COVID restrictions means the homeless shelter at Barton is unable to open this winter.

Instead, those without a bed to sleep in have been placed into a variety of venues across the Island, including local hotels.

All accommodation must be Covid-safe, which means a traditional shelter, with several beds to a room, is not deemed safe.

An Isle of Wight Council spokesperson explained: "Homelessness continues to be a priority for the council especially going in to winter.

"As part of our response to the Covid-19 pandemic we have created capacity to support homeless people and families through a variety of venues across the Island.

"This additional capacity will ensure we can continue to respond to the needs of people that find themselves with no place to call home both now and during the winter period.

"The accommodation offers that we have developed are supported by our existing partnership with The Salvation Army and by our housing officers, adult social care, health care, substance misuse and mental health professionals together with other partner agencies.

"We are not able to re-open the shelter at Barton at this time as all accommodation provision must be Covid-safe. This means the current communal sleeping configuration at the shelter would not be acceptable due to the risks that could be posed to people’s health.

"Should people find themselves with no place to call home, we remain available to offer support including advice and guidance."

People without a home, or concerned about someone on the streets, should call 01983 823040.

On March 26, the Minister for Local Government and Homelessness wrote to local authorities asking them to urgently accommodate all rough sleepers and focus on the provision of adequate facilities to enable people to adhere to the guidance on hygiene or isolation, including for those who are at risk of sleeping rough.

The Isle of Wight Council was tasked to move all homeless people into single person accommodation within 48 hours, including moving everyone out of the council’s emergency winter shelter and other dormitory type accommodation.

Many moved into hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, including the Sands Hotel in Sandown.