DRONES linking, St Mary's Hospital with the mainland, will be 'fast-tracked' according to the government's Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, today (Friday).

Read the full statement here: Vital routes for supplies and people kept open through coronavirus support package

Mr Shapps has committed to moving ahead with a new trial that the government says will help the Isle of Wight's hospital tackle coronavirus.

Earlier this year, £28 million was awarded to Southampton and Portsmouth councils to carry out drone trials, as part of a wider future transport zone trial.

Earlier this month, the County Press reported that the idea of drones had been welcomed by Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely.

Read more: Drones could deliver meds to Isle of Wight patients in new trial

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, said today: "Essential supplies are continuing to flow well, but operators are facing challenges as fewer people travelling means less capacity to move goods.

"Today’s action will help ensure all parts of the UK have the capacity they need and, following on from our action to support the rail and bus sectors, it shows how this government is acting to protect the transport links the country relies on."

Read more: Up to £10.5 million granted by government to help support 'crucial links' to the Isle of Wight

Update, 2:30pm: 

Isle of Wight MP, Bob Seely has said the scheme will benefit the Island.

He said: “I’m delighted this scheme has been fast-tracked by the Government. It follows many talks I’ve had with Government Ministers about pilot schemes that could benefit the Isle of Wight.

“I’m glad the Island can be part of this pioneering approach using new technology to improve quality of life and, potentially saves lives. The use of drones is just one element of this.”