IoM Gov Briefing December 20 2021

Alf, Kathryn Magson, Mark Lewin 

We announced new measures a few weeks ago, including; increased testing for inbound arrivals. We also asked you to wear masks and for whole households to self isolate if they had Omicron or suspected Omicron.

Since then, cases of big O have been rising steadily 

More than 60 cases by late last week, now it’s 126 cases

Handing over to Mark Lewin (awkward pause)

*First slide please – Ironically it’s a Chris Whitty slide showing the significant rise in cases

Next slide please – our cases in the IOM, case numbers have started to decline again, case reduction no doubt due to local behaviours and responses to extra mitigations in place

Next slide – a busy one, that shows that all age bands are in decline from a Delta perspective 

Next slide – dealing with two distinct waves of delta and big O at the same time. 21% of active cases are probably O. Haven’t seen a significant trajectory like the UK, but it’s growing 

Next slide – With regards to big O, transmission appears high, symptoms appear to be milder, runny nose etc rather than textbook Covid 

It may well escape detection as symptoms are milder, so a different approach may be required. Critically important that we identify where possible the scale of infections. Early evidence is that the 3rd dose is highly effective in the severity of illness and transmission

Final thing – Over the last 3 months, of the 6,000 cases of the blue dots (there are lots of them) 89% are via LFT. Huge value in mass self-testing, great goodwill of the people

Back to you Chief …

Thanks, Mark.

It’s clear we must prepare, although it is tough to predict the scale, there might be thousands of cases at any one time

Easy to say restrictions are the answer but we’ll quickly find our services restricted due to the number of people isolating 

Comin has determined a new strategic approach that requires collaboration with the nation 

Boosters are key, as are LFT’s and masks


  • ASAP Rocky. 90% by mid-Jan 
  • Over 18s now eligible 
  • over 2,200 jabs today from the team at Chester Street, heartfelt thanks to everyone 
  • Walk-in or make an appointment


  • From Wednesday 22nd December – a positive LFT alone will mean ten-day isolation, PCR no longer required
  • Self-isolation reduced with two negative LFT results, they must be officially recorded online – an email will be sent with new instructions
  • Change will capitalise on the reliability and availability of LFT kits 
  • Keep a good stock of tests for you and your family 

We are asking and empowering every member of society to help keep our island moving 

PCR will still be used for complex cases and symptomatic cases that return a negative LFD

Thanks for wearing masks, now be more vigilant in social and retail work settings. Respect personal space and use LFT’s to “know before you go”

Prepared to act hard and fast. 

We’ll get through this

Sam: Fastyr Mie. Why now? There is a chance people could game the system to get out early. Are you placing too much trust in people?

Alf: Not at all Sam, confident in the community, they’re taking it seriously. LFT demand is increasing. Lots of people use them proactively. 

Sam: You said you’ll act hard and fast if required. What situation would drive changes?

Alf: Can’t rule out legal restrictions if the situation becomes overwhelming. Huge numbers of cases could impact health services for example. If we need a circuit breaker we wouldn’t be afraid to do it in the future. 

Lewis: For Kathryn, record-breaking vaccinations. Why aren’t you extending hours?

Kathryn: Just finalising numbers for today, it’s looking more like 2,400. Ultimately it’s staffing, we’re working at capacity. Come forward and take up slots 

Lewis: If we meet booster jab targets, how will it change things?

Alf: Want to pay tribute to everyone in healthcare who are facing significant challenges. Hat’s off to your dedication and professionalism.

More jabs = less risk. Vital we push ahead at full steam. Get down to Chester Street and get boosted

Paul: How are jab supplies holding up?

Kathryn: Fine, we’re defrosting more based on today’s demand 

Paul: What about the changes to the soup of the day?

Kathryn: Depends on supply 

Paul: Circuit Breaker… What trips it? Will you close the borders etc?

Alf: Moving forward together is in everyone’s best interest. Everyone likes to talk about restrictions and lockdowns, it’s our last resort. Lots of factors to consider. Health services will be at the heart of decisions 

Paul: Borders?

Alf: I’d have hoped that question had left us but we can never rule anything out. 

Paul: Merry Christmas


Alex: Good evening. What is the official regularity for LFT’s?

Alf: Depends on personal circumstances, if you are going out into a social setting, test to protect yourself and others around you. Asking for the community to help mitigate the impact. 

Sam: When will 111 contact whole households?

Alf: Comes into effect from Wednesday 

Paul: AZ boosters not available?

Kathryn: Not correct, we bring them together in a cluster 

Thanks to the press


We have all of the tools to get through this as a community. 

We have the tools, use them – Boosters, Masks, LFTs 

Have a very happy and a very safe Christmas. 

Alf x 

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.

One thought on “IoM Gov Briefing December 20 2021”

  1. If the symptoms of “MORONIC” are just like those of a cold and the only way to know is taking an LFT test how do we know this is not a “testdemic” fuelled by false positives? The more people test just for the sake of testing the more chance you are going to ruin your families Christmas with all the hoo ha of a pointless isolation because of an inevitable false positive. Just engage the brain here!

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