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​Punters Flock To Pubs On Isle Of Man As Lockdown Lifts

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​Punters Flock To Pubs On Isle Of Man As Lockdown Lifts

Punters on the Isle of Man have been reunited with their local pubs after the island's 25-day circuit breaker lockdown ended.

Restrictions were lifted at 12.01am GMT after the Isle of Man recorded 20 days without an unexplained community case, with Chief Minister Howard Quayle saying the ending of restrictions was a 'moment for relief and celebration'.

The island's 85,000 residents will no longer have to observe social distancing, making it the only place in the British Isles with no such measures - after Guernsey entered lockdown on 23 January.

Schools and businesses are now able to reopen, with locals no longer forced to stay at home or wear face masks.

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To mark the occasion, many people rushed out to the pub in the early hours of this morning to take a sip of their first freshly-poured pint in 25 days.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

The BBC visited Seven Kingdoms in Douglas, which opened at one minute past midnight to serve locals the moment it became legal.

Welcoming customers inside, one staff member shouted cheerily: "Good morning, ladies and gentleman!"

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Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

One punter told the BBC it was 'worth the wait' as he took his first glug of a pint.

The Isle of Man has maintained strict border controls to keep cases of the deadly virus down.

The island's Chief Minister has thanked locals and businesses for their co-operation and 'sense of duty'.

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Quayle said in a statement this morning: "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.

Credit: BBC
Credit: BBC

"We beat the virus once and we have done so again. This has only been possible due to the seriousness with which the public have approached the measures set out by government to bring the virus under control and eliminate its spread.

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"This achievement is thanks to the collective determination, the sense of duty, and the community spirit of the Manx people, for which they are to be commended."

But Quayle also warned that they mustn't let their guard down, reminding people to remain vigilant - with travel restrictions to the island remaining in place.

He added: "Last time we achieved local elimination, we enjoyed almost seven months of relative normality here in the Isle of Man.

"With this record, our strengthened testing regime, and the growing pace of our vaccination programme, I hope this lockdown represents a blip to the start of 2021, with brighter days ahead."

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Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: UK News, lockdown, Coronavirus

Jess Hardiman
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