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Cabinet member for transport and infrastructure, Councillor Ian Ward, has said that the Isle of Wight Council is managing the Island’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a ‘safe and sensitive way’.

Last night it was announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson that the hospitality sector can re-open again from 4th July, paving the way for Britain to bounce back.

Cllr Ward has said that he knows there will be people who still have concerns about the impact of taking steps towards recovery but, he says, these steps will be managed in a safe and sensitive way.

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In a normal year, almost 40% of the Island’s visitors arrive on the Island between July to September. With this in mind, the Council recognises that the summer period is vital for hospitality businesses and jobs that rely on the tourist trade in the summer to support them through the winter.

Cllr Ward says:

“As a council, we have the difficult balancing act of supporting these businesses, which are vital to the economy, while at the same time trying to keep the community safe and managing any spread of the infection.

“Our message is that ‘the Island is Waiting’ and that the council, in partnership with Visit Isle of Wight, the tourism sector and our ferry companies, are working to ensure we are not left behind with the competitive 2020 UK tourist offer, but that people can book now to travel later.

“We encourage people to plan their visit to the Island and to sail safe and stay safe.”

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The Leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Councillor Dave Stewart, has hailed the return of ‘peak time’ hi-speed ferry services as a significant step on the Island’s road to recovery.

It was announced yesterday that Red Funnel’s hi-speed Red Jet service is to resume from Monday 29th June.

Cllr Stewart has said:

“Our ferry operators are making enormous effort to ensure lifeline services are maintained during these very difficult times.

“They have been working closely and in a co-ordinated fashion alongside our transport infrastructure board (TIB) and with the crucial support of the Department for Transport and our MP.

“The reinstatement of commuter services is a significant step on the Island’s road to recovery, not only to provide better connectivity to and from the mainland, but also to support our drive to open up the visitor economy in line with government advice.

“We are all continuing to work together to ensure a phased recovery of our ferry services, including the reintroduction of those which support our vital summer visitor economy. We want to safely show the Island is open for holidays this year.

“This will continue to involve our usual level of caution and safety for our Island community, but also to provide a recovery pathway for this crucial business sector.”

Transport Infrastructure Board Chairman, Christopher Garnett, has said it is essential ferry timetables can be adjusted to meet any possible increases in demand arising from further changes in Government regulations about tourism and travel – such as those confirmed last night.

The board meet regularly to review the current cross-Solent ferry services with operators Red Funnel, Wightlink and Hovertravel, and also to consider the expected increased requirement for services over the summer months.

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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Let’s hope all visitors who are here on holiday treat the residents with respect and adhere to the distancing measures which are still in place to keep everyone safe.


To be honest the majority will, but there is a minority who will have don’t give a stuff attitude.

Who will monitor this situation & maintain the law?

Maybe the council officers will be at hand or our own loan ranger 1/2 sausage champion be there too?

mr justice

Social distancing isn’t law! Doh!


Hospitality can re-open…… ok here is the big question.   If pubs, bars etc are going to re-open, who is going to check they are sticking to the new guidelines?   Pubs for example are going to be the worst offenders, once people are drunk they will not bother to keep 1mtr apart with a mask or face covering, now the medical experts say that it is not advisable to keep moving the mask when you are wearing it to drink or eat. So who is going to enforce the rules, landlords, I think not, all they are interested in… Read more »


Excellent points, not sure you will get all the answers as these are only guidelines.
Are guidelines enforceable?
SO, Is the Island waiting?
Of course it is, a lot of businesses make all their money during the summer break from the mainland visitors.
Cowes Week cancelled,
Garlic festival cancelled
and so many more events all cancelled.
So where are these visitors going to go?
I just hope that these visitors do not bring the virus with them.


visitors will primarily get off the ferry and go the beach – there will be no social distancing and most wont care anyhow.
get used to it – back to normal or everyone on the dole.

mr justice

You have the morals of a sewer rat!

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