Isle of Man legal powers enforced as coronavirus spreads

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The powers would only be used if people refuse to self-isolate, the health minister said

Legal powers to detain and forcibly isolate people arriving at the Isle of Man showing signs of the coronavirus have been brought into force.

The measures mean people can be detained for 48 hours for testing and held at Noble's Hospital for 14 days.

Health minister David Ashford said the move was "precautionary" and the risk of the spread of the virus to the island "remained medium to low".

The new regulations bring the island into line with those in England.

Sixteen people have been tested on the island to date, with no confirmed cases.

The powers would only be used "should the virus pose an imminent threat", Mr Ashford said.

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People could be kept in isolation at Noble's Hospital for 14 days

That would be the considered the case if a person showing symptoms had refused to be tested or to self-isolate.

Passengers arriving at the island's ports could also have their temperatures tested should the threat level increase.

Mr Ashford said: "There is no need for people at this stage to have any form of growing concerns.

"What is important is that we are putting regulations and procedures in place that if the situation changes we can act upon that."

The new powers came into force on Friday and will stay in place for two years.

Advice from the island's public health directorate on preventing the spread of the virus mirrors that issued in the UK.