Chief Appears on Sky News

Chief Minister Howard Quayle has told Sky News the Great Manx Public are the ones to congratulate for the success of our circuit break lockdown.

The Chief was appearing on Sky News this morning as the island’s circuit break lockdown came to an end. The Isle of Man is one of a very few, if not the only, place in the British Isles where no covid restrictions are currently in place for residents other than those travelling.

Asked how the island has managed to cope with Covid and return to our old ‘new normal’, HQ said: ‘Well we had no Covid on the Isle of Man from June 15 [2020] to Jan 7, sadly we had some cases on the Isle of Man so we had to go in quick and fast and shut down our island to enable us to eradicate. We have a government policy of eradication of Covid, not living with it and I suppose I put that success down to the Great Manx Public, they’ve been very supportive, patriotics, a great community spirit and it is because of the GMP that we find ourselves in this fortunate position again.’

Sky News reporter Niall Patterson asked HQ whether he had concerns there could be undetected cases of Covid that would emerge post lockdown.

HQ said: ‘Not really Neil, obviously we can never say never but we’ve had 20 days now without any unexplained community cases. The cases we have had recently have been related to travel and we make everyone quarantine, isolate for 14 days before we allow them back into the community, having had three tests, so we’re pretty confident when they come out of their quarantine that they haven’t got Covid, so you can never say never, but we’ve waited a while, we’ve done this before, our circuit break lockdown has lasted for three weeks and it does seem to have worked.’

Asked about the island’s vaccine rollout, HQ said the island is ‘very similar to the UK’s’ and thanked the UK for assisting the island in getting doses of vaccine. He admitted that the island is behind the UK on the vaccine roll out by the percentage of people who have been jabbed, but that we will catch up in the coming weeks. 

The Chief finished his interview by paying tribute to the ‘Great People of the UK’ and sent the island’s best wishes to Captain Sir Tom Moore who he said has a ‘great Manx name’.