The Isle of Man has exited lockdown, opened schools, and allowed locals back into the pubs.

The island has scrapped all coronavirus measures and requirements to wear face masks as its “circuit breaker” restrictions lifted today.

The population of more than 80,000 launched a return to a near-ordinary life on Monday as the island’s leader declared “elimination” of Covid-19.

Eager punters piled into one Isle of Man pub at 12.01am to sip their first freshly-poured pints in 25 dats.

And schools reopened Monday, as residents were told they were no longer being asked to stay at home.

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Isle chiefs said precautions such as social distancing and face coverings would be a matter of personal choice for Manx locals.

All businesses required to close or switch to a take-away service were told they were free to reopen.

The BBC visited one Isle of Man pub that opened at one minute past midnight on Monday to serve eager punters the moment it was legal.

“Good morning ladies and gentleman,” a pub worker cried cheerily as he welcomed customers indoors.

“Worth the wait,” one punter told the cameras, as he took his first sip of a freshly-poured pint.

Meanwhile, most of the UK remains in restrictions with England set to continue with its third national lockdown into March.

The self-governing British crown dependency had entered its second lockdown on January 7 after a rise in cases following seven months Covid-free.

The island’s Chief Minister Howard Quayle last week announced the restrictions would lift.

Mr Quayle said this morning in a statement: “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.

“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.

“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 he warned locals must not let down their guard, urging people to remain vigilant.

Significant restrictions on travel to the island would remain in place and new arrivals to the island were warned to follow quarantine rules “to the letter”.

Mr Quayle 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.”

Government data on Sunday evening showed 25 people had died of Covid-19 and 434 total had tested positive throughout the pandemic.

According to the most recent official figures, there are just 15 “active” coronavirus cases in the Isle of Man, of which four were travel related and detected during self-isolation.

A total 6,679 people have received their first Covid jab, and 1,038 had received their second by Sunday.

The island has maintained strict border controls to keep out coronavirus, allowing its population to enjoy a relatively free way of life during the past year, compared to the UK.

The island cracked down hard on anyone breaching its sealed borders.

A lovesick man’s jet-ski trip to reach his girlfriend on the Isle of Man made international headlines at the end of last year.

Scotsman Dale McLaughlan, 28, was jailed in December for breaking Covid rules as he took to the waves on a risky mission to see his love.

The smitten roofer, who had never ridden a jet ski before, took the daring four-hour trip across the Irish Sea to be reunited with Jessica Radcliffe, whom he had met just weeks earlier on a work trip to the island.

Breaching the island’s coronavirus rules carries up to three months in jail or a fine of up to £10,000.

McLauglan was jailed for four weeks on December 17 for travelling to the island unlawfully, but was released early and made it home for Christmas.