Covid Support

Applications are open for additional COVID-19 financial support, providing grant assistance to businesses and self-employed persons that have been negatively impacted by the recent rise in COVID-19 cases in the Island. The additional support is available for customer-facing businesses who are unable to work from home, including those operating in the catering, entertainment, hospitality, leisure, lifestyle and retail sectors plus a number of service sectors. Financial assistance will be provided in the form of a grant, and has been designed to support businesses and self-employed individuals whose business has been impacted by the self-isolation requirements for business owners and staff, or a drop in customer demand, which has led to more than a 25% reduction in turnover. Applicants can complete a single application form and, depending on their individual circumstances, can claim either a grant equivalent to the value of one year’s rates payment for each of their commercial premises, or a grant payment of £1,000.

Youth Cricket

The Isle of Man Cricket Association has extended their youth cricket programme, ‘CricStart’, into the autumn and winter. CricStart covers CricKids for youngsters aged 3 – 6, CricSoft for those between six and 10, CricFit for 14+, batting and bowling clinics as well as women’s and girls’ cricket. All six of the island’s cricket clubs with junior sections will be running the CricStart programme during the summer. IOMCA development officer Greig Wright said: ‘We’ve been thrilled with the success and have more than 130 children signed up to take part in the various different activities over the summer. Some youngsters are on courses and some are doing camps but all of them will be developing their bowling, batting and fielding skills, building their confidence, being active, enjoying themselves and hopefully becoming future island players.’ Anyone interested in signing up for any of the CricStart programmes should email iomcricket@hotmail.com.

Flexible Office Working

A more flexible approach to working since the pandemic will allow two departments to share an office, in a move that will save taxpayers’ money and contribute to reducing the gov’s carbon emissions. The Department of Education, Sport and Culture will relocate staff from Hamilton House in Douglas, which it currently rents, to the Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture’s headquarters in St John’s from October. Since the start of the pandemic, the gov has encouraged staff to explore flexible working patterns, including home working, which has freed up desk spaces.

Belarus Olympics Scandal

Belarusian sprinter Krystina Tsimanouskaya has been given a Polish visa after seeking asylum and refusing her team’s orders to fly home from the Olympics. The 200m sprinter said she was forcibly taken to Haneda airport in Tokyo after criticising her coaches on social media, she had complained about being entered with short notice into the 4x400m relay after her coaches failed to obtain the required doping tests for her teammates. Belarus have said that she was actually removed from the team due to her emotional state. Tsimanouskaya’s husband had confirmed he has fled to Ukraine with the Guardian reporting on possible leaked audio where team officials can be heard saying to Krystina: ‘If you want to compete again for Belarus, then listen to what I recommend, go home, to your parents, to wherever.’

Turkey Wildfires

Eight people have been killed in Turkey as wildfires have spread across the south of the country for the last six days. Turkish authorities said that they have contained over 130 blazes so far with the worst fires happening in some of the most popular tourist areas in the country. There are also similar struggles in Greece, Spain and Italy as heatwaves and strong winds continue across southern Europe with experts placing the blame on climate change. The EU said on Sunday that they would be sending water-carrying planes to help with the fight in Turkey with one from Croatia and two from Spain.

I’m A Celeb 

Ant and Dec will be returning to Wales for a second year as ITV’s I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here will again be held in Gwrych Castle to crown a second King or Queen of the castle. Producers of the series said that filming the next series in their usual home of Australia was proving too logistically difficult due to ongoing travel restrictions, forcing them to stay in the Welsh castle where author and podcaster Giovanna Fletcher was crowned last year. Back in March, ITV Chief Executive Carloyn McCall said that they would return to Oz if possible as the series was ‘meant to be’ there.

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