Novel Coronavirus – COVID 19 – advice hub

This page is a source of information with links to the various official websites that offer help and advice. We have included information that we believe is relevant to you as an Isle of Wight business and resident. This page will be updated as new information is received.

To see what we are saying to our visitors, please go to our consumer website page – https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/travel/coronavirus-information


National Lockdown:

Lockdown Restrictions

The National Lockdown in England was announced, with the guidance for immediate action, and will pass into law from 00:01 on Wednesday 6th January. It will be reviewed on 15th February with changes to restrictions being made dependant on positive results from the new controls.

Essentially you must not leave your home unless you have a reasonable excuse, which can include work or education. Should you go out, for exercise as an example, you should remain local thereby avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live. In addition you should look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall. The list of reasons you can leave your home and area include, but are not limited to:

  • work, where you cannot reasonably work from home
  • accessing education and for caring responsibilities
  • visiting those in your support bubble – or your childcare bubble for childcare
  • visiting hospital, GP and other medical appointments or visits where you have had an accident or are concerned about your health
  • buying goods or services that you need, but this should be within your local area wherever possible
  • outdoor exercise. This should be done locally wherever possible, but you can travel a short distance within your area to do so if necessary (for example, to access an open space)
  • attending the care and exercise of an animal, or veterinary services
  • Leaving home to exercise is limited to once a day but for no set period and outdoor attractions such as gardens and grounds can remain open
  • Exercise can be taken with one other person which seems to allow one-on-one outdoor training or activities that comply with all other rules such as travel and social distancing
  • Any worker with a valid reason can stay overnight in accommodation rather than just essential workers as per previously.

This means that holidays in the UK and abroad are not allowed, including staying in a second home or caravan, unless it is your primary residence, or staying with anyone who you don’t live with unless they’re in your support bubble.

You can stay overnight away from your home if you:

  • are visiting your support bubble
  • are unable to return to your main residence
  • need accommodation while moving house
  • need accommodation to attend a funeral or related commemorative event
  • require accommodation for work purposes or to provide voluntary services
  • are a child requiring accommodation for school or care
  • are homeless, seeking asylum, a vulnerable person seeking refuge, or if escaping harm (including domestic abuse)
  • are an elite athlete or their support staff or parent, if the athlete is under 18 and it is necessary to be outside of the home for training or competition If you are already on holiday, you should return to your home as soon as practical.

Tourism-Related Businesses Required to Close

  • hospitality venues such as cafes, restaurants, pubs, bars and social clubs; with the exception of providing food and non-alcoholic drinks for takeaway (until 11pm), click-and-collect and drive-through. All food and drink (including alcohol) can continue to be provided by delivery.
  • accommodation such as hotels, hostels, guest houses and campsites, except for specific circumstances, such as where these act as someone’s main residence, where the person cannot return home, for providing accommodation or support to the homeless, or where it is essential to stay there for work purposes
  • leisure and sports facilities such as leisure centres and gyms, swimming pools, sports courts, fitness and dance studios, riding arenas at riding centres, climbing walls, and golf courses.
  • entertainment venues such as theatres, concert halls, cinemas, museums and galleries, casinos, amusement arcades, bingo halls, bowling alleys, skating rinks, go-karting venues, indoor play and soft play centres and areas (including inflatable parks and trampolining centres), circuses, fairgrounds, funfairs, water parks and theme parks
  • animal attractions (such as zoos, safari parks, aquariums, and wildlife reserves)
  • indoor attractions at venues such as botanical gardens, heritage homes and landmarks must also close, though outdoor grounds of these premises can stay open for outdoor exercise. Outdoor attractions such as gardens and grounds can remain open.

Take a look at the UK Government website for more information on Tier 4 restrictions.

Click here for more information on how to keep the Island safe

Click here to download the Tier 4 information graphic


Financial support grants

New grant support under national lockdown

New government grants are now available to eligible Island businesses for the current national lockdown period (from 5 January 2021) via this Isle of Wight Council webpage

There is also grant support relating to the previous Tier 3 and Tier 4 restriction periods around Christmas and the new year, together with support for ‘wet’ led pubs for late December.

In addition, the council is offering discretionary grant help to businesses which may fall outside these schemes, and has created a Winter Business Support Grant scheme.

The grant categories are shown below.

Please use the relevant links to make your application(s).

The information you provide in the application forms will help Isle of Wight Council to calculate your entitlement.

Rolling grant payments (from 5 January 2021) – These are for eligible ratepaying businesses (non-essential retail, hospitality venues, accommodation, leisure and sports facilities, entertainment venues, animal attractions, indoor attractions at venues, personal care facilities, community centres and halls). They are rolling 28 day payments (but you will initially get a payment for six-weeks up to 15 February):

  • £1,334 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £2,000 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £3,000 for each 28 day period your business is closed – for a business with a rateable value of over £51,000.

One-off top up grants (from 5 January 2021) – These are for eligible ratepaying businesses (in retail, hospitality and leisure sectors) which are legally required to close under the current lockdown and cannot operate effectively remotely:

  • £4,000 – for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under.
  • £6,000 – for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000.
  • £9,000 – for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG) – This scheme relates to grants that are available to eligible businesses for the period during the earlier local Tier 3 and Tier 4 restrictions on the Island, as follows:During Tier 3 (26 to 30 December):

  • LRSG (for businesses that were required to close under the restrictions) – You may be entitled to a pro-rota payment for the five-day period 26 to 30 December 2020. The amount you may receive is based on the rateable value of your property.
  • LRSG (for businesses that were able to remain open under the restrictions) – This grant supports severely impacted businesses that occupied rated premises but were not legally required to close.

During Tier 4 (31 December to 4 January):

  •  LRSG (for businesses that were required to close under the restrictions) – You may be entitled to a pro-rota payment for the five-day period 31 December to 4 January. The amount you may receive is based on the rateable value of your property
  • LRSG (for businesses that were able to remain open under the restrictions) –You are not entitled to a payment.

Please use this application form for the rolling grant payments, one-off top up grants, and LRSG categories under Tier 3 and Tier 4.

Winter Business Support Grant (WBSG) – The council has created this scheme as an extension of the previous Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) scheme, which operated for the previous November lockdown. This discretionary scheme will support businesses severely impacted by the lockdown, including those in the supply chain and not eligible for national lockdown or LRSG support.

Please use this application form for the discretionary Winter Business Support Grant. Please also view the guidance notes. If you have any queries please email ecdev@iow.gov.uk

Christmas support grant for ‘wet’ led pubs – If your pub was in Tier 3 between 2 December 2020 and 29 December 2020 you may be eligible for a one off grant of £1,000. Island pubs were in Tier 3 from 26 December. You are eligible if your pub has less than 50 per cent in revenue from food sales (you must provide accounting evidence).

Please use this application form for the ‘wet’ led pub grant. Please also view the guidance notes. If you have any queries please email ecdev@iow.gov.uk

Solent LEP SME grant funding

Grant funding has been made available by the Solent Local Economic Partnership (SLEP). This funding is for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) Find more details here: https://solentlep.org.uk/small-business-recovery-grants-erdf/

Image support

Visit Isle of Wight has released mages for businesses to use during this time. Called Escape The Everyday at Home, please download the images, which have an autumn/winter theme, and use to remind potential visitors what is here when non essential travel can begin again: https://visitwightpro.com/2020/11/13/escape-the-everyday-at-home-november-2020/


Further Guidance

Guidance for tourism businesses can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/the-visitor-economy

For the tourism and hospitality sector, this means that pubs and restaurants will be closed, however take away and or collection service businesses (not including the sale of alcohol) may remain open

People are not allowed to stay overnight at somewhere other than their registered home, unless it is for work purposes. This means that for now, accommodation businesses must close, unless they are hosting workers.

For guests already staying in accommodation, the latest advice is that they can continue to see out the rest of their booked holiday, although abide by the new guidelines.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now remain open until December, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 – the cost to employers for retaining workers will be reduced compared to the current scheme.

The Self Employment Income Support Scheme will continue with:

  • people receiving 80% of average trading profits for November
  • grants will also be paid faster than previously planned – with the claims window opening at the end of November rather than the middle of December
  • the increase means £4.5 billion of support for the self-employed between November and January
  • more businesses will also be able to benefit from government loan schemes which have been extended to the end of January, while firms can ‘top up’ existing Bounce Back Loans should they need additional finance

Find out more here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/932077/ECONOMIC_SUPPORT_UPDATE__NOVEMBER__FINAL.pdf


Cross Solent travel

For the latest information regarding cross Solent travel please visit the operator websites: Hovertravel, Wightlink and Red Funnel


Useful links

New Test and Trace app (August 2020) – how to use the QR code facility for your business!

Isle of Wight Council Covid-19 prevention and outbreak management videos

The Isle of Wight Council have produced these two videos for use by businesses and event organisers:

Information for your guests in case of suspected coronavirus symptoms (updated 27 August 2020)

Early Outbreak Management – Download and display these helpful action cards for your business and for your guests: https://coronavirusresources.phe.gov.uk/reporting-an-outbreak/resources/small-and-large-gatherings-workplace-action-cards/

Advice for Business and Employers

Advice for businesses and employers from the UK Government

Visit Britain information and the latest advice for business – plus specific advice on how to communicate with your customers

Isle of Wight Council advice and support for small business including Government Grant Funding

Professional Association of Self Caterers UK – Guidelines for Cleaning

Tour Guides

Organisations representing professional tourist guides have issued Covid-19 Guidance for Tour Guiding, to ensure guides can work safely and members of the public can book and go on tours with confidence.

Maximise the power of your social media

Visit Isle of Wight Marketing Manager Emma Harris has provided useful tips for your business to maximise the power of your social media to allow visitors a chance to interact with you even if they can’t be there in person!

Maintain good mental health

We understand that now is a difficult time. Local mental health first aider Fiona Jeffrey from Brightbulb Design has come up with this helpful guide:

Download your Rights of Way poster in your land has access near public footpaths https://visitwightpro.com/2020/04/09/covid-19-landowners-poster/

Here’s a handy guide to washing your hands, should you wish to print and display it for your guests.

RIGHT CLICK AND SAVE THE IMAGE BELOW