Pubs on the Isle of Man reopened at one minute past midnight (Picture: BBC/alexrbell)
The Isle of Man has come out of its circuit-breaker lockdown, with pubs, schools and shops reopening and islanders no longer asked to stay at home.
While the rest of England remains under national lockdown measures, precautions such as social distancing and face coverings will now be a matter of personal choice on the self-governing island.
Pubs on the island made the most of their new-found freedoms by opening at one minute past midnight.
Drinkers at the Seven Kingdoms in Douglas said it was ‘worth the wait’ as they enjoyed their pints in the early hours.
Officials may have lifted the lockdown but tough border controls restricting travel to the island remain in place.
They helped keep the island Covid free for seven months before an outbreak after the new year triggered a three-week circuit breaker.
Chief Minister Howard Quayle said: ‘After almost a month of lockdown, this is the moment we have all been waiting for.
‘The Isle of Man has achieved local elimination of the virus for a second time, meaning the risk of community spread of Covid-19 is extremely low.
Border controls restricting travel to the island remain in place (Picture: Andrew Butler/Getty Images)
Face coverings will be a matter of personal choice (Picture: Andrew Butler/Getty Images)
‘We beat the virus once and we have done so again.’
He paid tribute to the island’s ‘community spirit’ and ‘collective determination’ for helping them eliminate Covid from the island.
But he warned the islanders not to get complacent, adding: ‘Although this is a moment for relief and celebration, we cannot let down our guard.
‘We are seeing other jurisdictions that have achieved local elimination battling with outbreaks. We must remain vigilant.’
The Isle of Man entered its second lockdown on January 7 after a rise in Covid-19 cases.
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