The Isle of Wight could be one of the first places in the country to see lockdown restrictions lifted, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster has told MPs.
The UK’s Islands could play a role in trialling changes to social distancing rules to see how such changes effect small communities before rolling out the easing of restrictions elsewhere.
Michael Gove yesterday told the House of Commons public administration and constitutional affairs committee that he would prefer that the country changes as a whole but there is specific scientific justification for using Islands, such as the Isle of Wight, for pilots schemes.
Mr Gove said:
“My own personal view is that it’s preferable that we do it as one United Kingdom but there is a specific scientific justification for saying that island communities can be areas where you can pilot some measures – contact-tracing in particular – in order to combine that with relaxing measures at a progressively greater rate.
“And that can help you judge what is right for the country overall.
“Different European countries are adopting regional variation – my belief is, overall, it’s better if we do it as one United Kingdom but there are specific opportunities in island communities to conduct trials.”
As previously reported by Island Echo, the Isle of Wight has already been earmarked for a contact tracing app trial. Mr Gove says if that did go ahead then the Government might be able to use the Island as an opportunity to see how they can relax the lockdown measures.
Gove has raised some concerns about how to Police lockdown measures – but that’s something that is easier to achieve locally due to the Solent separation.