Isles of Scilly designated as an ‘Enhanced Response Area’ in effort to tackle current COVID-19 case rate

Government will shortly be announcing that the Isles of Scilly, along with Cornwall, Devon, Torbay and Plymouth, has been designated as an ‘Enhanced Response Area’ in recognition of the rising rates of coronavirus. This designation will be in place for five weeks from Friday 27 August.

This decision is based on the latest data and local insights and enables government to provide targeted additional support to try and slow the growth of COVID-19 variants in the region.

Further decisions will be made in the coming days about what the support package for the islands will include and we will notify you of changes or specific action to be taken as soon as any are confirmed.

In the meantime, I urge all residents, business owners and visitors to the islands to remain cautious and follow both the national guidance and my most recent Scilly-specific advice.

The best way that you can help is to take the following simple steps to reduce the spread of coronavirus and minimise disruption to services and infrastructure on Scilly:

  • Get a PCR test when necessary. If you are on Scilly, you should get a coronavirus PCR test by calling 07955 434 608 or emailing if at least one of the following applies:
    • you have a high temperature
    • you have a new, continuous cough
    • you’ve lost your sense of smell or taste or it’s changed
    • you’ve been asked to by the council
    • you've been asked to by your doctor or a medical professional (e.g. in preparation for going into hospital for surgery or a procedure)
    • you've been identified as a contact by NHS Test and Trace. NHS Test and Trace will contact you to let you know that you have been identified as a contact and check whether you are legally required to self-isolate. If you are not legally required to self-isolate, you will be provided with advice on testing and given guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19.
  • Stick to the safest interpretation of the guidance. Don’t seek to flex the rules. Don’t put pressure on others to flex the rules. Remember: modelling safe behaviours is a good way of encouraging others to do the same.
  • Consider group size and physical interaction. At times of high prevalence, you should limit the close contact you have with those you do not usually live with and minimise the number, proximity and duration of social contacts. Make space where you can and respect the wishes of others.
  • Get a vaccine if you are eligible. We urge you to take up the offer of a COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are invited to do so. It is the best way of protecting yourself from the most serious effects of the virus.
  • Update and check in using the NHS App. The NHS COVID-19 App is a useful source of data for tracking the virus so by checking in wherever possible, you can contribute to a better understanding of the spread of coronavirus. Please ensure you have downloaded the latest version.
  • Meet outside wherever possible. Socialising outside remains the safer option, as the Delta variant is much easier to transmit in enclosed spaces. If you are meeting inside, be sure to let plenty of fresh air into indoor spaces.
  • Consider the most vulnerable. Remember some individuals remain more vulnerable to the serious complications of coronavirus, even if fully vaccinated. Also, some people are unable to get vaccinated and you should be particularly careful when interacting with them.
  • Remember basic hygiene. Keep washing your hands and cleaning your surroundings regularly. Cover your nose and mouth when you cough and sneeze and dispose of tissues safely.
  • Take regular rapid (lateral flow) tests. If you are not symptomatic, you should take regular lateral flow tests (and report the results) to help us identify any potential for outbreaks. If you are experiencing symptoms, a lateral flow test is not sufficient, and you should get a PCR test immediately.
  • Wear a face covering. The government still expects and recommends that people wear face coverings in crowded areas such as public transport. Our local public health team also strongly advises the wearing of face coverings in crowded and enclosed spaces. You should also respect the policies of individual business owners and the measures they have put in place to protect their staff and other customers.

Thank you all for your cooperation.


Publishing date: 
Friday, 27 August, 2021