|The Isle of Wight moved to the highest Tier 4 ‘stay at home’ coronavirus restrictions following an announcement by the government on Wednesday 30 December). #KeepTheIslandSafe and stay at home.
From 00.01am on 31 December, the Island moved into Tier 4 following a rapid rise in COVID-19 cases just prior to Christmas.
The data shows that the single biggest cause of this rise is from households mixing inappropriately and not following the guidance of Hands, Face and Space at all times. This shows just how much individual behaviours can impact on the spread of the virus and the wellbeing of the whole community which must now be subject to further restrictions.
In Tier 4:
Non-essential retail must close (click and collect and deliveries can be used), hospitality must remain closed except for takeaway, drive-through or delivery services. Indoor leisure will once again close, as well as personal care, such as hairdressers and barbers.
Full details are available on the new rules can be found on the government website or in the graphic below.
It is also imperative that if you have COVID-19 symptoms or are contacted by NHS test and trace and told to self-isolate; do not leave home except to get a test if you have symptoms.
Isle of Wight Council leader Dave Stewart said: “Sadly, our case numbers have risen rapidly just prior to the Christmas period; far faster than at any other point throughout the pandemic.
“All of the good work we have been doing to protect our Island community from this virus seems to have been undone in a very short space of time, which goes to show how dangerous this virus is. We cannot let our guard down for a moment.
“Sadly it seems that some in our community have forgotten this, but I hope that this change of tiers will serve as a reminder to them not to act selfishly and follow the guidance. You may gamble that you might only get a mild infection, but are you willing to gamble you won’t pass it on to the person you are sitting beside and that they will not get the infection in a far more serious way?
“The highest level of restrictions is now upon us with Tier 4 – a mere week or so since we were in Tier 1, the lowest level.
“Please, keep the Island safe – keep your friends, family and loved ones safe – stay at home.
“We all have high hopes for 2021, with the vaccine being rolled out and the promise of some normality returning, let’s bring the new year in sensibly and positively, by doing the right thing; protecting our community, friends, families, neighbours and most vulnerable people on the Island by staying at home one more time. We’ve done it before, we can do it again, and as we’re seeing elsewhere in the country, it slows the transmission of the virus.
“I am again really disappointed for all of our local businesses that have worked so hard with us to operate in a Covid-secure way. We are expecting further news of business grants to be available from next week which we will rollout as soon as we are able to those local businesses who need support.
“We must get infection rates down if we are to make the best of 2021 and the year ahead. Taking personal responsibility and making good choices continues to be the best way to protect yourself and those you love from the virus. We must all take action to protect each other and our hospital capacity.”
Simon Bryant, the Island’s director of public health, said: “We must bring the number of cases on the Island under control. We must be very cautious with what we do. You must stay at home.
“Please, for the safety of the Island, do not flout the rules or bend them to suit what you want to do. I know that this is a lot to ask and it is hard for people who want to see friends and family on New Year’s Eve – but please don’t meet up in person. We have the power to slow the spread of the virus through our own behaviours – it’s people and close contact that spread COVID-19 and why we’ve seen our cases rise – please make the right choice and stay at home.
“If you have symptoms, self-isolate – do not leave your home for any reason at all – and book a test. Test slots are released daily. The best time to book a test is around 8am or 8pm each day on the government website or by calling 119. You can also book home testing kits if you’re unable to get a test at the testing site.
“Remember, around one in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms so could be spreading the virus without realising.”
Support is available to those who need it through the council’s COVID-19 helpline (01983) 823600.
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, or who feels vulnerable and may need assistance with:
• help to access pharmacy medication delivery services and healthcare needs;
• access to online shopping delivery services or small essential shopping requests;
• 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.