Tynwald has sat for what they promised is the last time this year, here is what you need to know.
I wish we’d closed earlier
Chief Minister HQ has told members he wished the gov had closed the borders a week earlier at the start of the pandemic. Mr Quayle was asked what he would do differently if given the chance again. The island’s borders were closed on March 27 to everyone, including residents, with exemptions being granted for key workers.
Hooper’s bid to overturn test charge fails
A move by Lib Vannin leader Lawrie Hooper MHK to remove a £50 charge for testing returning residents has been narrowly defeated thanks to the CoMin block vote. Mr Hooper was seeking support to remove the £50 charge for two tests that returning residents may opt to take Covid tests on day 1 and day 13 of their isolation. Mr Hooper said he’d ‘never had to pay for a test in my life’ but Chief Minister HQ and his ministers defended the charge saying it reduces the cost to the taxpayer.
Weekly vaccine updates
The Chief Minister has confirmed he is open to providing a weekly update as to how many residents have been vaccinated. Middle MHK Bill Shimmins asked HQ to commit to the weekly figures to help keep the public informed of the progress. HQ said as long as the figures did not compromise personal data, he could see no reason why the figure couldn’t be confirmed each week. Mr Quayle also told Tynwald that Manx residents will not get to choose what vaccine they are given. The only likely exceptions to this would be on medical grounds.
Cops keep access
The island’s police will continue to have the same access to systems in the UK as they do now. The Manx police have access to the UK criminal database, which HQ said will carry on in the future, but have not and will not have direct access to databases further afield. ‘Whatever the UK has going forward, our own police force will have access to that.’
Four active cases
The Chief also told Tynwald that there are four active cases of Covid-19 on the island. This was the first update to figures since Christmas Eve when there were three active cases. All the individuals are isolating and there is no community transmission.