Month: February 2021

Test Test Test, Teach Teach Teach

Education Minister Dr Alex Allinson has said his department is confident about the return of students and teachers to schools tomorrow morning. Chief Minister HQ confirmed today that despite the two community cases of Covid-19, the Council of Ministers have decided against new social distancing restrictions or school closures at […]



Mystic Chess

Here is your weekly dose of Horoscopes curated by Chess AKA Mystic Chess. Aquarius (Jan 20-Feb 18)  You’re inclined to make mistakes this week. This is a sign not to get back with your ex. Or do. I’m not your Mum. Pisces (Feb 19-March 20)  It’s your birthday season! You’re […]

Schools to Open Monday

Schools will open on Monday morning as planned, the gov has announced ahead of the Chief Min’s press briefing this afternoon. No new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Isle of Man in the past 24 hours.  The Council of Ministers met earlier today to discuss the latest […]

A Brief Look at Salmond v Sturgeon

They were once the most powerful partnership in Scottish politics, banishing Labour and the Tories to the political wilderness as the SNP swept the board, but now Alex Salmond could be the man to bring down Nicola Sturgeon. Mr Salmond gave evidence to the parliamentary party on Friday when he […]

Covid Locations List Published

A number of locations have been identified which could pose a low risk of contracting COVID-19 for people who visited at specific times. It follows today’s announcement of two currently unexplained cases of COVID-19. The locations and times are as follows: Wednesday 17 February 2021 – Shoprite, Victoria Road, Douglas […]

Council Takes Precautionary Steps

Douglas Council has confirmed it is taking the following steps following the gov’s Stay At Home guidance issued today. The Eastern Civic Amenity site will be closed Sunday Only residents and essential visitors are permitted to enter sheltered housing complexes. Communal areas are now closed to residents until further notice […]

Garage is Low Risk Location

Ellan Vannin Fuels has confirmed its Brown Bobby petrol station on Peel Road has been identified as a low risk Covid location. In a statment, the company said: ‘We have been contacted by track and trace around half hour ago who have identified our Brown Bobby store as a Low […]

Stay At Home

Nine new cases of Covid-19 have been detected in the Isle of Man.  Six of the cases relate to the recently identified cluster and all six individuals were already in self-isolation.  One of the cases is an individual already self-isolating following travel to the Island. The remaining two cases cannot […]

Saturday News

Bevan Goes Over for Sale Bevan Rodd Manx rugby star Bevan Rodd scored his first try for Sale Sharks on Friday night. The prop went over the line just before halftime in the English Premiership game against reigning champions Exeter Chiefs. Bevan played about 60 minutes of the game, with […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Shape the Future of HealthCare The DHSC is recruiting two Manx residents to help shape its strategic decision-making as part of the ongoing programme of work to transform the delivery of health and social care in the Isle of Man. The Patient, Public and Service User Representatives will provide an […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Beach Buddies Bill Dale’s charity heads north this Sunday, with the Buddies tackling the Point of Ayre. The meeting point is at 10.30am on the northern side of the main lighthouse. Last weekend was a record-breaker when 117 people joined in on Douglas beach, boosted by the team from Plastic […]

Charity Welcomes Rollout

A diabetic charity has welcomed the announcement by Health Minister David Ashford that the prescription rollout of important technology is underway. This week in Keys, Mr Ashford confirmed that 60 residents have been assessed and offered the Freestyle Libre after the unavoidable delays caused by Covid-19. The Freestyle Libre is […]

Air and Sea Crews Get Jabs

Vaccination sessions are being organised for staff at the island’s air and sea carriers.  Jabs will be offered to crew at the Steam Packet, the Ramsey-based sea freight carrier Mezeron, along with Isle of Man-based crew at flight operator Loganair and air ambulance provider IAS Medical.  The vaccine rollout to […]

Consultation on Capacity Bill

The public are invited to give their views on the island’s first draft Capacity Bill, which aims to enhance the protection of people who are unable to make their own decisions.  A consultation which has just gone live offers a further opportunity to help shape a landmark piece of legislation […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Are You a Good Listener? Manx National Heritage is looking for good listeners to help them to unlock the Isle of Man’s sound heritage.  ‘Listening Volunteers’ are wanted to listen to voice recordings from the island’s past, part of ‘Unlocking Our Sound Heritage’, a UK wide project to preserve and […]

We Feel Let Down by Gov

A member of staff at the Steam Packet has told Gef the crew feel ‘let down’ by the gov and are in ‘disbelief’ to hear they were expected to isolate themselves for the past year. Since we spoke to the crew member, the gov has announced that the Steam Packet’s […]

Oxford Jab Gap Extended

The gap between first and second doses of one of the vaccines being used in the island’s COVID-19 vaccination programme is to be extended to up to 10 weeks.  Delivery of first jabs has been prioritised in the UK in order to protect more people in the short term, to […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Plan to Ban Cars from Road Bad news for regular users of the road to nowhere and it’s suspiciously busy car park, as the DoI plans to ban cars from the entire length of Marine Drive. A consultation document allowing access only for pedestrians and cyclists. The gov says: ‘It […]

Sturgeon’s Roadmap

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the Scottish Parliament that she plans to lift restrictions gradually, with ‘more substantial’ plans to come from the end of April onwards. Ms Sturgeon said the last week of April should see a ‘phased but significant re-opening of the economy’. She told SMPs […]

Snaefell Surgery Will Not Close

Health Minister David Ashford has guaranteed that Snaefell Surgery in Anagh Coar will not be closing, despite the current practice partners returning their contact. Last week the partners informed the department they intend to hand back their contract and cease operating the practice after a six month notice period.  A […]

Coffee and Noodle Bar To Reopen

The owner of Java Express Coffee Shop and Noodle Bar has told Gef her staff have all tested negative for Covid-19.  Following all procedures required of them, the business will reopen its doors tomorrow morning. Virginia Harding told Gef: ‘I am pleased to inform you that after initially being contacted […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

GP Surgery on the Move Finch Hill GPs are moving into the former Promenade Surgery in Chester Street car park. Finch Hill has taken on a significant number of patients who were formerly with the Promenade practice, which closed in June 2020. Its premises on the first floor of Chester […]

Customers Told To Isolate

As a precaution, customers who were at Java Express Coffee Shop & Noodle Bar on Tuesday 16 February between 12.30pm and 1.30pm are being asked to immediately self-isolate, along with others in their household, and contact the COVID 111 Service.   The shop was identified as a low risk location […]

GP Surgery Moves to Chester Street

Finch Hill GP practice in Douglas is preparing to move to larger premises in the capital to accommodate an expanding operation and provide improved facilities for patients and staff.  The vacant former Promenade Medical Centre is to be the new home for Finch Hill GP practice from this April. The […]

Boris’ Exit Strategy

In news exclusive to every news organisation in Britain, Boris will today announce his plans for England exiting lockdown. Because of the powers of the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, his changes will largely only affect England. His plan: March 8 – schools reopening and two people […]

MLP Outlines Spending Priorities

The Manx Labour Party has outlined what it would include in a budget if its members were in a coalition inside Tynwald. The party has released a set of measures, designed to help develop warmer homes, quality affordable social housing, community-owned renewable energy, cleaner air in towns, health and wellbeing, […]

One New Location Identified

Following further contact tracing, one additional location has been identified that could pose a low risk of contracting COVID-19 for people who visited at specific times.   The location and time is as follows:   Wednesday 17 February 2021 Co-Op, Christian Street, Ramsey from 6.15pm to 6.30pm It is important […]

The Extra-Special Talking Mongoose

Christopher Josiffe, author of the award-winning Gef! The Strange Tale of an Extra-Special Talking Mongoose (Strange Attractor Press, 2017) has written widely on the paranormal, esoteric and weird, and is news editor for Fortean Times magazine. This second edition of his book was announced this week and it includes a […]

Tynwald Written Answers

This week’s Tynwald also saw the return of written questions, here’s a selection of some of the biggest answers from the February sitting. Key Workers From December 1 to January 31, 185 key worker exemptions were granted between five gov departments. Onchan MHK Julie Edge asked the Chief Minister how […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Covid  We try to avoid Covid in these round ups, but it’s kinda impossible today. So to catch you up, on Friday morning the gov said these places carried a low risk of Covid. Monday 15 February 2021 WH Smith from 9.45am to 10.15am Boots 9.45am to 10.15am TK Maxx […]

Five New Locations Announced

Following further contact tracing, five additional locations have been identified that could pose a low risk of contracting COVID-19 for people who visited at specific times.   The locations and times are as follows:   Wednesday 17 February 2021 Carrefour Health Club, Douglas from 12.30pm to 1.30pm The Juice Bar, […]

From Calm Seas to Choppy Waters

Since we closed our borders March 27 2020, the island’s freight companies have kept our supermarkets stocked, our fridges full and provided a link to the outside world. Of them all, the taxpayer owned arms length Steam Packet Company has been heralded by the gov as our lifeline, with the […]

Viking Treasure Found on Island

Finder Kath Giles pictured with Allison Fox, MNH Curator for Archaeology holding the newly discovered silver “thistle brooch” A stunning collection of Viking Age artefacts discovered on the Isle of Man has been declared Treasure by Coroner of Inquests Jayne Hughes. The internationally significant find consists of a gold arm-ring, […]

Feb 18 Gov Briefing Update


Gef’s Daily Roundup

Football Club Targeted by Vandals Onchan AFC’s junior setup on Blackberry Lane has been targeted by idiots with nothing better to do than smash up a container used for toilets and storage. The club, which has over 200 junior members from the village, Douglas and further around the island, has […]

Seven Covid Cases Confirmed

Seven new cases of Covid-19 has been identified on the island. Following an immediate overnight response from the contact tracing team after a new case was found yesterday, an additional six cases have been identified. Contact tracing has also identified a number of close contacts who have been advised to […]

Steam Packet Crew Member Has Covid

The Steam Packet has confirmed an island-based crew member has tested positive for Covid-19. A company spokesman said: ‘The individual, who does not hold a passenger-facing role, had the test whilst off-duty and has been placed in immediate isolation. ‘Contact tracing is underway and a handful of colleagues who the […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

GP Surgery to Close Our main story of the day has been the announcement by GPs at Snaefell Surgery in Anagh Coar that the practice is to close its doors. The Drs are blaming ‘wholly insufficient’ funding from the DHSC. You can read more about that here. Island to Join […]

FA Launches Discrimination Survey

A survey, aimed at gathering data on ethnicity and discrimination in Manx football has been launched by Isle of Man FA. The move follows an approach to the IOMFA by local player Furo Davies, along with the People of Colour Isle of Man group, who brought their thoughts and experiences […]

MHKs respond to GP Closure

Douglas South MHKs Claire Christian and Captain Paul Quine have for a swift resolution to the potential closure of a doctors’ practice in their constituency. It has been announced that Snaefell Surgery in Anagh Coar is due to close after partners at the GPs in Anagh Coar this week informed […]

GP Practice to Close

A GP practice in south Douglas has terminated its contract with the gov, citing ‘wholly insufficient’ funding. GP partners at Snaefell Surgery in Anagh Coar this week informed the department they intend to hand back their contract and cease operating the practice after a six month notice period.  A statement […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Budget Day Check out our socials and to see loads of coverage of and reaction to today’s Budget. Beach Buddies Beach Buddies will be taking to Douglas beach this weekend as the charity seeks to tidy up the seafront after our recent stormy weather. Founder Bill Dale said: ‘We […]

School Is Cancelled

Taylorian Productions’ School of Rock show has been cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.  The show was originally scheduled for 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic. Now in an email sent to members of the cast and crew, seen by Gef, Producer/Co-Founder Matt James has confirmed it has […]

Hey Big Spender

The Capital Programme in this year’s Budget totals spending of £182,382,000. The majority of the Capital Programme for 2021/22 will be undertaken by the Department of Infrastructure in line with their responsibility to manage and maintain the bulk of Government’s infrastructure and its own share of the public sector housing […]

Budget At A Glance

Treasury Minister Alf Cannan’s fifth and (probably) final Budget of this administration has  been called a “budget of resilience” which the gov seeking to stabilise the economy, protect jobs and invest in vital public services while providing a platform for economic recovery from the pandemic. It will see £1.161 billion […]

Key Figures From This Year’s Budget

Government revenue spending for 2021/22 is budgeted at £1.161 billion, representing £13,740 for every person on the Island – an increase of 3.3%. Some of the highlights of this year’s Budget include: No increase in income tax or National Insurance Personal tax allowance up to £14,250 (up £3,750 since 2016) […]

Share Your Views on Primary Care

There’s a chance to air and share views on the future shape of healthcare services such as GPs, dentists and opticians from the comfort of your own home, at two online focus groups this month.  The initiative follows a recent survey when the public were invited to respond to the […]

Gef’s Budget Preview

Tomorrow is Budget day and Treasury Minister Alf Cannan will present his fifth and final Budget to Tynwald and the Great Manx Public.  In a financial year where Covid had us forced to stay at home, our tourist economy collapsed, the TT was cancelled and Brexit finally happened, this has […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Unemployment Up Unemployment has seen another increase following the island’s circuit breaker lockdown. The figure had been steadily dropping from last year’s record high, but February saw an increase of 274 people with 1,034 registered as out of work. This is also up 630 on January 2020. The unemployment rate […]

Quing’s Stories of Hope

Members of the community mental health charity Quing have shared their experiences of the support it has given them and how it helped them to help themselves and others. All stories have been anonymised. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2004. In 2008 I fell into such a deep depression […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Preparing for Snow As an amber weather warning was issued and the island prepared for snow to hit on Saturday, the DoI was readying its fleet of gritters. A spokesman said: ‘We have an expanded team on the road tomorrow. There will be 6 gritters out  from early morning putting […]

Quing’s Stories of Hope

Members of the community mental health charity Quing have shared their experiences of the support it has given them and how it helped them to help themselves and others. All stories have been anonymised. My childhood was unhappy, unstable, abusive but I do have a few happy memories. I had […]

Gef’s Daily Roundup

Beach Buddies Stay at Home Beach Buddies is cancelling this weekend’s activities due to the strong possibility of roads across the island being seriously affected by the forecast of snow and sub-zero temperatures.  Founder Bill Dale said: ‘It’s also Valentine’s Day on Sunday – so our male volunteers can now […]

Hunt on for Education CEO

The Gov is on the hunt for a permanent Chief Executive Officer to lead the Department of Education, Sport and Culture (DESC). Earlier this week, the DESC dropped its controversial Education Bill. It comes after former CEO Prof Ronald Barr left shortly after the arrival of Dr Alex Allinson as […]