Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance and Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Full guidance for staying at home and away from others - updated 23 March 2020

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

Support helpline for vulnerable Islanders

A helpline has been set up to support our most vulnerable residents affected by coronavirus self-isolation measures.

You can call 01983 823 600 between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week.

This phone number is for anyone

  • who needs help because of self-isolation
  • who is alone and needs support
  • who feels vulnerable

Isle of Wight Council and voluntary networks have worked together to provide this helpline to ensure those that need assistance are supported.

Protect yourselves and others.

Download, print and promote the helpline in your local area with this poster [199KB].

Stay at home

  • Do not go to work, school or public areas.
  • Do not have visitors in your home, including family and friends.
  • Have food, medication and other supplies delivered to you.
  • If possible, you should not go out even to buy food or other essentials, other than exercise, and in that case at a safe distance from others.
  • If you cannot move any vulnerable family members out of the household, minimise as much as possible the time spent in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas.

 If you live with a vulnerable person:

  • Aim to keep 2 metres (3 steps) away from them whenever possible.
  • Use separate facilities in your home as much as possible. Sleep alone and use a separate bathroom, if available.

  • Do not share cups, eating utensils, towels, bedding or other items with them.

More stay at home advice is available on the NHS website 

Social Distancing

The following documents have been produced by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum to highlight areas that are considered to be non-essential and the public should stay away from.

Practical steps

  • Wash your hands more often and for 20 seconds.
  • Use soap and water or a hand sanitiser when you:
                • Get home or into work
                • Blow your nose, sneeze or cough
                • Eat or handle food
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze and throw the tissue away straight away
  • Don’t touch your face with dirty hands

The most up to date coronavirus information is available on the NHS website

Isolate your household

You must stay at home if you or anyone in your household has a high temperature or a new and continuous cough – even if it’s mild.

  • Everyone in your household must stay at home for 14 days and keep away from others.
  • DO NOT go to your GP, hospital or pharmacy.
  • Go to NHS.UK to check your symptoms and follow the specialist medical advice. Only call NHS 111 if you can’t get online or your symptoms worsen.
  • Protect older people and those with existing health conditions by avoiding contact.

Find out how to isolate your household on the NHS website

Help the NHS

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service only if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.

Vulnerable groups of people

These include:
  • people aged over 70
  • people with an underlying health condition
  • people with a weakened immune system
  • women who are pregnant

The government has issued guidance on social distancing for vulnerable groups of people and everyone else.  Please read and follow the guidance.

Specific guidance for people who are particularly high risk:

You may be at a particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus if you:

  • have had an organ transplant and are taking immunosuppressant medicine
  • are having chemotherapy or radiotherapy
  • have blood or bone marrow cancer, such as leukaemia
  • have a severe chest condition, such as cystic fibrosis or severe asthma
  • have another serious health condition

According to the NHS website, if you are on the list above and at particularly high risk of getting seriously ill with coronavirus, the NHS will contact you from Monday 23 March 2020.

You'll be given specific advice about what to do.

You do not need to contact your GP at this stage – wait to be contacted.

The most up to date coronavirus information is always available from:

Transport, shipping and sea ports

Detailed information and advice for staff working in the transport sector is available on the government’s web pages.

Information for shipping and sea ports is available on the government's website.

For updated cross-Solent travel advice please see latest information:

Statement from Chief Constable Olivia Pinkney, chair of the Local Resilience Forum

As part of our regular review of the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Local Resilience Forum (HIOW LRF) has now declared the Coronavirus outbreak a major incident. We have already been providing a multi-agency response for a number of weeks and the declaration of a major incident simply means we move to the next phase of our well-rehearsed plans. This ensures all partners, which includes all the emergency services, can use joint working arrangements to effectively manage, and where possible minimise, the impact of the virus on our population during these unprecedented times. The HIOW LRF comprises the public sector partners in Hampshire, Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight.

The Isle of Wight Council and health partners continue to keep a close watch on the development of the Coronavirus outbreak – with processes in place to respond if, and when required.

Our priority is to ensure that critical local services to Isle of Wight residents are maintained and that we are signposting people to the most up-to-date official sources of information and advice.

The most up to date coronavirus information is available from: