Tynwald In Brief

Up to 30 of the island’s secondary school teachers look set to be starting off the new year working from home. 

Figures released in Tynwald by Education Minister Dr Al, shows that Ballakermeen High School expects a maximum of 10 teachers to be working from home. He was asked how many teachers will be isolating in the first week of term. At St Ninian’s, Dr Al expects this to be nine at the most while Ramsey Grammar will have six, QE II three and Castle Rushen two. The only primary school expecting a teacher to be working from home is Onchan, with one. There are 828 teachers in the island’s schools.

The Zip Trip application, used to provide passengers with information on the island’s bus services, is to be withdrawn.

Infrastructure Minister Tim Baker, who has responsibility for buses, said the ‘application has not been a success’ but did say that the need for a similar application ‘has been demonstrated’. He added: The DoI is examining alternatives that will provide real time information, journey planning and mobile ticketing.’

Between March and November this year, £3,381,352 of taxpayers’ money was set aside to underwrite the island’s air routes. 

The government has been paying Scottish airline Loganair to ensure vital air links are continued for patient transfers and key workers granted a travel exemption. In response to the question from Liberal Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper MHK, DoI Minister Tim Baker said of the total underwrite offered ‘the total actually paid in supporting the island’s air routes was £3,298,265’.

The Area Plan for the East could yet be challenged in the High Court.

The plan, which zones the island’s eastern district to set aside areas for development, recreation and infrastructure, was approved by Tynwald in November. Policy and Reform Minister Ray Harmer confirmed that any person who ‘feels aggrieved by the area plan’, has six weeks from the date of publication. In short this means anyone could appeal to have the plan quashed or amended to the High Court by January 8 2021. Mr Harmer added: ‘As there is still time to apply to the High Court, until this period has ended, it is right to anticipate that there could be a legal challenge.’

A total of 5,455 tests were carried out across October and November.

Between October and November, the government averaged 89 Covid tests per day with those calling 111 to have a test being seen either on the same day or within 24 hours. Results from the PCR test take five hours, while a rapid test takes one hour. Tests are run twice a day at 8.30am and 12.30pm. All tests were returned within 24 hours.