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Isle of Man legal requirement to wear face masks scrapped

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Isle of Man legal requirement to wear face masks scrapped



A legal requirement to wear masks on public transport is to be removed on the Isle of Man, the chief minister has said.

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Alfred Cannan said face coverings were still "strongly recommended" in areas of reduced ventilation and where social distancing is difficult.

The change, which comes into force at 00:01 GMT on Saturday, follows a fall in the rate of new Covid-19 infections.

Isolation rules for those who test positive remain in place.

The legal requirement to wear face masks in health and social care settings will also be formally removed but Manx Care said a policy on wearing medical grade masks at all of its sites remains in place.

Tighter rules on face masks were brought in on the island in late November in response to fears over the transmissibility of the Omicron variant.

While the island saw a sharp rise in cases in December, that number has reduced in recent days.

Mr Cannan said people had "overwhelmingly" responded to the threat by following the rules of wearing masks, self-testing for the virus at home, and having booster vaccinations.

He said: "All of this has helped our community to weather the rapid spread of this new variant and keep our island functioning."