Gef’s Weekly Skeet

In a week when we had the arrival of the Pfizer vaccine and a man on a jet ski got everyone talking, we’ve got the latest skeet…


Jet ski man

A love sick roofer made headlines around the world as Dale McLaughlan arrived on the island by jet ski to visit his girlfriend. Dale was jailed for four weeks and will be escorted to the boat after he is released from prison. His four and half hour journey saw him cross the sea to the island, walk from Ramsey to Douglas before going for a night on the town. HQ criticised Dale, saying he could’ve endangered not only his own life but the lives of Manx residents. However, Chess Bradley wondered why she couldn’t find a man with such dedication.

The vaccine has landed

Delivered early on Wednesday morning, the gov is putting the final preparations in place for the roll out of the Pfizer vaccine to begin, starting with care homes, health and care staff and the over 80s. Ashy confirmed that we have two cases of 975 doses of the vaccine and that the first vaccination will be carried out on either Monday or in the new year.

Gov to introduce 10 day testing?

An email seen by Gef says that the Council of Ministers has requested officers make preparations for day one and day 10 testing for people arriving in the island.

If the second test returns a negative result then people would be able to end their isolation period early. The email said the gov is ‘intending to use testing to support a move to day 10 testing and release from self isolation’. However it adds that the gov will also ‘take into account levels of Covid infection in the UK before a final decision to implement this is taken’.

Boot steps in 

The Cosy Nook cafe in Port Erin has been given a stay of execution by Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot. Port Erin Commissioners have submitted an application to replace it with a modern cafe/restaurant. It would serve as a daytime beach-side venue and a restaurant in the evening. Mr Boot has issued a Building Preservation Notice which will protect the Cosy Nook for the short term from demolition. Importantly this does not mean the building will be registered but it does allow time for further investigations to be carried out.

No new equipment from the Chinese firm Huawei can be installed on the island from the end of this year.

The government, alongside Jersey and Guernsey is working to safeguard the island’s telecoms networks and address the ‘risks associated with the use of Chinese technology from high risk vendors’. A recent report to the UK’s NSA has determined the security risks in relation to Huawei resulting from the inability to source specific equipment parts due to trade restrictions imposed by the USA. 

Unemployment in the Isle of Man fell again last month, with 770 people registered as being out of work.

This is down 27 from October (797) and gives an unemployment rate of 1.8%. However, the International Labour Organisation estimates that 1,215 individuals were unemployed and looking for work in November 2020, compared with 1,242 in October 2020. 

Local authority rents going up

Public housing rents in the island will go up by 1% from April. The increase has been announced by the DoI (which is in charge of social housing) following consultation with the island’s 15 local authorities. Tenants in social housing will see an average weekly rent increase of between 73p and £1.52, depending upon the size of their home.

Santa Dash

Hundreds of Santas, a few elves, some snowmen, a couple of reindeer, The Grinch and a pony took part in this year’s Douglas Santa Dash. Heading down Prospect Hill and Victoria Street, along the prom and back up Finch Road, this year’s event was organised by Nedgroup after the Isle of Man Bank withdrew its support from the annual event.

HQ update:

The Chief confirmed this week he has granted a border exemption to Father Christmas and his reindeer to ensure he can visit the island next week. 

IOM C-19 weekly figures

There are three active cases of Covid-19. Two are isolating at home while one is in Noble’s.