Questions and Answers

What is social distancing?

Social distancing is the reduction of social interaction between people in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus.

It means spending less time in public places, where a lot of people are around.

Whilst there is no mandated restriction consider:

  • working from home wherever possible
  • avoiding all unnecessary travel
  • avoiding crowded places

Everyone in the Island who is not self-isolating is asked to practice social distancing. This is especially important for the vulnerable. The very vulnerable are advised by the IOM Government to consider changing their behaviour straight away.

Source: IOM Government (20th March)

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine and isolation are terms that appear to be used interchangeably at the moment.  So what is the difference?

​Governments use quarantines to stop the spread of contagious diseases. Quarantines are for people or groups who don’t have symptoms but may have been exposed to the sickness. A quarantine keeps them away from others so they don’t unknowingly infect anyone.

​While isolation serves the same purpose as quarantine, it’s reserved for those who are already sick. It keeps infected people away from healthy people to prevent the sickness from spreading.

​The Isle of Man Government uses the term self-isolation for both quarantine and isolation.

Source: Cleveland Clinic

I'm in isolation - can my neighbour walk my dog?

Yes. Others can walk your dogs for you.

Please be careful and ensure you retain a distance of 2 metres. Ideally hand over the dogs in a ‘holding room’ such as a porch. Put the dogs in the porch and leave them there. Your walker can then open the door to retrieve them once you have returned inside.

​When returning the dogs do the same thing in reverse.

​Ensure both you and the walker wash your hands thoroughly before and after the walk and that the door handles to the property and any surfaces and leads are wiped down.

​Try and keep the number of different walkers to a minimum, and restrict the number of walks. This is to reduce the likelihood of cross infection and will help protect both you and your dog walker.

​Stay safe.

Source: No official guidance found.
Compiled using the social distancing and isolation guidance 17 Mar 2020

What can I do and not do whilst self isolating?

What can I do and not do whilst self isolating?

  • DO Stay at home
  • DO NOT go to work or school
  • DO NOT go to public areas, or attend public gatherings
  • DO NOT use public transport or taxi
  • DO NOT go to the shop(s) to buy food or other essentials
  • DO NOT invite guests into your home
  • YOU CAN go outside into your garden

Source: IOM Gov (20 Mar 20)

What is meant by vulnerable?

The Isle of Man Government state that social distancing is especially important for those who are vulnerable.

This includes:

  • Those over 70
  • Pregnant women
  • Those under 70 with an underlying health condition of :
    • chronic (long-term) respiratory diseases, such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema or bronchitis
    • chronic heart disease, such as heart failure
    • chronic kidney disease
    • chronic liver disease, such as hepatitis
    • chronic neurological conditions, such as Parkinson’s disease, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis (MS), a learning disability or cerebral palsy
    • diabetes
    • problems with your spleen – for example, sickle cell disease or if you have had your spleen removed
    • a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
    • being seriously overweight (a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or above)

Source: IOM Gov (20 Mar 20)

Can I catch COVID-19 from my pet?

While there has been one instance of a dog being infected in Hong Kong, to date, there is no evidence that a dog, cat or any pet can transmit COVID-19. COVID-19 is mainly spread through droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. To protect yourself, clean your hands frequently and thoroughly.

​WHO continues to monitor the latest research on this and other COVID-19 topics and will update as new findings are available.

Source: WHO (16 Mar 20)

I am arriving at the airport and need to self isolate. What options are there for transport home?

Special arrangements have been made for passengers who will be entering into isolation due to arriving on inbound flights and the ferry. For clarity, these passengers will not be boarding scheduled buses on arrival.

Source: IOM Gov (20 Mar 20)

What is by very vulnerable?

The Government advise that the very vulnerable consider changing their behaviour straight away.

This advice is for people who are immunocompromised including:

  • people who have received an organ transplant and remain on ongoing immunosuppression medication
  • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia who are at any stage of treatment
  • people with severe chest conditions such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma (requiring hospital admissions or courses of steroid tablets)
  • people with severe diseases of body systems, such as severe kidney disease (dialysis)

Source: IOM Gov (20 Mar 20)

A member of the household is returning to the Island, does the whole house need to self isolate?

It depends.

If the returning household member DOES NOT have symptoms, such as a new continuous cough or high temperature, other household members DO NOT have to self-isolate.

​If they do, then everyone in the house must self isolate for 14 days.

If anyone else in the household develops symptoms during that time, current public health advice is ALL household members must all self-isolate for a further 14 DAYS from the day the symptoms started.

Source: IOM Gov (20 Mar 20)

I'm in isolation - how to I get my benefits / pension?

We are receiving a lot of queries about how someone who uses a MiCard can claim their benefits if they are in isolation.

​We are seeking an answer to this from Government and will post it here as soon as we receive a response.

  • ​You can contact the Pensions Team – Social Security Division on 685176
  • ​The number for Social Securities general enquiries is 685656.

​Please remember that the staff in the Social Security Division are doing their best in what is a very fluid environment.

Source: IOM Gov (17 Mar 20)