COVID-19: Isles of Scilly report first positive cases for several months

13 January 2021, 09:59 | Updated: 13 January 2021, 11:34

The Isles of Scilly have reported their first positive cases of COVID-19 since September.

The islands, which are 28 miles off the coast of Cornwall, would not confirm the exact number of cases but said it was currently "fewer than three".

Residents were told the news would "cause concern" and "come as a shock" but were urged to "support" efforts to keep the infection rate down.

When the tier system was adopted in England last year ahead of the national lockdown, Scilly's population of 2,200 had been able to enjoy more lenient restrictions due to the lack of coronavirus outbreaks while the infection rate continued to rise elsewhere.

In a statement, the Council of the Isles of Scilly said: "We are sorry to have to inform you that we have been made aware of confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on the Isles of Scilly.

"There are fewer than three cases at present and they have tested positive within the last seven days.

"To protect individuals' identities, we are not able to provide the exact number of cases or specify further information relating to timing or location at this time."

The council added: "We understand that this announcement will cause concern and may come as a shock, however our public health team are doing everything they can to minimise the risk of further infection.

"The best thing that you can do to support this effort is to follow official advice."

Officials said those who tested positive are self-isolating and receiving support from health teams.

The council urged its residents to follow all safety measures, adding: "It remains vital to abide by the current government guidance and take every precaution to help minimise the risk of spread: stay at home wherever possible, keep indoor spaces well-ventilated, wash hands frequently, maintain social distance and wear a face covering.

"We will provide an update on the situation as soon as we can, but in the meantime stay safe and continue to look after one another."

In December, people living on the islands had expressed their anger amid reports that "selfish" people were travelling to the area to escape tougher restrictions elsewhere.