Second-home owners are being encouraged to respect the needs of the Isle of Wight community and stay away.
The Isle of Wight has a large proportion of second-homes and the council is concerned people may choose to travel here from places that have many more cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) to self-isolate.
In a bid to protect the Island population from the virus, the council is asking them to think again and to stay at home if at all possible.
Stewart: Stay at your primary place of residence
Council leader Dave Stewart said:
“The message may be blunt, but it has to be in order to protect our residents from this virus which is indiscriminate.
“We are dealing with concerns about second-home owners who are moving over to the Island to get away from places where they feel they are more at risk.
“They own houses here and pay their taxes here. However — and let me be clear — our preference would be that you follow the government guidance and stay at your primary place of residence during the crisis to ensure the NHS on the Island can cope.
“The government specifically says essential travel does not include to second-homes. However, if you have nevertheless travelled to the Island I would appeal to you directly to recognise that you may have travelled from places that have many more cases of the virus than we have so far seen here on the Island.
“You may be also carrying the virus without showing any symptoms. So I would ask you to please respect the safety of our Island community and to self-isolate for at least seven days but preferably for 14 days from your arrival.”
The government is requesting that people stay in their primary residence during the Covid-19 crisis to ensure the NHS can cope and that the virus is not spread to more isolated parts of the country.
The guidance states: ‘Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.’ The advice can be found on the Government Website.
Health system geared up for permanent residents
Cllr Stewart added:
“We must remember that our health system is geared up to those that are resident here at all times and has finite capacity.
“Also, our voluntary and community support arrangements for the most vulnerable have been developed for those people that are known to us.
“We may be slower getting you help and support if you have just relocated here or are staying in third-party accommodation.”
News shared by the Isle of Wight council press office. Ed