Howard, Dr Al, Dr Henny, David


  • 15 results awaiting 
  • 2 new cases from a known source 
  • 10 active cases
  • 1 ICU patient – someone who returned from the UK with Covid

Understand concern 

We knew we’d see some again, but hope we’d have a bit more time

Additional cases overnight – these new positives are from a member of one of those households

Contact Tracing building a picture 

We have a concern that there is a level of community transmission 

Lots of people self-isolating and we’re cracking on with testing too

Dr A (post lockdown 3 haircut)

One of the recent cases is from Bunscoill Rhumsaa

Thanks to everyone for acting quickly and responsibly 

The school had a deep clean last night

We will continue to closely monitor the situation and provide regular updates

If any kids or adults have symptoms, stay at home and call 111


Good that many of the settings were using PPE

Dr Henny 

Disappointing that we do still have community transmission 

Need to get everything under control quickly so it doesn’t get out of control

In a better situation, this time around as so many have been vaccinated 

Need to think about what we can do to protect ourselves and others 

Wash hands frequently, wear a mask in a crowded area, respect people’s distance

If you have symptoms stay home and get tested


COMEN continue to monitor the situation 

Tynwald has unanimously voted through the Exit Plan 

All about mitigation now, but what does it mean?

  1. Learning to live with the virus 
  2. Personal choices – gov will only intervene when it’s really necessary
  3. Doing what we can to reduce the impact on our community

We’re not proposing to introduce any legal restrictions

One of the big differences now is our vaccination programme. 

Including 94% of those who are most vulnerable

The protection the vax gives our society is a game-changer

We’re stepping out but we’re not walking away 

Looking at testing options going forward and 111 will be on standby 

We’ll be giving you loads of information so you can make the right decisions

We’ll be sharing lots of advice to support you 

Talking about the 3 C’s – how the virus spreads

Close contact, crowded places and confined spaces

You’ll hear messages about staying safe – hands, face, space 

We want people and businesses to think about distancing and masks

And just stay at home if you have symptoms. Wouldn’t go to work if you have chickenpox would ya? Think of Covid in the same way.

We need businesses to keep customers and staff safe 

Safe to assume that those businesses who engage in best practice now will be least affected in the future. I know businesses are working on this.

Ready to support businesses who want to do the right thing 

Some businesses are supporting staff who WFH, that’s a smart move, would encourage others to think about it.

If you’re in your 20’s – please register for your jab and read accurate information


Josh: Emphasis shifted to personal choice. If it gets worse will gov take responsibility or blame the public?

Howard: Check out the levels Josh, atm we’re at level 0. If we see a significant rise then we’ll move through the stages. Would only expect this to happen if we see a new variant. If people are following advice we would hope to be able to contain this.

Working together, going forward. 

David: It’s a fine line to tread. Need to put power back into people’s hands. We can issue guidance but people need to make their own decisions. 

We’ve had a fascination around case numbers, it’s the impact of those cases that matter. It’s a learning culture for all of us going forward. 

Josh: What reassurance can you give the Manx public that the lifting of restrictions won’t lead to a 4th lockdown?

Howard: Never say never but we are in a much stronger position thanks to the vaccine. 

Sam: The planned dates for the framework. If the UK drops quicker than planned, could borders open earlier?

Howard: It isn’t a fixed date, it may well be that we can shave a week or too off. Depends on vaccination roll out and UK levels. But not making any promises

David: Good question Sam. People shouldn’t get fixed on dates, not set in stone. The virus means twists and turns. Hollywood would reject the script for being too fanciful. If things are better, we can move forward. 

Sam: There are concerns about kids not being vaccinated, especially when travel resumes?

Dr A: Priority was to protect those most at risk. People under 16 are low risk. Vaccines aren’t currently licensed. When we have the ability, we’ll work to get the supplies. In the meantime, we need to get our community safe. If everyone over 20 can get vaccinated, it can keep our schools even safer.

Paul: A lot of people will be tuned in today to find out what happened. Something has gone wrong, has it been fixed?

Howard: Unable to comment in detail.

David: Not sure why you are saying there is a breach. We need to be careful about saying breaches. I know there are lots of rumours and people in certain professions are getting abused on social media. These are from an unknown source. 

Paul: Are gov staff working from home?

Howard: Chief Secretary is working out where we can.

Paul H: How can we pursue mitigation when all of the kids haven’t had the vaccine?

Dr A: Young people can be affected by Long Covid but it’s still up for discussion. Over 20’s, please get vaccinated, the vaccine is waiting for you.

Paul H: Have new cases impacted nursing home opening?

David: Most in care homes have had both doses. A matter for Manx Care but I haven’t been made aware of any changes.

Rob: Some under 30s are getting the Oxford rather than alternative?

David: Where there isn’t an alternative, AZ is offered. 

Rob: Are you worried that some jabs may be wasted?

David: We can break the trays. We need young people to come forward and get registered. From 10th May we’ll be moving to the second dose. So they may have to wait if they don’t register soon. 

Rob: If a school has a Covid case, what measures are in place to ensure students who have to isolate aren’t disadvantaged?

Dr A: Very good question. As soon as we get a case in a school an outbreak management team is formed – Contact Tracing, Public Health and Head Teacher. We make sure support is provided to those schools so that children can continue their education so that when they come back they haven’t missed out.

Tim: All variants of concern are now confirmed in the UK. What potential do they have to undermine vaccine rollout?

Dr Henny: Indian variant is still under investigation.

South African variant can evade the vaccine, reduced the efficacy of the vaccine and Brazil does too 

We’re reliant on the UK and Ireland to do most of the management. They’re doing that with the quarantine hotels and testing. 

There is a bit of community spread for the South African variant in the UK so need to watch it carefully. 

Tim: Staying off work when ill. It isn’t a level playing field for self-employed?

Howard: Working on financial support packages.


Stay Safe 

This coverage is not intended to be a verbatim transcript and should not be treated as such, you can listen to the full briefing here.

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