Booze cruise plans to Tier 1 Isle of Wight criticised by council leader

Council bosses have criticised suggestions of revellers embarking on “booze cruise” trips to the Isle of Wight to take advantage of its Tier 1 freedoms.

Dave Stewart, the Conservative leader of the Isle of Wight Council, has branded the idea as “irresponsible” and said council officers would be ensuring venues stick to Covid-secure measures during the coming weekend.

The Isle of Wight and Cornwall, along with the Isles of Scilly, are the only areas within England’s Tier 1 which allows pubs to open without the Tier 2 requirement of acting as a restaurant by serving a “substantial meal” or being closed altogether in Tier 3.

Beer glasses and a set of car keys on a bar (Philip Toscano/PA)
Beer glasses and a set of car keys on a bar (Philip Toscano/PA)

He said: “Suggestions of so-called ‘booze cruises’ visiting the island are completely irresponsible and, I hope, ill-founded.

“We are working hard with the police and the ferry companies to put out messages that such behaviour is totally irresponsible and we will be supporting local businesses in managing any groups in a Covid-secure way that arrive with this intent.

“Our message is that wherever you live it’s important to play your part by following the rules.

“All we ask is that anyone coming over from Tier 2 must remember that the Tier 1 rules do not apply to them and they must follow their own tier’s rules.”

Earlier this week, Mr Stewart urged people not to travel to the Isle of Wight unless necessary and said Covid support officers would be based at the island’s ferry terminals.