Health

Government urged to stop sending people to Isle of Wight for coronavirus tests



The Government has been urged to stop sending people to the Isle of Wight for coronavirus tests.

Dave Stewart, the leader of the island’s council, warned on Friday that the continued flood of people arriving for Covid-19 tests is creating “unnecessary risks” for residents.

Mr Stewart pointed out that the use of ferries to cross the Solent goes against Government guidance to avoid public transport when travelling for a testing appointment.

He also criticised the booking system, which has sent islanders 75 miles away to the mainland for tests.


“The island has not been immune from the national challenges with the Test and Trace programme and we have seen reductions in the number of appointments available at our testing facility, with people being offered alternative slots at venues many miles away,” he said.

“We are also seeing some people on the mainland being directed to the Isle of Wight for tests.

“This is not good as it means people are being expected to travel on ferries, in contravention of clear government guidance about using public transport while seeking a Covid-19 test, thereby putting themselves and others at unnecessary risk. This is unacceptable.

“I want to reassure residents that we, working closely with our MP, are in dialogue with senior health officials and have urged them to adjust the national appointment system to take account of our unique circumstances as quickly as possible.”

Simon Bryant, the council’s director of public health, said: “Residents should not travel to mainland testing sites when symptomatic.

“There should be sufficient test availability for you to be tested here and if the system only offers a mainland testing site, please retry or request a home test.”



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