Public Health - Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Guidance and Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Full guidance for staying alert and safe (social distancing), provided by GOV.UK  - last updated 9 July 2020

Everyone’s actions have helped to reduce the transmission of coronavirus in our communities.  As the UK moves to the next phase in our fight against coronavirus, the most important thing we can do is to stay alert, control the virus, and in doing so, save lives.

Self-isolation toolkit

We have created a self-isolation toolkit to help you prepare to self-isolate if you need to at some point in the future.

As we move forward, you will need to self-isolate if you:

  • have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste);
  • have tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus;

  • live with someone who has symptoms (if the person subsequently is confirmed negative, there is no need to self-isolate as a contact) or has tested positive;

  • someone in your support bubble has symptoms (if the person subsequently is confirmed negative, there is no need to self-isolate as a contact) or has tested positive;

  • are told by NHS Test and Trace that you’ve been in contact with a person with coronavirus;

  • are returning from a country that does not have an air-bridge agreement.

If any of these things happen to you - you must stay at home because this helps to stop the virus from spreading to other people.

It is more than likely you will have little or no notice that you must self-isolate. Self-isolation is not the same as lockdown - it is more restrictive and it will help if you have a plan. If you are self-isolating you must stay at home for 14 days. You must:

  • not go to work, school or public places – work from home if you can
  • not go on public transport or use taxis
  • not go out to get food and medicine
  • not have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care 
  • not go out to exercise.

Download our useful self-isolation planning guide to help you and your household to prepare if you must self-isolate in the future.

Support helpline for vulnerable Islanders 

(Updated 1 September 2020) Helpline hours have been revised as follows:

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 to 5pm Monday to Friday and Saturday 9am to 1pm for support or email

This helpline is for anyone who needs help because of self-isolation, who is alone with no local network of friends, family or neighbours and needs support, who feels vulnerable and may need assistance with:

  • Collection of medication from pharmacies, help to access pharmacy delivery services and health care needs.
  • Access to online shopping services or small essential shopping requests.
  • Signposting for assistance with dog walking.
  • Signposting to partner agencies for support with issues arising from isolation including welfare, finance, mental health, childcare issues, crisis advice and support or other caring responsibilities.

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

Protect yourselves and others.

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

Shielding guidance updates

From the 6 July 2020 shielding guidance will be updated -  view the current guidance for people who have been shielded .

'Out and About' Cards

Working as part of the Age Friendly Island partnership we have developed a set of ‘out and about cards’ to help people move towards the ‘new normal’.  To discover more about these cards please visit our Shielding Guidance web page.

Community COVID-19 information for the Isle of Wight

The Isle of Wight Coronavirus website is a community resource with links to local hubs, food and essentials, pharmacy information, mental health, benefits and money and much more.

Regulatory services

To find, enquire about or report a problem with food businesses, including deliveries and take away services; with health and safety - for example COVID-19 secure workplaces; or environmental protection matters like noise or bonfire smoke, contact the appropriate service by finding regulatory services contact details on our web page titled Council service changes. There is an out-of-hours service, if necessary.

You may also be interested in our guidance to enable Island businesses to work with us to make sure the Island is covid-secure.

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.

Learn more about the NHS tack and trace service.

Cleaning guidance for non-healthcare settings with a suspected or after a case of COVID-19

Public Health England guidance on cleaning in non-healthcare setting, this guidance provides advice for laundry, waste and more for settings where COVID-19 has been present.


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.

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 with specific advice about what to do. If you have not heard from the NHS please contact your GP.  

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.

Outbreak Management

View our Local Outbreak Control Plan.

Read our Frequently Asked Questions.


If your having visitors to stay, please advise them to read our visitor guidance, our guidance provides practical information on what to know before you go, respect and protect the Isle of Wight and it welcomes visitors to enjoy our Island.

Privacy Notice, COVID-19

The Isle of Wight Council is committed to keeping your personal information safe and processing it in accordance with our obligations under the General Data Protection Regulation.  Please view our Privacy notice for COVID-19 response activity .