The response to Coronavirus is fast-moving, but so far as it relates to ferry services we’ll try to keep you up to date. You can find much more information, advice and regular local news on the wider issue at www.mullhealth.com and we would encourage you to visit it.
Caledonian MacBrayne are themselves of course also making regular updates, so keep an eye on the CalMac website, or get regular updates via their twitter feed (@calmac_updates) and text alert service.
Should you use the ferries?
Government advice is that non-essential travel should stop. CalMac now very explicitly say on the front page of their website that if you don’t need to travel, then don’t. The newly created Mull Crisis Management group, comprised of the Mull Community Council and other key representatives, have today issued a statement calling for the island to be closed to tourist traffic. It is very likely that in a few days, government advice not to travel will be become instruction.
It is very clear therefore that unless your journey is essential, you should not be travelling to or from Mull by ferry.
What is going to happen to the service in the coming months?
1. The summer timetable will not be introduced as planned. Instead a reduced service will operate, that at time of writing is still to be decided.
2. Already, on board services have been closed. There is no catering of any sort.
3. Controls are being put in place on board and in port offices to reduce the risk of virus transmission. Please respect these rules, which are there to protect staff and passengers.
4. No-one can book any sailings between now and July 15th. Existing bookings will be honoured, but everyone else will be treated on a turn-up-and-go basis.
5. CalMac’s greatest challenge as the disease spreads may be the availability of healthy crew. It may be that services are reduced further as a result.
6. Essential traffic will be prioritised – so medical supplies, food, emergency services and livestock will be carried ahead of anyone else. This may become more of an issue should the service be badly affected by crew sickness.
All the best to everyone. Look after yourselves and each other … and look on the bright side – you’ll not be complaining about getting stuck behind tourist traffic for a few months yet.