AS ONE of the only English areas being in Tier One next week, the Isle of Wight's director of public health is calling on Islanders to work together to keep everyone safe.

The Isle of Wight will go into the medium alert level, Tier One, with looser restrictions than those in Tier Two and Three.

This means Islanders can eat indoors at a pub, restaurant and cafe as well as mixing with other households, so long as the 'rule of six' is stuck to.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock thanked the Isle of Wight for remaining vigilant as the Island has had some of the lowest infection rates.

Echoing what Mr Hancock said, the Island's public health director, Simon Bryant said the case rate was now decreasing both in the general population and among the older people who are more vulnerable.

He said: "Currently Covid-19 pressure on the NHS is also low, so on balance it is right that the Tier One level applies.

“This has been possible due to the continued good work of the whole community and this has meant when restrictions are removed we will have more freedom than other areas. But it is really important that we do not let our guard down."

Mr Bryant reinforced the hands, face, space messaging — to wash your hands, wear a mask wear possible and socially distance — as the 'virus thrives on human contact'.

While the pressure on the NHS is low, and precautions are in place to deal with an increase of hospitalisations, Mr Bryant said in a small island community, it is critical to ensure this remains the case as we head into the winter period when levels of infections such as flu and pneumonia tend to increase.

He said: “It is therefore important to continue to consider the expected impact of any relaxation of restrictions over the Christmas period as we return to the tiered approach.

"We do not want to be looking back in January and wondering what more we could have done. So please let’s continue to work together to keep the Island safe."

The Tier One restrictions will come into place at the end of the national lockdown and be reviewed in two weeks, on December 16.