The Isle of Wight Council and its health partners are reminding residents how they can stay well, keep loved ones safe this October half term and help protect the Island as we move into the winter months.

By following simple steps and taking positive action, all Islanders can do their bit to prevent the spread of COVID as well as flu and other winter bugs which can place additional pressure on the NHS.

Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said the number one message was to meet outside wherever possible and let in fresh air when meeting inside. He said:

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“With the weather looking mild, half term is the perfect time to get together outside with families and friends.

“Meeting outside, taking tests and continuing with the simple hands, face, space and fresh air guidance, will help to reduce the pressure on the NHS, and protect ourselves, our families and our communities.

“Making good choices and taking personal responsibility for what you do remains key to preventing the continued spread of the virus in the community.”

Top things you can do to protect your health and NHS services this winter, which work for colds and flu not just COVID, are:

  • Don’t guess, take a test. Take LFT tests regularly when you don’t have symptoms, so you can’t pass the virus on to others. If you have any sort of symptoms, book a PCR test. If you test positive you must self-isolate at home for 10 days.
  • Get your COVID-19 jab or booster jab when you are called.
  • Get your flu jab if you’re invited to have it. You might be offered both your COVID and flu jab together, that’s fine.
  • Wear a face covering in crowded places still, and maintain social distancing if you can. The choices we make will help keep our friends and family safe.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water, especially if you are ill.

The council and partners are encouraging anyone who is eligible to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccination — it’s not too late and offers the best protection against serious illness.

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This includes getting a booster vaccination, where you have been invited to. Islanders will be contacted by the NHS when it is their turn.

You can currently book an appointment via your GP practice. The Riverside will also be available for the booster in the near future. When booster appointments at the Riverside become available, you will be able to book online via the NHS website or by calling 119.

Steve Parker, medical director at Isle of Wight NHS Trust, said:

“At this time of the year we start to see an increase in viruses and we know COVID-19 and flu are circulating which can be incredibly serious for some people, resulting in them needing hospital care.

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“Our plea is for everyone to continue to be vigilant and do all they can to help to reduce the spread of these viruses, to help protect the most vulnerable people in our community and to help local NHS services care for those most in need.”

For more local information on COVID, visit

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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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1 month ago

Fully understand the NHS guidance , it’s a pity the council didn’t stand up and protect the island back in the summer instead of letting us get invaded , bit of boot on the other foot now they request something

Arthur Sausage
Arthur Sausage
1 month ago

Typical Council.

Give us a break from your exorbitant Council Tax to pay for winter fuel.

As Molly says didn’t care about us when Festival was on, oh sorry money comes before our lives!

1 month ago

People are catching the virus from their children and grandchildren it is being allowed to run through the schools. I had avoided it up to now but caught it from my grandson who brought it home from school, tested negative on the Wednesday, sent home on the Thursday from school with headache, tested positive on the Thursday. Have to have grandchildren so parents can work. The schools need to take measures to protect the spread. So practise what you preach stop the spread in schools


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