A charter for visitors on how to safely enjoy the Isle of Wight and its attractions has been launched by the Isle of Wight Council.

The charter continues to push a campaign, ensuring everyone knows how to respect, protect and enjoy the Island during the summer months in a Covid-secure way.

It has been developed by the Isle of Wight Council in partnership with Visit Isle of Wight, the Isle of Wight NHS Trust and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, and includes simple to follow guidelines that promote good and positive behaviours expected of visitors during their stay.

Tourism contributes nearly half a billion pounds to the local economy and directly providing employment to 16 per cent of the population.

Council leader, Cllr Dave Stewart, said: "Welcoming back visitors will play a vital role in helping our economy bounce back from the devastating effects of Covid-19 as quickly as possible.

"With many of our tourism-related businesses 'good to go', our charter encourages guests to behave responsibly and take good care of our Island while they are here — to respect and protect the Island as they enjoy its unique offer.

"We also hope by having this charter in place, Islanders will feel reassured we are working hard to keep our community safe by containing the virus.

"It is really important that everyone, visitors and Island residents alike, follows the advice in the charter.

"Together we can help to contain and minimise future outbreaks of the virus on the Island."

The council is inviting businesses to have created, for free, their own branded version of the visitor charter that can be printed and displayed in their premises.

Businesses can follow the link, https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/IWvisitorcharter and instructions to upload a photographic jpeg (.jpg) image in landscape format and a minimum of 2,000 pixels wide.

Will Myles, managing director of Visit Isle of Wight, said: "This is a fantastic example of the Island’s forward thinking and working together to encourage responsible tourism.

"The visitor charter sits perfectly alongside the ‘We’re Good To Go’ mark and I recommend Isle of Wight businesses take advantage of the opportunity to get their own branding on their own visitor charter for free from council."

Maggie Oldham, Isle of Wight NHS Trust chief executive, said: "We all have a part to play in keeping ourselves and everyone around us safe so that we can all enjoy our beautiful surroundings.

"Simple measures such as good hand hygiene, keeping a distance from others and face coverings all help to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus and will help to protect our NHS.”

Jonathan Bacon, chairman of the Isle of Wight Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty Partnership, said the status of the Isle of Wight as a UNESCO Biosphere was now an essential part of the Island's offer to visitors.

He added: "The Island's environment offers much, including many unique features, that can be enjoyed even in these strange and difficult times.

"We wholeheartedly support the charter which will help people to appreciate and enjoy the beauty of the Island in a responsible way for the benefit of all."