Restrictions on social distancing, face masks, socialising indoors and outdoors, working from home and attending life events have all been removed today (Monday), just days before the Isle of Wight expects an influx of cash-ready tourists for the summer holidays.
Isle of Wight businesses can finally return to full capacity and recoup some of their losses from the past 16 months, with Islanders and visitors alike now able to enjoy life once again and make the most of what the Island has to offer.
The lifting of COVID restrictions across England comes just days before the start of the summer holidays, which will hopefully bring tourists from far and wide to the Island to inject much-needed cash into the shattered economy.
Despite two-thirds of the country now being double jabbed and transmission of the virus extremely low on the Isle of Wight, alongside news that ventilation beds at St Mary’s haven’t been used in 10 weeks, the Council is still pushing a message of caution.
With no legal restrictions in place, Islanders are now free to do as they please when it comes to normal behaviour. However, the Council is still advising people don’t meet indoors, don’t meet up with lots of people and suggests continuing to wear a face mask.
The Isle of Wight Council says that ‘COVID-19 is still a very risky disease for all of us’ and encourages cautious behaviour.
Simon Bryant, director of public health on the Island, has said:
“The pandemic is not over and the disease carries risks for all of us, but particularly the most vulnerable members of our Island community.
“We know getting vaccinated helps protect ourselves and others. Reduced transmission of the virus minimises the development of new variants.
“My two key messages are please take a cautious approach and get vaccinated. Doing both of these will really help stop the spread and protect the NHS as cases rise and hospitalisations increase.”
Councillor Karl Love, Cabinet lead for public health, urges Islanders to get vaccinated to help protect the community:
“It’s especially important that all our young people are now vaccinated to complete the loop and prevent further spread of the virus.
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“As lockdown restrictions are lifted, it’s still wise to continue wearing your face covering. I also encourage those who travel backwards and forwards across the Solent to keep testing using the free lateral flow kits obtained at local pharmacies.”
For more local information on COVID-19, visit www.keeptheislandsafe.org.