Number of people who travelled from mainland for Covid-19 test revealed

There have been much debate about the number of people travelling from the mainland to the Isle of Wight for Covid-19 tests. News OnTheWight can now reveal the numbers

nsal swab in drive through test centre

The first meeting of the Local Outbreak Board took place today during which officials gave updates relating to Coronavirus (Covid-19) on the Isle of Wight.

There has been much discussion about people travelling from the Mainland to the Island to have a Covid-19 test at the new test centre based at Newport Cricket Club.

Around 30-40 people
Deputy CEO of the Isle of Wight council, Wendy Perera, told the meeting that during the peak of when people with symptoms were being advised to travel long distances – including crossing the Solent – to have a Covid-19 test, around 30-40 people travelled to the Island from the Mainland to have a test.

She said,

“We were seeing a number of people coming over to the Island and presenting to the test centre. Those were in there tens, approximately 30-40.

“People were using public transports to go to drive-in test centre.”

Only one in last week
Ms Perera went on to explain how the council had worked directly with media outlets across Hampshire to get the message out to not to come to the Island for a test.

“It seems to have worked very well – in last week we’ve seen possibly only one person coming from mainland.”

The Director of Public Health still urged Islanders not to travel to the mainland for a Covid-19 test.

Image: navymedicine under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 8th October, 2020 12:55pm



Filed under: Health, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News

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7 Comments on "Number of people who travelled from mainland for Covid-19 test revealed"

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As I’ve said before, Surely the answer is to remove the Island test centre from the nationwide list, so mainlanders won’t have access to our test site, and publicise heavily on the Island for Islanders to call a separate number/weblink to book local IOW tests rather than use the national booking system.


Steady on – that’s common sense!

So ‘approximately’ 30-40. That doesn’t give much confidence that true numbers are known. Whilst travelling here…on the ferry…did all 30-40 make it known to the ferry companies that they were coming for a Covid 19 test? Did the 30-40 coming for Covid 19 tests travel alone? Did the 30-40 coming for Covid 19 tests stay in their cars during the ferry crossings or were they sitting in… Read more »

As it’s a return journey, around 30-40 people means around 60 to 80 crossings.


Even if we can believe the 30-40 that is 30-40 too many or 60-80 return crossings too many!

And how many island residents travelled to the mainland in the same period because they could not get tested here?


We shouldn’t assume people travelled as other than foot passengers, given the exhorbitant cost of bringing vehicles over.