Covid: Further easing of Isle of Man lockdown from Monday

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Woman wearing mask on Strand Street
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The island entered its third lockdown on 3 March

Covid-19 lockdown restrictions on the Isle of Man will be further relaxed from Monday, the government has said.

Outdoor leisure venues, children's play areas and hardware stores will be allowed to reopen from 12 April and indoor building work in occupied properties can resume.

However, Chief Minister Howard Quayle said it was "not the time" to lift all restrictions despite a drop in cases.

A phased reopening of schools is due to start on the same date.

The island entered its third lockdown on 3 March, following a sharp rise in coronavirus cases.

The latest easing will also allow pet grooming services to resume on a drop-off and collection basis and estate agents and surveyors to enter properties, although viewings of occupied homes will not yet be permitted.

'Return to near normal'

Gatherings at leisure venues will be restricted to a maximum of 10 people and sports that include close contact between players and the sharing of equipment will remain banned.

Parents have also been urged to keep children from different households apart at play areas.

Mr Quayle said a "return to near normal" could follow with the reopening of non-essential shops and lifestyle businesses, but case numbers would need to be monitored from Monday "before we can be certain on this".

"It's important to be prepared for some restrictions around social distancing to potentially remain in place as well as the recommendation on face coverings," he added.

Two new cases of the virus have been recorded on the island in the past 24 hours and the total number of active cases has now fallen to 75, with one person receiving treatment in Noble's Hospital.

Both new infections were linked to a known source of transmission.

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