Isle of Wight allotment holders have been told they are allowed to visit their plots as part of their daily exercise, but must follow strict guidelines.

As part of new rules they are not permitted to socialise and must stay two metres away from everybody else.

The Isle of Wight Council has issued guidance to allotment holders during the coronavirus pandemic.

The council says requirements to keep plots cultivated will be relaxed until further notice.

It means people who cannot visit their plot to cultivate it will have no action taken against them.

New instructions for plot holders include the following:

  • Spend a short time on your plot, not all day
  • If you are self-isolating you must not visit the allotments at all
  • Work alone. No groups are allowed on site and only family members that live with the tenant can enter the site if the tenant is also present.
  • Stay two metres (six feet) away from everybody else
  • Do not share tools or enter anyone else’s plot even if you have had prior permission
  • Visit the allotments to work on your plot, but not to socialise.
  • Sheds and greenhouses must not be used for social gatherings but only for storage.
  • Keep hand sanitiser with you and wash your hands regularly
  • Use hand sanitiser or gloves before opening and closing any gates and handling padlock
  • Wipe your own tools after use
  • Minimise the contact with other people, for example no handshakes
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs

The local authority says that the most important thing everybody can do in the fight against coronavirus is to stay at home.

Staying at home helps protect the NHS and saves lives.