05 Mar 2021

Caution as restrictions are eased

The Island's director of public health has thanked Islanders for all they have done during the national lockdown and urged caution as restrictions begin to be eased.

From Monday (8 March), residents will see some restrictions start to lift as schools resume face-to-face teaching for all pupils.

Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor and people will be able to meet with one other person for outdoor recreation or activity.

Despite falling rates of infection, Simon Bryant, director of public health, said the situation was still very serious.

He said: "Islanders have done a fantastic job which has resulted in getting case rates down but we are still in lockdown. Please stay at home. Every outing carries the risk of transmitting the virus and passing it on to someone.

"We all need to do our bit to prevent the spread of infection in order to keep our population safe and move to the next step of the roadmap to recovery.

"We are going to have to keep living our lives differently to keep ourselves and others safe. Things like hand washing, face coverings and social distancing are small things that have a big and positive effect.

"It’s so important that we all play our part to comply with COVID-secure measures that will remain in place."

Now and in the coming months residents are being urged to continue to get tested, get vaccinated when the call comes and follow the gold standard protective trio: hands, face, space.

They are also being reminded that if they have had a vaccine, they must still continue to follow all guidance.

The Island's rapid community-based testing sites for people without symptoms are now available to anyone who is out for essential reasons - such as doing the shopping, picking up a prescription or doing the school run.

The centres are at County Hall, Newport, The Heights Leisure Centre, Sandown, Westridge Centre, Ryde, the Community Hall of Yarmouth and District, Yarmouth, and the Isle of Wight Community Club, Cowes.

The test is called a lateral flow test and involves a swab of the mouth and nose and provides a result within 30 minutes. Book a free test at keeptheislandsafe.org/communitytesting.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, remember to get tested as soon as possible to find out if you are positive. If you have a high temperature, continuous cough or loss of or change in sense of smell or taste, you should immediately self-isolate and book a test.

You can book a test online, on the NHS COVID-19 App, or by calling 119.

The Island's test centre for people with symptoms is located at Newclose County Cricket Ground, Blackwater Road, Newport.

Council leader Dave Stewart said "we must all continue to play our part" in controlling the spread of the virus.

"Once again we have one of the lowest rates of infection in the country and I thank all residents for playing a major part in this achievement," he said.

"However, we must not jeopardise our chances of reaching greater freedoms by adjusting our behaviour too early.

"Vaccines give clear hope for the future, but for now we must all continue to play our part to keep the Island safe."

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From Monday (8 March), residents will see some restrictions start to lift
From Monday (8 March), residents will see some restrictions start to lift
Factfile
  • Care home residents will be allowed one regular visitor and people will be able to meet with one other person for outdoor recreation or activity.
  • If you have COVID-19 symptoms, remember to get tested as soon as possible to find out if you are positive.
 
Isle of Wight, UK