UPDATED: TOURISTS and non-permanent residents arriving on the Isle of Wight should self-isolate for a week during the coronavirus outbreak, the Isle of Wight’s MP has said.

Bob Seely called it ‘the sensible thing to do’.

Scroll down for advice on who should self-isolate and what that means.

Mr Seely said, “Obey the two metre rule. There are people coming down who may be carrying the virus. If they’re coming from places with higher rates than the Isle of Wight, they need to be mindful of their behavior. It’s about infecting the nurse in the local shop, who goes on to infect 20 people in the community.”

Mr Seely said he would be among those required to self-isolate, when returning from parliament.

Yesterday, Parkdean Resorts, which runs holiday parks in Shanklin, at Lower Hyde and Landguard Manor, as well as Thorness Bay and Nodes Point, suddenly decided to close to holiday makers until May. 

Read more: Parkdean suddenly shuts Isle of Wight holiday parks until May

There had been widespread concern that people choosing to holiday here, despite the call for social isolation, would put pressure on the Island’s health resources and emergency services.

Meanwhile, the government is contacting up to 1.5 million people in England via letters and text messages this week to warn them that they have the highest risk of COVID-19 developing into a severe illness if they contract the virus, due to their specific health conditions. They will be told that they must stay at home for at least 12 weeks starting Monday, and not go out even for food shopping.

Bob Seely said: "This is really important information for vulnerable Islanders. They are being contacted and will be told they need to stay indoors and isolate. Plans are being put together in the coming days to support them. 

"I've been hearted by the strong community spirit shown by very many Islanders who are looking out for those around them and looking for ways to help others. The important thing is that we think not of ourselves but of those more vulnerable in our society in the coming weeks.

Updated 9.30am: 

In a fresh statement this morning, Bob Seely said: "Government is requesting that people stay in their primary residence during this crisis to ensure that that NHS can cope and that the virus is not spread to more isolated parts of the country.

"It states: 'Essential travel does not include visits to second homes, camp sites, caravan parks or similar, whether for isolation purposes or holidays.’ The advice can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/covid-19-essential-travel-guidance

"For those people who have arrived recently on the Island, please be considerate and think of the Island.

"We need to do our best to limit the chance for the virus to spread and we need to do what we can to make sure our NHS is not overwhelmed.

"This is not just about keeping ourselves save, but ensuring that we keep others safe. It’s about ‘us' and not ‘me'. 

Mr Seely's points were: 

1. You should be self-isolating for at least a week once you arrive. Follow the guidance and please obey it for the sake of others.

2. Try to use a ferry where you can stay in your car.

3. Don’t panic purchase when you are here. There is plenty of food and we need to make sure that at-risk groups as well as NHS staff and other key groups can shop.

4. Use the Council helpline if you are in doubt or need help or advice.

5. Take exercise - go for walks - but do so practising social distancing. If you are an at-risk group, you need to fully self-isolate.

6. Please only offer to help others once you are sure you are not infectious.

"We ALL need to work together in the next few weeks to limit the ability of the virus to spread."


Isle of Wight County Press:

MJ Richardson

Read more: Quarantine the Isle of Wight? Parkdean, MP and others' messages to tourists.