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Police inquiry continues as execs accused of Covid breach in the Isle of Man

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POLICE in the Isle of Man are continuing to investigate a group of four executives from Jersey who allegedly broke strict lockdown protocols while visiting the northern Crown Dependency.

Isle of Man (28719731)

The individuals were part of a care group who were granted essential-worker status in the island and were only supposed to travel from work to their hotel and back. They visited the jurisdiction the week before last.

It is alleged that they breached the rules by going out for a meal and are now being investigated by the police.

The story broke less than a week after the Isle of Man’s chief minister, Howard Quayle, announced that the island had achieved the ‘local elimination of coronavirus’.

On 17 June, he said that there had been no new cases for 28 days and that the achievement was a ‘line in the sand’.

The alleged breach of the law was revealed in press conferences by Mr Quayle this week, before he gave a lengthy statement to the Island’s parliament on Friday.

He said: ‘The party consisted of executives from a group which operates a nursing home and domiciliary care company on the island.

‘The exemptions to enter the island were granted because the company in question was undertaking an increase in bed capacity at a nursing home and has recently installed a new manager for the domiciliary care company.

‘The nursing home was due to receive a number of Abbotswood residents and so the visit was also to ensure that they were ready in terms of operations and compliance.

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‘The group was exempted from 14 days’ self-isolation but, as always, this was on the condition that, when not working, they would isolate at their hotel in Douglas.

‘The party went through the correct application process and all relevant agencies etc will have been aware that the visit was taking place.

‘The allegation that has caused concern about this particular visit is that the group breached the terms on which they were here by leaving self-isolation to have a meal in a public place. The company has now provided us with a full itinerary of their time on the Island.

‘The circumstances of this incident are being investigated by the police. While this is happening, it would not be appropriate for me to comment further.’

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Detective inspector Gavin Callow, of the Isle of Man police, confirmed: ‘We are aware of the matter and are looking into it. We can’t comment further at this time.’

Reacting to the news in Friday’s Jersey press conference, Senator Lyndon Farham added: ‘The vast majority will accept responsibility, but there will always be a minority who don’t and they will be dealt with, as they are putting everyone else’s freedoms at risk.

‘I deplore that sort of behaviour and urge Islanders to be responsible when they travel away from Jersey.’

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
Journalist

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