23 February 2021
Following Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s announcement yesterday (22 February), we look at the next steps to move out of lockdown and what it means for the Isle of Wight.
From 8 March, people in England will see restrictions start to lift with the government’s four-step roadmap offering a route back to a more normal life.
Step one – from 8 March 2021
Schools, childcare and education
- All children and students return safely to face-to-face education in schools and colleges.
- Childcare and children’s supervised activities can also resume where necessary to enable parents to work or engage in similar activities.
Twice-weekly rapid testing for secondary and college pupils will be in place – in addition to regular testing for all teachers – to reduce the chance of the virus spreading in schools.
- Higher Education students at English universities on practical courses can also return from 8 March.
Please continue to stay at home until 29 March 2021, but:
- you will be allowed to leave your home for recreation and exercise outdoors with your household or support bubble or with one person from outside of your household.
- care home residents will also be allowed one regular visitor.
From 29 March 2021
The evidence shows that it is safer for people to meet outdoors rather than indoors.
From 29 March:
- outdoor gatherings (including in private gardens) of either six people (the ‘rule of six’) or two households will be allowed.
- outdoor sports facilities such as tennis and basketball courts, and open-air swimming pools, will also be allowed to reopen.
- formally organised outdoor sports can begin.
The ‘stay at home’ rule will end on 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place. People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Holidays abroad will not be allowed, as it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme. The government has launched a new taskforce to review global travel which will report on 12 April.
More information about the next steps out of lockdown is available on the government website.
Two further locations for free rapid response community testing have now opened on the Isle of Wight – at Cowes and Yarmouth.
Please note: This is only for Island employees who don’t have COVID-19 symptoms and who can’t work from home.
The two new sites are in addition to those sites at Newport, Ryde and Sandown that opened last week and have been well attended during their first week.
Workers should book regular tests.
Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said: “Along with Test and Trace and the roll out of the vaccine, this testing programme will help identify hidden infections and is another tool that can be used to bring coronavirus back under control.
“We hope that residents who do not have the option to work from home will take up this offer and do their bit to help protect their families, colleagues and the communities they work in.”
Around one in three people with COVID-19 don’t have symptoms.
Employees can book a test online at: www.keeptheislandsafe.org/community-testing or by calling (01983) 823660 if they don’t have internet access.
From Tuesday 16 February community testing sites are available at:
- Newport – Floor One of County Hall, High Street, Newport, PO30 1UD;
- Sandown – The Heights Leisure Centre, Broadway, Sandown, PO36 9ET;
- Ryde – Learning and Development Service, Westridge Centre, Brading Road, Ryde, PO33 1QS.
Open: Monday to Friday – 7am to 7pm; Saturday – 7am to 1pm.
How to book
Employees can book a test online at www.keeptheislandsafe.org/community-testing or by calling (01983) 823660 if they don’t have internet access.
The testing process should take a maximum of 15 minutes. Lateral flow tests give a response in 30 minutes. You are advised not to eat anything 30 minutes before the test.
Employees are advised to have a test two times a week.
Rapid response community testing is for people without COVID-19 symptoms
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate immediately and book a test for people with symptoms online or by calling 119. Those tests will take place at Newclose County Cricket Ground, Newport.
Thank you for all you are doing to keep the Island safe.
These are the latest published COVID-19 statistics for the Isle of Wight, from Public Health England.
You can read the full COVID-19 data report on our website.
The graphic shows the COVID-19 statistics published by Public Health England on 22 February 2021 including data up to 21 February 2021:
- 6,617 – The number of confirmed cases to date of Island residents who have received a positive COVID-19 test result since March 2020. This is based on the residential address of the person tested rather than where they are registered with a GP.
- 71 – The number of positive cases in the seven-day period.
- 50.1 – Weekly cases per 100,000. This is the number of Island residents who have received a positive COVID-19 test result in the seven-day period, divided by the total population of the Island.
It is vital we all continue to follow the government guidelines during national restrictions: hands, face, space.
- Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser regularly.
- Wear a face-covering where appropriate.
- Keep space from other people; two metres or at least one metre apart.
Managing COVID-19 in the workplace – free webinars for Island businesses
Isle of Wight business owners are invited to join the Isle of Wight Council and Public Health England for a free one hour webinar: : Managing COVID-19 cases and outbreaks in the workplace for Isle of Wight businesses.
Get the latest information from the government on regulations impacting the business sector and from Public Health England on infection control and case/outbreak response.
Book and join online at one of the following events: