4 March 2021
From Monday (8 March) schools will resume face-to-face teaching for all pupils and the roadmap out of lockdown begins.
It’s really important that as we start to move about more outside of the home, that we keep thinking and acting with hands – face – space in mind. This will help to reduce the spread of the virus.
With schools preparing to welcome all pupils back to the classroom next week the following people are now eligible for twice weekly rapid response testing:
- Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary-age pupils
- Households, childcare and support bubbles of primary and secondary staff
This is for people without symptoms of COVID-19.
The national programme is currently being rolled out. Until the Island collection points are open, we would like to invite anyone eligible for testing to go to one of our rapid response community testing sites for a free test.
There are community testing sites at Ryde, Newport, Sandown, Cowes and Yarmouth. You can book a test via our Keep the Island safe website.
From Monday you will also be able 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.
We must continue to remember hands – face – space in order to keep virus rates low and stop the further spread of COVID-19.
The ‘stay at home’ rule remains in place.
You should continue to work from home where you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.
Information about how to report COVID-19 breaches is available on the Keep the Island safe website.
More information about the next steps out of lockdown is available on the government website.
These are the latest published vaccination and COVID-19 stats for the Isle of Wight, from NHS England and Public Health England, respectively.
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 1 March 2021 including data up to 28 February 2021.
The vaccination statistics for the Isle of Wight, published by NHS England on 25 February including data up to 21 February:
- 55,888 – The number of Island residents who have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
- 6,644 – 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.
- 41 – The number of positive cases in the seven-day period.
- 28.9 – 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.
On Thursday 6 May 2021, Islanders will go to the polls to have their say on who represents them at the Isle of Wight Council, town, parish and community council and police and crime commissioner elections.
If you’re thinking about voting by post, you can apply to do this now.
Claire Shand, electoral registration officer at the Isle of Wight Council, said: “The elections will take place at a time when COVID-19 continues to present risks to public health. Depending on the infection rate, measures taken to control the spread of the virus may change as we approach May.
“We are working hard to ensure polling stations will be safe places to vote, but you can choose to apply to vote by post or by proxy instead. If you are thinking about applying for a postal vote, then please do so as early as possible.
“As preparations continue for the local elections, we remain in close contact with the Electoral Commission, the wider electoral community and public health authorities to ensure you can stay safe when casting your vote in May.”
To vote in the elections – either at a polling station, by post, or by appointing someone you trust to vote on your behalf as your proxy – you must first be registered to vote, which can be done online in just five minutes.
To then apply to vote by post you need to download, print and fill out a postal vote application form. Once you have completed the form and signed it, you need to send it to Electoral Services, County Hall, Newport, Isle of Wight, PO30 1UD.
The deadline to apply for a postal vote and cancel or make changes to a current postal or proxy vote at this election is 5pm on 20 April 2021.