The Isle of Wight looks set to be treated ‘as an Island’ by the Government when it announces the new post-lockdown tier system.
Local MP Bob Seely says he has been seeking assurances from the Government that the Isle of Wight will be considered independently to the mainland when the covid tier system returns next month.
Mr Seely said he was concerned that combining the Island’s infection rates with areas such as Portsmouth and Southampton – where rates were much higher – would skew the picture of what was really happening on the Island. He said:
“It would be entirely wrong to combine the Isle of Wight with mainland areas with higher covid rates. The Island is separated by several miles of water from these locations, and therefore it should be seen as an entity separate from its neighbours.
“I have spoken with the Secretary of State for Health, his advisors and Ministers over the weekend to make the case that when allocating tiers, the Island must be considered independently.
“It is important that Ministers recognise that we are an Island and I will keep making that case.”
Mr Seely said that, during his conversation with the Health Secretary over the weekend, Mr Hancock had indicated that the Government was looking to treat the Island ‘as an island’.
Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Dave Stewart, has said:
“I am pleased our MP is leading this approach to Government – it reflects what many Islanders feel.
“We have worked hard to keep our infection rates low and deserve recognition for all that effort. I hope Government take this into account as they finalise their plans and thank Bob Seely for making representations on our behalf.”
Details on which counties fall into what tiers will be announced on Thursday, it is understood.