An Isle of Wight campaign group is calling for rapid Covid-19 testing of ferry passengers on the mainland, before they travel to the Isle of Wight.
Following last week’s announcement that the Isle of Wight is one of only three areas to be placed in Tier One when the country comes out of lockdown on 3rd December, concern has been voiced about a possible influx of visitors to the Island over the Christmas period.
Protecting Tier status and hospital
Mark Jefferies from IOW Ferry Group told News OnTheWight,
“Many people have stated we have a natural border being the Solent and the only way over is by ferry. Will the Isle of Wight council and MP consider doing Covid tests on our ferries?
“These could include Lateral flow testing where people are tested before they travel to the Island and temperature tests at the ports. Not only will this protect our Tier status, but will also protect our only hospital on the Island from an influx of Covid patients.
The campaign group held a poll on social media asking whether the Island should be welcoming visitors from Tier 2, the results revealed 49 in favour, five ‘don’t knows’ and 307 against.
“Confusion” within hospitality industry
Mr Jefferies went on to say,
“Cllr Stewart, the Isle of Wight council leader, has given out a message for people not to travel here.
“This has caused confusing amongst the hospitality industry. Many hotels etc. have already taken bookings, but not been given clear guidance on the rules.
“How for instance are pubs going to distinguish between Tier 1 and 2? As in Tier 2 you are only able to have alcohol with a substantial meal. There is also little guidance of what a substantial meal is.”
Whittaker: Please think twice before you travel here
Shanklin town councillor, Adrian Whittaker, said,
“I would personally like to thank the residents of the Isle of Wight for their hard work and sacrifices they have made over the last ten months that has enabled us to be placed in Tier 1. But now we have to take extra precautions to stay in this tier.
“While the Island is a nice place to visit I would ask visitors from the mainland not to come at this time. This would help us retain our Tier 1 status. Please think twice before you travel here.”
12.05pm 30th Nov 2020 – Comment from Adrian Whittaker added