In the run up to Christmas, Gef is speaking to people who have found themselves stuck off island and unable to return due to the border closure. One man who contacted us told Gef about how he and his fiance, who are both from the island but work in London, have been unable to return and may have to abandon their plans for a Manx wedding.
‘We were on the island the day before the border originally closed, finalising some details for our wedding we had booked a year previously for August 2020. We assumed at the time that the virus wouldn’t still be as dominant in the world as it still is today and hoped that our wedding would still be going ahead. Eventually we made the decision to postpone the wedding after coming to the conclusion we wouldn’t be able to have the day we always imagined after being together for 12 years. We decided to just wait and see things through when they were safe again.
‘Around the summer time a few of our friends who have also lived in England, but were originally from the island, had booked trips back to the island and were able to return with the two week isolation. Most are still there today but some returned shortly after their isolation period.
‘We then decided to make arrangements to return for August time to see our family and make some new arrangements for our new wedding date. We were instantly refused. I tried explaining my situation many times but with no luck, accepting defeat and waiting for Christmas to return home. Once again we were denied to return to the island and I actually dealt with a very rude gentleman over the phone who was very unsympathetic.
‘There are many reasons I would love to come home but I understand why we can’t as of yet to keep the island safe but what does frustrate me is that students are allowed to return, residents can leave then return and then to top it all off I see some billionaire get married on the island when they didn’t plan to in the first place just because they own a property on the island.
‘The fact that everyone that arrives on the Isle of Man has to isolate for two weeks makes absolute sense but to stop anyone seeing their immediate family while also doing the same two week isolation frustrates the hell out of me. We have put money into businesses on the island for our wedding day and some of it is even non refundable. We have no intention of cancelling our wedding on the island as it’s something we both have always dreamed of but we can’t wait forever to be married.
‘I hope to return at some point soon as surely it’s more safe for me and my partner to come to the island and isolate for two weeks to see our family than all our family leaving the island and putting themselves at risk. I’m just hoping to get back in February for my brother’s wedding now and failing that May for our rescheduled date. Fingers crossed!’