Tourists told to stay away following new government lockdown guidance

Day trippers have been told to “stay away” from the Island after the government announced that people could now travel for their lockdown exercise.

On Sunday night, Boris Johnson outlined his “first sketch of a roadmap” for the gradual lifting of coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown measures.

The prime minister announced that from tomorrow (Wednesday), people would be allowed to spend more leisure time outdoors – provided they stick to social distancing guidelines.

However, the leader of the Isle of Wight Council, Dave Stewart, said this should not be seen as an invitation for people to flock to the Island or move location to their second home.

He also urged Islanders to maintain the two-metre social distancing rule when outside.

“The move to a new phase in the national response to coronavirus is best summed up in the new message from the prime minister to “Stay Alert: Control the Virus and Save Lives,” said Councillor Stewart.

“It remains the council’s priority to protect our Island community in the best way that we can.

“To that end the message for those on the mainland who may be thinking of visiting us is: ‘Please stay away at this time – it is not yet safe for us or for you to come to the Island. We will tell you when it is safe to do so’.”

Will Myles, managing director at Visit Isle of Wight added: “The time to visit our beautiful island will return and we will be here to welcome our visitors once again, unfortunately that time is not now. The Island will wait!”

Like many local authorities up and down the country, the council said it was carefully evaluating the impact of the government’s latest plans, both for how it delivered services and for the recovery of the whole Island community.

The opening of Lynbottom tip on Monday is a measure of the start of a return to some of the things we once knew before Covid-19, it said.

“While it comes with a new booking system and a temporary road traffic arrangement, it is a demonstration of the sort of things we can and will need to do, as we start to recover from the impact of the virus,” said Councillor Stewart.

“I am grateful to all Islanders for the way they have engaged with the new plans for accessing the tip which went very well on day one.”

For the latest guidance on staying safe outside your home, click here.