Phase Two announcement – what it says about ferry use.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced in parliament today that Scotland would move to phase two of the Coronavirus Routemap. Full details are here.

Below are some specific extracts that apply to our ferry services:

Ferry travel and rural areas

Non-essential travel to and from the islands continues to be discouraged to prevent spreading the virus to more remote communities. 
In line with the guidance that people should not travel more than 5 miles for leisure or recreation, travel to the islands for those reasons is not encouraged.
Travelling to and from islands to visit family would be acceptable within this guidance, but individuals should consider whether they can do so while acting in line with all other guidance.
Ferry capacity will be increased throughout this phase, but capacity will remain limited.

Face Coverings

Face coverings will be mandatory on public transport including Ferries, from Monday 22nd services (unless the ferry is open to the elements and physical distancing can be achieved, or the vessel is large enough that physical distancing can be achieved)

In questions following the FM’s statement, she answered a question on islands and ferry use:

Joan McAlpine (South Scotland) (SNP): Will the First Minister confirm that all the changes that she mentioned in her statement apply across the whole country, including islands and remote rural areas? Will she also confirm that, because the 5-mile limit for leisure journeys has been continued, people should still avoid making day trips to islands solely for recreation?

The First Minister: The changes that I have announced today apply throughout the country and in every part of it. As part and parcel of our approach to scaling up public transport, we will look at the capacity of ferries so that people who require to get off or on to islands to visit family, in the way that all of us can now do, are able to do so. It is important that people who live on islands can take advantage of the freedoms that we are all now able to enjoy. The restriction on travel for recreation and leisure that we are asking people to abide by is important. It, too, applies across the country. We are asking people not to go further than 5 miles for such purposes, and not to flock to beauty spots or tourist attractions. Such actions still pose a risk and put avoidable pressure on parts of our infrastructure. We very much hope that we will be able to lift that restriction when we go into the next phase—not least because we are looking forward to seeing our tourist industry resuming from 15 July.

In addition to the link at the top of the page, you will find the phase two update as a pdf here.

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