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The Island’s MP, Bob Seely, has tabled an amendment to the government’s emergency Coronavirus Bill to ensure the Island can prepare resilience plans better.

Bob has asked for a clause to be added to the Bill that allows ferry companies to talk to each other to ensure cross-Solent travel disruption is kept to a minimum.

The proposal also enables easier supplies of medicine and other essentials.

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Bob has said:

“Normally competition law prevents the ferry firms talking to each other. This clause will make it easier and quicker for ministers to tell the ferries to talk – which they want to do – about resilience plans and if need be cooperate to ensure that service disruption is minimised.

“That in turn will ensure that patients undergoing treatment on the mainland can get to the mainland and that supplies can get to the Island with the minimum of disruption.

“The clause also ensures the provision of food, medicines and other essential goods by giving ministers additional powers.

“I want to stress that these are all precautionary measures, but I want to make sure the Island is listened to.

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Mr Seely continues:

“I am teaming up with other MPs from isolated or Island communities. This is about ensuring the Island’s needs are listened to and provision take into account.

“I will continue to push hard to make sure the government is taking into account the Island’s needs as it plans for the coming weeks and months.”

The emergency bill will be debated in parliament next week.


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.
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Laird Younie

Dear sir Please play the long game regarding the corona virus and close off the island for the next 12 weeks, Bette to lose the Easter trade and remain virus free for the whole of the summer if we shut down now we can cash in on the central government’s generosity and ask them to guarantee all business will be given subsidies to the equiv of 80% of last year’s trading profit, when this all blows over we can reopen in the knowledge that people will be happy to flock here in the summer holidays rather than risk going abroad… Read more »

Janet Taplin


Susan Rogerson

Every one is in lock down and cannot leave their homes except to get food or medication and a short walk keeping away from other people. Their will not be holiday makers coming here

Boris johnson

If people over the water have sense they will not travel +by then prob all shut down

Jackie Munn

But parkdean holidays will not refund my money . Credit note to 2020 is no good as we don’t know when this will end

Susan Rogerson

Get them you give you an open ended one or demand your money back


Anyone who thinks this will all be over by the summer is in for a big disappointment. We would have to seal ourselves off until there is no longer a risk from the mainland which will be far longer than three months. And forget letting essential workers cross – unless it’s total isolation there would be no point – it only takes one infected person. Otherwise we just get infected as soon as we let people in. Even then the virus is already here so we’d have to adopt stringent measures to eliminate that too. (Think total lockdown with measures… Read more »

James Blow

The whole point is to slow it down. It doesn’t matter if in three months we opened it up and half the island was infected because by that point a lot of people who are getting it now will be treated and recovered which frees up hospital beds. That’s the whole point of isolation and social distancing. How do you know we won’t have a vaccine in 3 months….it’s all just to hold it off to by as much time as possible.


A year and a half at least to get a vaccine and that is from when one is found. They need serious trials as in tsars the early ones made it worse. So it can’t be rushed, as if people get worse they would sue or their rellys would. But you are right, this is to ‘slow it down’ not to prevent it. Our miserable little inadequate hospital will never cope with more than a dozen cases at a time. So we need to limit those needed CV care. If it mutates as other virus do, then even the young… Read more »

Susan Rogerson

When did the PM say people could travel to go on holiday? I certainly did hear him say that
He said everyone must stay at home. Full stop! That does not mean they can travel to holiday! What do you think they would be able to do here? They would be in lockdown like the rest of us! Nothing to worry about!

Richard collins

They should only be running for food and medicine and people who are essential staff. And to allow holiday makes to go home. Anyone else, stay the f&&& at home! You may be ok, but you are risking your friends and family.


And mainland hospital appointments presumably


Do we really need visitors to come here?

thomas bradley

Not at the moment.

lorraine murton

i am concerned the island mp is not taking this seriously at all…..we as an island need to SHUT THIS PLACE DOWN NOW…if we allow unnecessary travel we will have a massive pandemic here and our hospital will not cope…why wait until we have more cases of the virus before we take action .you can still allow for hospital patients who need to travel and goods etc …..but definitely not holiday makers bringing the germs over

very worried about this

Jared Gingell

Just keep the ferries working for transportation of goods, advised the times but keep it only for locals who need medical assistance and needed workers, I believe the Prime Minister and everybody else have said, stay home to save your and everybody else’s life, look out there, see the numbers, keep our Isle of Wight safe.
Take care off yourselves, family and people around you, it my not affect you, but the person next to you can die from it.

Jackie Munn

Yes I agree .stop visitors to island


Dear Bob Selsey Please please please please close the island down now…. Yarmouth is besieged by the DFL with all their families in tow, they are all from London or the Home Counties owning a 2nd home here is not a reason to bring the entire family to roost at our expense . We need to prioritise our island resources to look after islanders adopt the same rules as jersey and the isle of man … Our NHS cannot take on care of these people They see it as a right to descend upon us whenever they feel like it…..… Read more »

thomas bradley

I agree with elaine. We need to stop these selfish idiots coming on to the Island and spreading this virus.


Please keep the DFL’S (down from London) from coming to the Island. We have got to keep our Island clear of this virus.
We have got to think of Islanders, not these selfish idiots with second homes.

thomas bradley

I think this pandemic has proven that we need another hospital. The pennyfeathers site would be perfect for a specialist hospital. Then there would be no need to send patients to the mainland for treatment. A hospital i Ryde creat jobs and save the NHS a lot of money.

Jenny Byrne

So the Scottish Minister has said today that ferry companies to their remote Islands, are to be banned from carrying non-essential Travellers and will now only be open to ‘residents’ who need to travel eg. Key Workers and freight. B&Bs have been told not to accept new bookings. Time we did this, to protect our vulnerable residents and to ensure we can treat those who are in need of hospital care, in our already over stretched hospital. We can welcome our lovely Tourists again when this is over but, for now be need to protect our own!


The ferries should only be used for ESSENTIAL travel and supplies to the Island. We are an Island and ideally placed to control this virus more than our mainland friends. By essential I do mean hospital visits, not shopping popping over to see relatives etc. I am sure your friends and relatives would prefer to see you alive in 2-3 years time than not at all. Even Scotland has restricted their ferries, we need to act more than we are. Due to our higher than average elderly population we cannot afford to have a widespread scenario of the virus, and… Read more »


I live on the Mainland at a seaside resort and yesterday was disgraceful with DFL’s everywhere not giving any thought to others. This was as a result of long awaited sunshine. They all flocked to the Pier and were almost shoulder to shoulder. The Pier really shouldn’t have been open. It will be closed from today thank goodness. The situation is bad here & personally I think we will be in lock down within 24-48hrs. It really is the only way as people just do not comply. All I can say is please close your lovely Island down before it’s… Read more »

Lesley-Ann Radcliffe

I have written to Bob Seeley again to ask him to do the right thing & isolate the Island from the mainland with the only exceptions being freight & urgent medical cases. There are free hotel rooms on offer on the mainland for NHS workers so that they don’t carry the virus back to their family on the Island. We all know that the NHS on the Island will not be able to cope with an outbreak & that there are many nursing homes that would be decimated by any outbreak.

Jackie Munn

Why aren’t holiday parks closing .people are landing on island from mainland . I’ve tried to get a refund for my 30th march holiday to lower Hyde but only offered a credit note . I have copd and heart issues and don’t want to leave my home in Medway Kent


Bob, Next week is too late, the speed of this pandemic won’t wait a week


I bet if this were an Island off of France the residents there would do terrible drastic action protests like lorry drivers would take their lorries on each ferry and set it alight and on the pier to prevent many getting here.

Thank God we are British, and just moan on here as we watch the fate of our loved ones and ourselves roll off the pier and ports wondering which vehicle or person will be ‘the one’ to infect.

Unbelievable times. Hope all the nice people make it.

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