Coronavirus: Isle of Man shopper jailed for failing to self-isolate after wife showed symptoms

·3-min read
Panorama of Douglas on the Isle of Man.  Douglas, Isle of Man.
Paul Tipping admitted failing to comply with the Isle of Man's strict self-isolation measures after he visited a pharmacy and supermarket. (Getty)

A 62-year-old on the Isle of Man has been jailed for failing to self-isolate after his wife reported showing symptoms of coronavirus.

Paul Tipping, of Onchan, visited a pharmacy and a supermarket on 14 May to buy toothpaste and cigarettes.

Tipping, a retired teacher, admitted failing to comply with the self-governing British crown dependency's strict measures to self-isolate, which were announced in March.

He was sentenced to four weeks in prison by magistrates at Douglas Courthouse, according to the BBC.

Tipping's wife reported showing symptoms on 11 May but subsequently tested negative for the virus.

Isle of Man Courts of Justice in Douglas.  Douglas, Isle of Man.
Tipping told magistrates at Douglas Courthouse, pictured, that the shopping trip was for 'necessary' items and that there was 'no one else' to go for him. (Getty)

He told the court the shopping trip was for "necessary" items and that there was "no one else" to go for him.

The court heard that Tipping had previously received a warning for breaching the emergency laws, followed by a fixed penalty notice.

The Isle of Man announced tight quarantine measures to prevent the illness spreading in March.

Since 18 March, anyone arriving on the island is subject to 14 days of self-isolation even if they do not have symptoms of the virus.

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For those already on the island, anyone with symptoms or who is living with someone who has symptoms must self-isolate for two weeks.

Chief minister Howard Quayle said at the time that anyone breaching the quarantine regulations could face a fine of up to £10,000 or three months in jail.

The Isle of Man has a population of 85,000 with an average age of 44.4, compared with 40.5 in the UK.

A spokesperson from the Isle of Man police told Yahoo News: "Our role is to help police this health emergency.

"We appreciate the effort the community are putting in and we are seeing positive results. On occasions we have had to take action against people who have not followed the rules."

In the UK, Boris Johnson has ordered all visitors to Britain to isolate for 14 days, in a bid to prevent a second wave of coronavirus.

"To prevent reinfection from abroad, I am serving notice that it will soon be the time – with transmission significantly lower – to impose quarantine on people coming into this country by air," he said in a televised address as he revealed his “road map” for easing lockdown restrictions on 11 May.

Visitors could face fines of up to £1,000 and even deportation if spot checks later find they have flouted the rules, which the report claimed could be introduced in June.

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