The Government has announced that the Isle of Wight will fall into Tier 1 when the country exits lockdown next Wednesday and re-enters a tiered system, restricting the lives of millions of people.
Today’s news means that the Island has escaped the stricter measures of Tiers 2 and 3 thanks to the low number of infections here. The Isle of Wight is generally considered one of the safest places in the country in terms of COVID-19 and as a result, life is starting to return to normal here at a quicker pace.
The Island is 1 of just 3 places in the country to fall into Tier 1.
Tier 1 restrictions allow Islanders to meet up with family and friends again, both indoors and outdoors, and to enjoy pubs and restaurants – an important economic boost to local businesses in the run-up to Christmas.
As previously reported by Island Echo, the Rule of 6 will be relaxed for Christmas for a limited period of 5 days from 23rd December until 27th December inclusive. This will allow a maximum of 3 families to come together over Christmas dinner, or other festive activities.
What can we do in Tier 1?
Meeting friends and family
Maximum of 6 people indoors or outdoors, apart from with members of the same household or support bubble. Overnight stays are permitted.
Hospitality and Accommodation
Pubs and restaurants can re-open, but venues must offer table service only – last orders 22:00, to close by 23:00. All hotels, B&Bs etc. can re-open too.
All shops to re-open.
Hair and Beauty
All personal care businesses such as hairdressers and beauty salons can re-open.
Leisure and Entertainment
Gyms, leisure centres, cinemas, bowling alleys and other leisure/entertainment destinations can re-open.
Sport, live performances and business meetings can resume at a maximum of 50% capacity or 4,000 people outdoors.
Work and Business
Everyone who can work from home should do so.
Weddings and Funerals
A maximum of 15 guests for weddings, wedding receptions and wakes. 30 people can attend a funeral.
Places of Worship
Open for worship but you cannot interact with more than 6 people.
The leader of the Isle of Wight Council has welcomed the news. Councillor Dave Stewart has said:
“Being in Tier 1 gives us back some more of the freedoms we have all battled to secure in everything we are doing to reduce the transmission of the disease. Having done this so well, these are freedoms we need to fight to retain so the key messages of hands-face-space continue to apply.
“Please continue to be careful about where you go, who and how you meet because although things are looking up, they can quickly change. Taking personal responsibility and making good choices continues to be the best way to protect your self and those you love from the virus.
“The gradual introduction of vaccines and testing in the coming months will assist us in this challenge, but I can only urge, it is what we all do will make the biggest difference.
“Let’s remember, there was life before the pandemic and all of the signs are hopeful that we can return to something of that life in 2021.
“That’s something I hold on to as a make my own plans to follow the guidelines and celebrate Christmas.
“We have all come too far to throw this opportunity now. So I encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the prize, do the right things, stay safe and make a good plan for next year.”