Three jailed on Isle of Man for breaking Covid quarantine rules

Sentences handed to travellers returning from UK who failed to self-isolate for 14 days

Three people have been jailed this week for failing to quarantine after returning to the Isle of Man from the UK.

Under the island’s strict Covid-19 rules, returning travellers must self-isolate at home for 14 days.

The Isle of Man has recorded no new cases of coronavirus since 20 May, leading the government to dispense with most of its lockdown restrictions in mid-June, before the UK.

But to stop any new cases and defend what it calls its “Manx bubble”, the local authorities are tough on anyone who fails to comply with quarantine measures.

On Monday 64-year-old Paul Dowd received a six-week jail sentence after going to the pub twice when he should have been in quarantine.

And on Tuesday a woman from Northern Ireland was jailed for a month after breaking quarantine rules. Fraser Nolan had been given special permission to visit to take care of her late mother’s estate but was caught by police after travelling by bus to a locksmith.

In the latest case to reach court, Alistair McCormick from Douglas was jailed for four weeks on Saturday after visiting a bank in the town on 21 August when he should have been isolating at home.

The court heard McCormick had spent about 20 minutes in the bank after a cash machine retained his bank card, according to the BBC. He was reported to police after he told a member of staff in the branch he had returned to the island about 10 days ago, having spent three-and-a-half weeks in the UK.

On the same day, he visited an electronics store in Braddan, telling staff his mobile phone had recently been stolen while he was visiting Edinburgh, the hearing at Douglas courthouse was told.

When arrested by police, the company director accepted he had been “out and about” when he should have been self-isolating, but offered no excuse for his actions.

The island’s border reopened to residents on 20 July and government figures show more than 2,500 people returned during the following month. Anyone who breaches the self-isolation rules could face a fine of up to £10,000 or three months in prison.

Sentencing McCormick, the deputy high bailiff, Christopher Arrowsmith, said he had ignored rules put in place to protect people and imprisonment was the only appropriate penalty.


Helen Pidd

The GuardianTramp

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