With Coronavirus infection rates rising rapidly locally, Islanders are being urged to prepare for possible tougher restrictions.
Council leader, Dave Stewart, said residents should prepare for the possibility that the Island may move into a higher level of restrictions, perhaps from as early as Boxing Day.
Last week the government gave details of a new variant of coronavirus which led to large parts of the south east — including Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant — being placed into a new Tier 4 level of restrictions.
Stewart: Covid-19 variant may have already reached the Island
Cllr Stewart said,
“The data suggests the new variant of the virus transmits more easily than other strains but there is currently no evidence that it is more likely to cause severe disease or mortality.
“Sadly, I fear the Coronavirus variant may have already reached the Island as our new case rates are increasing rapidly.
“However, we should not be dejected if we do come under additional restrictions; sometimes you may not win every battle but can still win the war, and that’s exactly what we will aim to do as an Island community.
“We will have more access to different tests in the new year and will make sure that we make best use of them in keeping our community safe. We will also continue to support businesses so that they can operate in a Covid-secure way and get through this pandemic.
“I do not know what may happen in the coming weeks, but I remain optimistic that we can all play our part in the recovery of the Island in 2021.”
Follow Tier 2 restrictions
In the meantime, though the Island remains in Tier 1, residents are being encouraged to follow Tier 2 (high alert) restrictions to help keep the Island safe.
Simon Bryant, the Island’s director of public health, added:
“We need to be mindful that infections on the Island, while still thankfully lower than in many other areas of the country, are rising and infection is spreading.
“I want to thank everyone for continuing to follow the rules which has helped to save lives. If you do have symptoms, please immediately get a Covid-19 test and self-isolate.
“It is even more important that we observe the guidelines of hands-face-space-ventilate even more closely than before.”
For further information on coronavirus on the Island, visit keeptheislandsafe.org
News shared by Isle of Wight council press office. Ed