Isle of Man scraps all Covid lockdown restrictions allowing pubs to reopen today

Pubs have reopened as the Isle of Man scrapped all its lockdown restrictions today.

Punters enjoyed a pint in the early hours after boozers opened their doors at one past midnight.

Residents on the island famous for its Grand Prix will no longer have to social distance from this morning, The Sun reports.

All schools and businesses will reopen with locals no longer asked to stay at home or wear masks.

Just 15 cases of coronavirus have been reported among its 85,000 population since January 31 last year.

Isle of Man Chief Minister Howard Quayle today announced a raft of changes to its "circuit breaker" restrictions on the island.

Gyms and restaurants will also reopen and employees can return to work as normal in most settings.

The majority of public services will return to normal operation in the coming days – but the Isle of Man borders remain closed.

Residents on the island and key workers are able to freely travel but there's a mandatory 21 day self-isolation period when returning to the island.

The Isle of Man, which is not part of the UK, was the first place in the British Isles to remove social distancing restrictions on June 15 2020.

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With the exception of the border being closed to non-residents, the island had been free from restrictions since then, until a second circuit breaker lockdown was introduced on January 7 2021.

The Isle of Man hit the headlines last year when a jetski Romeo was jailed for crossing the Irish Sea to meet his girlfriend on the island.

Mr Quayle said: "We have been encouraged by the latest data, and we do not believe there is currently any evidence of community transmission.

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"So, for those who are looking forward to catching up with loved ones and resuming normal life, we are as confident as we can be that it is safe to do so.

"We will, therefore, be lifting all lockdown restrictions for businesses and individuals from Monday.

"On February 1, residents can go out, visit friends and loved ones, children can go back to their classrooms, and businesses can reopen their doors.

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"Social distancing and face coverings will be a matter of personal choice.

"Across the island, remarkable work has been done to keep the numbers of new cases low, and we have cause for optimism as a result.

"Although we are so fortunate on the Isle of Man, there is still a pandemic going on around us, so we should keep our wits about us as we go forward."

The Isle of Man was able to limit the spread of the virus after closing its borders during the first lockdown in March last year.

It has now begun its vaccine rollout and Health Minister David Ashford said everyone on the island will be offered a coronavirus jab by the end of September.

He added that those aged 50 and over would receive the jabs by the end of May, with the rest of the population to follow.

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