The leader of the Isle of Wight Council has welcomed the news the Island will be designated a Tier 1 area when the four-week national lockdown across England ends on 2 December.
Tier 1 — also known as alert level 'medium' — is the least restrictive tier under the government's new three tier system.
Paying tribute to Islanders for their efforts during lockdown, Councillor Dave Stewart said: "Being in Tier 1 gives us back some more of the freedoms we have all battled to secure in everything we are doing to reduce the transmission of the disease.
"Having done this so well, these are freedoms we need to fight to retain so the key messages of hands-face-space continue to apply.
"Please continue to be careful about where you go, who and how you meet because although things are looking up, they can quickly change.
"Taking personal responsibility and making good choices continues to be the best way to protect your self and those you love from the virus.
"The gradual introduction of vaccines and testing in the coming months will assist us in this challenge, but I can only urge, it is what we all do will make the biggest difference."
Under Tier 1, hospitality businesses can stay open until 11pm with table service only but last orders must be made by 10pm, in an effort to stagger departures. The “rule of six” will also remain in place indoors, meaning social household mixing is still allowed.
In Tier 1, people will be encouraged to minimise travel and work from home where possible.
Full details are available on the government website or in the graphic below.
Meanwhile, residents can help to #KeepTheIslandSafe by taking the following simple steps to limit the spread of the virus:
Councillor Stewart added: "Let’s remember, there was life before the pandemic and all of the signs are hopeful that we can return to something of that life in 2021.
"That’s something I hold on to as a make my own plans to follow the guidelines and celebrate Christmas.
"We have all come too far to throw this opportunity now. So I encourage everyone to keep their eyes on the prize, do the right things, stay safe and make a good plan for next year."
Keep up to date by visiting the www.keeptheislandsafe.org website.