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Isle of Man closed border 'will ensure Covid-free Christmas'

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image captionThe island's border is currently closed to almost all non-residents

It is "all but certain" the Isle of Man's border will remain closed to non-residents in December to ensure the island enjoys "a Covid-free Christmas", the chief minister has said.

Howard Quayle said the infection rate in the UK remained too high to relax the restrictions.

He added the decision, which will mean family members overseas cannot visit, had "weighed heavily" on ministers.

The island's border is currently closed to almost all non-residents.

Mr Quayle said the decision would cause some "unease", but there was "a clear collective will in our community to maintain the status quo and keep the virus from spreading across our island this December".

Maintaining the border closure would mean that for "the vast majority" of residents, Christmas would be "normal in many more ways than we had dared hope for earlier in the year", he said.

He added that the situation would be reviewed "on a regular basis".

Mr Quayle's comment come as a charity announced it will pay for accommodation for students returning to the island for Christmas to self-isolate, to ensure their families do not have to.

A total of 369 people on the island have tested positive for Covid-19 since March.

Six cases remain active, four of which are part of a coronavirus cluster linked to a person who returned to the island from north-west England.

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  • Coronavirus: Now 'not the time' to relax Isle of Man border restrictions

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