Isles of Scilly moved from Tier 1 to national lockdown

The Isles of Scilly have largely been sheltered from coronavirus, with no recorded positive Covid-19 cases since September last year.

Sunset on the Isles of Scilly. Credit: ITV West Country News

The 28 miles of sea that separates the islands from the Cornish mainland has given residents an extra layer of protection - one which allowed them to live in Tier 1, the most relaxed coronavirus guidelines, for a brief time.

The islands have had no recorded positive Covid-19 cases since September. Credit: ITV West Country News

However, this third national lockdown includes the Isles of Scilly.

Robert Francis, who is Chairman of the Council of the Isles of Scilly, says residents are ready to do their bit and be a part of the national effort.

We’ve worked very hard on the islands to keep the islands clear of the virus to date but it would be very difficult on this fragile community to do deal with an outbreak here if it happened and it would put extra pressure on the hospitals in the South West having to cope with us as an island community.

Robert Francis, Chairman, Council of the Isles of Scilly

Tresco islander Ellie Tabron thinks standing in solidarity with the rest of the region is important.

Ellie Tabron is a photographer on Tresco. Credit: ITV West Country News

I understand and respect that really in order for the virus to be kept under control people are more likely to stick to the rules across the country if it is a blanket lockdown.

Ellie Tabron, Tresco islander

Residents on St Mary’s, meanwhile, said they felt this lockdown was inevitable.

Georgia May runs the IOS Store on St Mary's. Credit: ITV West Country News

I’ve been grateful to be in Tier 1 but our thoughts have been with others around the country. It was coming, we’ve done it before, we can do it again, we’re fortunate with where we live, we can’t really be singled out.

Georgia May, St Mary's resident

Colin McKinnon, who manages the Old Town Inn on St Mary’s, says he was disappointed the islands were included in the national lockdown.

It’s got a lot of effect on the business, I’m hoping we can get back into it before the start of our season, we have 70,000 tourists come here each year, hopefully that can continue but our season starts in March.

Colin McKinnon, The Old Town Inn
Punters at the Old Town Inn watched the Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday, their last night in the pub before the lockdown. Credit: The Old Town Inn

Many islanders hope that by being a part of the national lockdown now, they will be able to reopen to visitors in the future.

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