Vix Lowthion shares this opinion piece on the Isle of Wight being awarded Tier One status once we come out of lockdown. Ed
Yet again, the 2020 Coronavirus crisis raises the Isle of Wight to national-level news.
Alongside Isle of Scilly and Cornwall, the Island is now one of the only places in the whole of England where you can stay overnight outside your household, and meet in the pub with your mates.
Will we see packed ferries?
After the initial punching in the air with proud chants of ‘get in!’ the reality is starting to settle. Only 1% of the nation is in Tier One – and are the 99% really going to accept this? Will we witness packed ferries with DFLs (Down From London), or even groups of mates from cities across the Solent – eager to go and taste our freedom on the Isle of Wight?
Yes, Tier Two and Three residents are told to ‘avoid travel’ outside of their zones, but the legislation or funding is shockingly absent in order to police these guidelines.
We must be proud that as a community we have managed the virus so well.
Tier One should be great for Island business and hospitality on the lead up to Christmas.
“All Wight for Some?”
I am impatient to start my Christmas shopping in our towns and villages, and already have a table booked in my favourite Newport pub! The street lights have been switched on, plans have been made and we may feel impatient to finally catch up with friends and loved ones.
But will our elevated status – the front-page of The Sun reading “All Wight for Some” – create further hurdles on our journey towards the Spring?
The last thing Islanders want is for our blessed Tier One status to prove to be a curse, as we look in trepidation as how the 99% of England will react to our positive position.
And then we have the dilemma of the ‘Christmas easing’ to wrestle with – just because our Prime Minister says we can do something, does it really mean that we should?
Are the potential risks or spreading the virus worth the family get together?
Show the rest of the UK how it’s done
It’s not the first time that the Island is making the headlines during this crisis, but let’s hope that we can show the rest of the UK how it’s done.
As Matt Hancock said when pushing the App trial in May this year (see merch for sale):
“Where the Isle of Wight leads, Britain follows”.
Let’s hope we can back our local businesses, support our friends and family, lead the way and keep our coveted Tier One status until the Spring arrives.