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

To find out what is available from Island businesses for the thousands of people who are missing the Isle of Wight right now, please go to https://www.visitisleofwight.co.uk/things-to-do/indoor-activities

A message from Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight Ltd

‘Just a quick update on several of the projects that we are working on regarding business support, grants and loans for tourism and visitor economy businesses here on the Isle of Wight.

Over the past few weeks, several accommodation providers have been contacting Visit Isle of Wight about the practices being upheld by some (not all) OTA’s (online travel agencies), just to confirm that this issue has been raised at the highest level in Government about certain cancellation practices they are continuing to insist on. These particular OTA’s continue not to engage at a local, regional or national level with numerous organisations. Please be assured we will continue to push this issue and have contacted the relevant person for answers and understanding with our struggling accommodation businesses.

On the flip side of this issue, we are being contacted by what would have been visitors to the island informing us that they are having difficulties with some Island accommodation providers refusing to allow any flexibility in up and coming bookings, referring them directly to their T’s & C’s and travel insurance. Whilst it is understood that businesses need cashflow, the UK Government guidelines are perfectly clear – Stay at home, do not travel for non-essential purposes. I would urge all businesses to engage with your customers, do what you can to move their bookings around, but engage in a meaningful and positive manner, visitors will remember that in the future.

We are also engaging with Visit Britain / Visit England over the proposed DMO (Destination Management Organisation) Resilience fund that is being worked on at the moment to assist DMO’s such as VIOW in the marketing and promotion of the island, the full details and criteria are being worked on and should be available early next week.

There are also issues surrounding seasonal workers, restrictions on some businesses trading periods and of course the smaller businesses that operate as self-employed within the domestic rates area. Again, please be assured we are lobbying at the highest levels, locally, regionally and nationally to influence a positive outcome for these businesses.

We are continuing to work with the cross-Solent travel operators and other businesses on the Isle of Wight to ensure that as soon as we are ready to market this wonderful island again we will be there and ready to do just that into the various domestic market segments that will impact on this islands future economy.

We are engaging fully with the Isle of Wight Council at all levels and the Solent LEP alongside other Island based organisations who can offer advice.

We will continue to send you updates on various grant funds and loans that may be relevant, updates on accounting and HR practices that we receive from trusted sources.’

Our message is simple:

As we enter this period of restricted movement and access to services and facilities, I want to reiterate the message from the Prime Minister. Please – for the sake of your own health, the health of your family and those around you – please stick to the rules currently imposed by the UK Government. Stay at home, protect yourselves and the community and remain positive.

To our visitors who will be disappointed that they are unable to join us here at this time, I’d like to say that we will still be here in the months to come and ready to welcome you in good health when the time is right.

I’d like to reassure our tourism businesses on the Island – which together represent a vital economic driver for the Isle of Wight – that we are continuing to work to ensure that you have access to all the information there is to assist you at this difficult time.

Ultimately, this is a global situation, unlike any in living memory. Your help and understanding is needed, follow the UK Government strict guidelines and together we will work to defeat this and together we will be stronger.”

Will Myles, Managing Director, Visit Isle of Wight

Useful links

About Coronavirus:

Isle of Wight travel:

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

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

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

The Government is asking businesses if you can support the fight.

The support needed includes things like:

  • medical testing equipment
  • medical equipment design
  • protective equipment for healthcare workers, such as masks, gowns and sanitiser
  • hotel rooms
  • transport and logistics, for moving goods or people
  • manufacturing equipment
  • warehouse or office space, for medical use or storage
  • expertise or support on IT, manufacturing, construction, project management, procurement or engineering
  • social care or childcare
  • Businesses can share the areas they can offer support through the online portal

You will be asked some questions about the type of support you can give. You will then be contacted as soon as possible if your support is needed.

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:

Current UK Restrictions

  • People in Britain are allowed to leave their homes for only “very limited purposes” – shopping for basic necessities; for one form of exercise a day; for any medical need; and to travel to and from work when “absolutely necessary”
  • People are warned not to meet friends or family members who they do not live with
  • Shopping is only permitted for essentials like food and medicine, and people are advised to do it “as little as you can”
  • Police have powers to enforce the rules, including through fines and dispersing gatherings
  • All shops selling non-essential goods, such as clothing and electronic stores, are ordered to close
  • Libraries, playgrounds, outdoor gyms and places of worship are to close
  • All gatherings of more than two people in public – excluding people you live with – are banned
  • All social events, including weddings and baptisms are banned
  • Funerals are not included in the new restrictions
  • Parks will remain open for exercise but gatherings will be dispersed
  • Restrictions “under constant review” and will be checked again in three weeks. They will be relaxed “if the evidence shows we are able to”

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

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