Here’s the full text of the CalMac news release:
West coast ferry operator CalMac is extending its current essential lifeline service timetable until 14 June.
As part of this it is also suspending all future bookings until the same date. The company had been allowing bookings to be made from 15 July onwards but in light of the current COVID-19 environment, has decided to suspend future bookings until a new timetable is agreed with Transport Scotland.
‘Extending our current essential lifeline service timetable until the middle of next month gives us an opportunity to work with Transport Scotland to put in place a timetable that will continue to ensure the welfare of our island communities,’ said CalMac’s Commercial Director, Diane Burke.
‘We are acutely aware of the unique position of the island and rural communities we serve, and we must balance this with any lessening of lockdown limitations. Therefore, any easing of travel restrictions to these areas must be gradual and carefully planned. That’s why future bookings will be unavailable until we have agreed an updated timetable with Transport Scotland.
‘We will continue to follow guidance and advice from the Scottish Government in planning our timetables.’
CalMac is currently operating to an essential travel timetable that has seen demand for services reduced by 95% since the start of the coronavirus emergency.
‘Our focus as we develop this new timetable will continue to be on providing priority lifeline services. In line with any government changes in travel restrictions we will take a considered approach to opening up our services gradually when the time is right to do so,’ added Diane.
Information for customers who have already booked a future journey can be found at calmac.co.uk/faqs/covid19/booking-latest-update-21-may-2020 along with the latest advice on ferry travel. CalMac will continue to waive its refund request fee.