The Emergency Advisory Group have criticised the gov for giving it five minute’s notice that its view would be sought on the proposed changes to the Public Health regulations and that the island has a current infection rate of 277 per 100,000.
It has advised that face coverings are made mandatory on public transport and should be highly encouraged in low risk settings such as supermarkets, shops and hospitality settings.
Tynwald members rejected the gov’s attempts to move the proposed new regulations on Thursday afternoon as members made it clear that they wanted to hear from the EAG before pressing ahead with even debating the changes.
In its interim report, the EAG has said that the Delta variant ‘is now well established in the Isle of Man and community transmission is uncontrolled’.
It adds: ‘There are no domestic mitigations in place, except for those in healthcare and other high-risk settings. These regulations speak primarily to border related controls which appear to be belated in the context of the current infection rates. The current Isle of Man rate of infection per 100,000 is roughly 277. For context, in Europe, only Cyprus, Gibraltar, the UK, Netherlands and Spain are higher.’
Green and Amber Lists
A part of the gov’s proposals were to introduce the Green and Amber travel lists which are in use in England and set out the requirements for testing and isolating upon return from Europe and further abroad.
However, the EAG says that ‘these decisions should only be made after taking clear and explicit advice from the Director of Public Health’. It adds: ‘The EAG would urge CoMIN to amend the regulations to reflect this. In order to ensure this is an appropriate approach, the EAG requests that CoMIN agree to the EAG seeking the view of the Director of Public Health on this matter.’
The EAG has also repeated its call for CoMin, as a matter of urgency and given the current spread of Covid on the island, to introduce ‘clear recommendations and strong guidance on mitigations for use in public places and lower risk settings’.
It adds: ‘These include the use of face coverings in places like supermarkets, shops and hospitality settings. Masks should be mandatory on public transport. The impact of well-ventilated spaces on reducing the spread of Covid should also be clearly communicated and those in an office environment should be encouraged to reduce the number of face-to-face meetings where possible.’
The EAG is due to provide greater detail on this advice by no later than Wednesday July 28.
About the Emergency Advisory Group
The Emergency Advisory Group is a committee, appointed by the Council of Ministers, consisting of a range of people from across the community with a broad range of skills and expertise.
The current membership is:
Home Affairs Minister Graham Cregee
Rob Mercer, MLC
Professor Peter Edge
Dr Rachel Glover