Are you limiting the amount of people that?
Howard Quayle 32:30
No, we’re not. We’ve we’ve spoken to our carriers who haven’t seen a massive uptick in bookings at this moment. We think it will be gradual, and but it’s a good test as we move to level two of our borders. Paul, this will be a good test of how the systems stand up to the extra numbers. And we can learn from that. And if we need to make any extra additional resources or changes then obviously we will. Thank you very much, Paul. And last but not least, we have Josh Stokes from ITV. Granada. Good afternoon, Josh faster. My Good afternoon.
Josh Stokes 33:02
If I’m right, we’re expecting a response from the steam back investigation fairly soon. Firstly, when you’re expecting findings from that report, and we know the investigation will look at the steam packets, movements and understandings of the rules. But can you just advise if the government decisions are being looked into in the same capacity? In other words, do you expect the government will be facing proper scrutiny when
Howard Quayle 33:20
these findings? Absolutely, the investigators are tasked with saying what went wrong? Was it all one sided on the steam packet was all one sided on the Isle of Man government with the direction notices? Or was that a mixture of both? And we need to learn from this because obviously, we could see, let’s say COVID? I mentioned in the evidence COVID 25. And a chief minister should be able to take down the file that I wasn’t able to take down because it didn’t exist and learn what and read and say well, what did they do then? What was the situation? How do they handle their their weakest link which was travel onto the island? And what did they do wrong? What did they do well, and where did they tweak and make changes. So we need to ensure that going forward, we have proper protocols in place. No matter what we do either on both sides, nothing will be perfect. The steam Packard have done an excellent job providing us with our food or medicine getting our transport links here, but something for a long time nearly a year before something went wrong. We need to learn from what went wrong to ensure that we fix it and ensure that it doesn’t happen again. So I have been told that by the end of next week, I should have the report. I’ll share it with the Council of Ministers. We’ll have a quick read share it with the Public Accounts Committee with 10 more members and obviously as long as there’s no personal data data, I’ve committed to sharing it with the public.
Josh Stokes 34:46
Okay, thank you my second question. Those who will be using the patient transfer service to the UK and back will they be required to self isolate for the same amount of time as those coming from the UK this weekend?
Howard Quayle 34:57
David, you want to answer that? Yes
David Ashford 34:59
change okay. should transfer as well on the first. So they go on to the seven day pathway with testing
Josh Stokes 35:05
whether any alternative role is considered for those individuals otherwise you could have someone who is fully vaccinated travelling for a day to Liverpool and then have to isolate for seven days while there are people who have not been vaccinated coming in for the same amount of isolation time.
David Ashford 35:17
No, because the risk of exposure is still the same as we say the vaccine doors, protect the person and it reduces transmission. Again, there’s been some very excellent studies coming out in the last week. That’s very encouraging. But we know it doesn’t completely remove transmission. So the patient, the patient transfer pathway has always generally lowered the isolation requirements in place for all the travellers and it will do so again.
Josh Stokes 35:41
Okay, thank you.
Howard Quayle 35:42
Thank you very much, Josh. And thank you all very much for your questions. That’s all for today. I plan to be back at the podium next Thursday. I hope you enjoy a pleasant holiday weekend. Thank you all very much. Bye bye.