Staying at home is only way to keep Isle of Wight safe, says council leader

The council leader said that “if our whole community was following the government’s guidelines, then the number of cases would not be increasing at such a rate”. He reminds residents to stay at home and avoid contact where possible

Dave Stewart with County Hall behind him

Islanders are being urged to use the latest national lockdown to “review and reset” their behaviours amid soaring cases of coronavirus which threaten to overwhelm local health and care services.

Isle of Wight Council leader, Dave Stewart, called on residents to redouble their efforts and follow the national lockdown rules to stop the spread of the new, more transmissible variant of the virus.

Stewart: “The outcome is in our hands”
He said:

“We must strive to do everything in our power to prevent local services reaching capacity as they have elsewhere. The outcome is in our hands and we must grasp this opportunity to defeat the virus and rebuild our lives.

“Once again, the Island can show its true community spirit by rising to the challenge we face and doing what is required of us. If everyone does what is being asked, we will come through safely.”

Nearly 1,200 new cases in one week
The latest lockdown comes as the Island recorded over 1,200 new cases in one week taking the rate of infection to 897 per 100,000 population – far greater than the national average of 520 cases per 100,000 population. 

The Island figure had stood at just 21 per 100,000 at the start of last month.

Stewart: If community followed guidelines cases would not be increasing
Cllr Stewart said:

“If our whole community was following the government’s guidelines, especially in relation to social distancing, then the number of cases would not be increasing at such a rate.

“We must continue to protect ourselves from a virus which is now more contagious and between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible.

“We know this virus is spread by contact so if we do not move around and mix then the virus will not move around either.”

Lockdown laws
As with the first lockdown last March, people cannot leave their homes except for certain reasons such as essential medical needs, food shopping, exercise and work for those who cannot do so from home.

All schools and colleges have closed to most pupils, with remote learning until February half-term.

Early years settings such as nurseries can remain open.

Restaurants can continue to offer delivery for food, but takeaway alcohol will be banned.

Stewart: “Behaviour of every single one of us will make the difference”
Cllr Stewart said:

“Our communities have already endured so much hardship and it is difficult to once again accept the situation we are in.

“I really feel for the businesses which will be affected by this latest lockdown and I would encourage them to take advantage of the existing and new grants to be soon available. We will ensure that grant applications are dealt with as quickly as possible.

“With the announcement that schools must close, rest assured we will continue to support them so that our children and young people can access high quality education albeit from home. Our priority is educating our young people, but this must be done with the safety of school staff, pupils and their parents at the forefront of our minds.

“We cannot allow this virus to completely overwhelm our hospital, especially when there is so much hope on the horizon with the scaling up of the vaccination programme. 

“Perhaps more than ever before, the behaviour of every single one of us will make the difference. By making these big sacrifices, we can give the NHS critical time and space to do what it does best, and to also deliver the vaccination programme.

“National restrictions, while strict, have been shown to bring infection rates down much faster than other courses of action. It gives us all the opportunity to review and reset our behaviours and do the right things for our family and friends.

“I ask everyone to follow the new rules, stay at home, and continue to follow the ‘hands, face, space’ instruction. It’s the only way to keep the Island safe.”

For more information on Covid-19, visit

News shared by Isle of Wight council press office, in their own words. Ed

Image: simonhaytack under CC BY 2.0

Tuesday, 5th January, 2021 6:28pm



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

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16 Comments on "Staying at home is only way to keep Isle of Wight safe, says council leader"

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Many people would say the best way to keep the island safe Dave, is to vote you out in May.


Who on earth Andy do you offer as a viable alternative to the lot we have now.


Anybody. A random selection of the public would do a better job. So would a random selection of nice dogs, like Labradors. Greedy but benign.

Nice one Andy. That should be Daves election campaign slogan; Vote me out to keep the Island safe. No leadership, no backbone and never anything of any substance to say in a worldwide pandemic. Portsmouth and Southampton Council Leaders told thier schools to close…unlike Dave who followed the party line only to have the usual, regular U -turn 24 hours later! “National restrictions, while strict, have been… Read more »

Wightlink and Redfunnel could have been our border control over the Christmas period.


Seriously, this comes up time and time again. The ferry companies do not have the legal authority to ask the purpose of your travel. Unless you are unfit to travel because of intoxication or similar, they cannot refuse your passage.

Dalek, Where in the companies terms and conditions does it state your claim please? Every company, shop, or retail outlet has a duty of care to ensure the safety of their customers. All ferry companies have a legal duty of care to safely transport passengers. If there is a highly hazardous cargo being transported by either company it is done so without other vehicles or passengers on… Read more »
Sadly, you have missed the point. Whilst I agree the ferry companies have a duty of care, nothing in their terms and conditions gives them the right to ask the purpose of your journey. There is nothing in their terms and conditions that lays out what “acceptable” is when it comes to the reasons for a journey. Nor is there any standard of proof laid down to… Read more »

With all due respect, just how many companies even have a policy that states how to operate during a worldwide pandemic?
Thier conscience should tell them that it was totally unacceptable to have allowed many to travel purely for profit!

I’m not sure who this council leader thinks he is making it sound like it the islanders fault that Covid has got worse. Yes people have been reported to have left to shop on the mainland for Christmas but people also visited and stayed on the island during the Christmas time. Without being checked upon people wouldn’t have come and stayed just one night then gone home… Read more »

I’ve said it before here and will probably say it again.
Duiring WW2 the Island was a RESTRICTED AREA and enty and exit was strictly controlled.
It wa not difficult top do then and shouldn’t be now. Do it Dave !!


He’s got his headphones in, do you suppose he is getting his orders from CCHQ or is his chilling out to some garage tunes so he doesn’t have to listen the howls of outrage from Island parents and teachers.


Dave, am I allowed to use those Beryl scooters you and Ian are promoting during lockdown?

Does anyone have the self-respect and freedom of mind to think for themselves, research for themselves and question if the authorities, whether Jackboot Johnson or script-reading ‘Dave’, are telling them the truth about the ‘virus’ while human society is being destroyed on the say-so of a handful? With honourable exceptions it seems not. Read about the traits of Stockholm syndrome and you’ll see what you are suffering… Read more »
I do not believe it

“Staying at home is the only way to keep the Isle of Wight safe PROMISES COUNCIL LEADER”- might have been a more encouraging headline for his wretched constituents.
If only Dave and his fellow Tory Councillors would all stay permanently at home and never ever visit and vote in the Council Chamber again, then the health and sanity of us islanders would improve ten thousand fold!

Some ‘stay at home’ preaching councillors and residents can’t follow rules… Just before Christmas ‘someone’ decided it would be a brilliant idea to have a MERRY AND BRIGHT late night shopping occasion in Ryde, music, singers – blocked off Union Street and all. From a vantage point overlooking the street it was clear many were not there to shop, most businesses were in darkness by 6 PM,… Read more »