ISLANDERS AND VISITORS URGED TO TRAVEL THE ‘WIGHT’ WAY AS LOCKDOWN EASED

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Islanders and visitors to the area are once again being asked to travel the ‘Wight’ way as more coronavirus restrictions are lifted this week.

The next step in the Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown came into effect on Monday allowing 2 households and up to 6 people to reunite outdoors at a safe distance. The rules do not allow people to mix indoors and there should be no long-distance travelling or overnight stays, which includes single households staying in a second home.

With the clear message from the Government to minimise travel, the Isle of Wight Council and its partners are continuing to work together to promote safe, responsible travel ahead of the Easter weekend, normally one of the Island’s busiest tourist seasons.

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This includes relaunching the Island visitor charter — a set of simple to follow guidelines that promote good and positive behaviours expected of visitors during their stay. The charter, which has been updated and given a fresh new look, will be displayed prominently onboard ferries and in mainland and local terminals, as well as on Southern Vectis buses.

Supt Sarah Jackson, who oversees policing on the Island, said:

“We fully support the Island’s visitor charter as a way of reminding those visiting of key messages to help ensure everyone’s safety.

“We will not be preventing people from travelling from one area to another. The government guidance advises people to ‘minimise domestic travel’ — this is guidance only and will not be enforceable by the police.

“Limiting the spread of infection is a public health matter, and we will continue to work in partnership to support our health colleagues and work with businesses, government, hospitality owners, local authorities, and others to keep our communities safe.

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“We will continue to maintain COVID-19 related patrols, as required, in addition to our usual resourcing. This is to address any problems that are identified to us and ensure that people are observing the restrictions that are in place at the given time to prevent the spread of the virus.”

The charter has been endorsed by the Island’s cross-Solent ferry operators which have implemented strict hygiene, social distancing and other COVID-19 compliant measures to ensure people can travel in safety and comfort.

Fran Collins, chief executive of Red Funnel, said:

“Safety is always our top priority. For this reason, we whole-heartedly support the visitor charter and will continue to uphold the measures we have put in place to protect our passengers and staff.

“Passengers should feel relaxed and at ease travelling with us, knowing that we continuously review government and local guidelines in accordance with our own ‘Sail Safe’ program and procedures.

“We have taken all appropriate safety measures throughout the pandemic including the implementation of PPE, increasing our cleaning schedules, making hand sanitiser widely available, filtering fresh air throughout our vessels, and reminding passengers about the legal requirement to wear face coverings. We also continue to sail with restricted passenger numbers to allow for increased social distancing.”

Keith Greenfield, chief executive of Wightlink, added:

“Now coronavirus infection numbers are falling, and vaccinations are well underway, we are gradually increasing ferry services in line with the easing of government restrictions.

“We can reassure Islanders we will continue to take every measure to make sure travel with Wightlink is as safe as possible.

“Our COVID cleaning regime will continue, and customers will be encouraged to respect social distancing and required to wear face coverings during their journeys.

“The passenger capacity on board our vessels remain reduced to allow plenty of space for everyone to spread out.”

Will Myles, managing director of Visit Isle of Wight, said the well-being of residents was foremost in everyone’s mind…

“Now that non-essential travel is allowed throughout the country, we aim to continue that message for visitors to the Isle of Wight and to sow the seeds of economic recovery in a safe manner”.

For all of the most up to date information and advice about coronavirus and all of the support on offer, visit www.keeptheislandsafe.org.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
11 Comments
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Big Ben
Big Ben
11 days ago

Jumping the gun a bit IE that headline is very misleading, travel restrictions are still in place so nobody should be travelling to the IOW for a holiday or visiting family.

iow council out
iow council out
Reply to  Big Ben
11 days ago

As of the 29th March all travel restrictions were removed, ie people from the mainland can travel to the island and vice versa without legal issue. The only travel restriction still in place is UK nationals travelling abroad for a holiday

Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
Reply to  iow council out
10 days ago

Where are they all staying then, no hotels etc should be opening doors yet???

Benny
Benny
11 days ago

They are already here – 50 Chinese tourists at alum bay this week wondering why the amenities weren’t open – the staff were only up there giving the place a facelift pre opening at the current time.
2 visitors on foot in my local area asked me for directions, I asked the question are you not local then? The answer we are on holiday staying in a B and B !!!

Miss sensible
Miss sensible
Reply to  Benny
11 days ago

Have to say down Military Rd one of the caravan sites has lot’s of holiday makers on it been there for weeks!!!!!.
And down Shanklin beach as well, don’t understand why people think they can travel during lock down! But they did way ahead of March 29th. And the next phase 12th April. Beggars belief.

Arthur Sausage
Arthur Sausage
11 days ago

Here we go Christmas cockup again, wait & see .
Sheilding again for the want of money!
Absolute shambles.

Jack in the Box
Jack in the Box
10 days ago

I know of 1 Hotel in Ventnor openly welcoming guests…

Goodgrief
Goodgrief
10 days ago

We all remember what happened before when bored overners started flooding to the Island. Tier one suddenly went out the window, thanks to those inciting tourism at the peak of an epidemic. What part of “there is a pandemic” do these people not get?

isle of wighter
isle of wighter
Reply to  Goodgrief
10 days ago

this is not the peak of a pandemic – it passed ages ago and as people are taking this so called vaccine, then there should be no need for restrictions as apparently you are protected.

lockdowns were to ease the pressure on the NHS – they have downgraded their covid status and cases are lower than a year ago – therefore no need for these ongoing measures – unless of course it is all about control

Wenjamhay
Wenjamhay
10 days ago

With no one taking any responsibility for what happens, this won’t happen. People will still travel to and from second homes both on the Island and mainland. Shame but that’s the reality

Pippin
Pippin
10 days ago

The rules are no self catering holidays until after 12 April.

How and why have all these holiday makers been allowed to come. I have seen plenty of left hand drive cars and foreign number plates, HOW and WHY. So unfair on those of us sticking to the rules, especially when my only child can’t come from the mainland for an overnight stay.

Hotels and B&Bs are not supposed to open until 17 May, and nobody is supposed to stay away from home overnight with friends or family until 17 May.

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