Phase two update […updated!]

Today some updates were announced by Nicola Sturgeon in parliament, and CalMac also made some announcements:

  • Self-catering properties will now be allowed to open from July 3rd. IT IS NOT KNOWN if this will apply to the islands. In other words, it is not clear whether CalMac will permit travel to anyone with a self-catering booking from July 3rd. Clarification has been sought from Transport Scotland. Transport Scotland have now confirmed this applies to use of ferries, and it is planned that non-residents may use ferries from July 3rd to go on holiday to a self-contained self catering property.
  • The five mile limit on travel for recreation will be lifted on July 3rd. IT IS NOT KNOWN if this will apply to ferry use also. In other words, it is not clear whether CalMac will permit travel to anyone travelling to/from the islands for recreation from July 3rd. Clarification has been sought from Transport Scotland. It has also been confirmed that this relaxation applies to ferry use. It is planned that anyone can use the ferry system for a recreational trip without distance limit from July 3rd.
  • CalMac have confirmed that a new timetable (with five returns/day to Craignure and 11/day to Fishnish) will run from July 1st to July 14th. It will be published on 26th June, and bookings will be open for this timetable from 30th June.
  • Timetables will be updated on 15th, particularly with the addition of the MV Coruisk. You will be allowed to stay in your car for the crossing. She is planned to undertake three return sailings per day. The timetables operating from July 15th will be published on July 2nd, and bookings will also open for this timetable on July 2nd.
  • Oban – Craignure foot passengers will need to book in advance from July 1st.
  • Fishnish-Lochaline, Fionnphort-Iona and Tobermory – Kilchoan will remain as turn-up-and-go, with plans to make them bookable now dropped.
  • CalMac are working toward making ‘outer deck only’ foot passenger tickets available on the MV Isle of Mull, on a turn-up-and-go basis. Yet to be confirmed.
  • Scottish Government have the 2 metre social-distancing rule under review. If it changes, this will have a big impact on available passenger spaces – currently the limit (before use of the outside decks) on the Isle of Mull is 104, or just 10% of her total capacity.
  • Remember – face coverings are now mandatory on ferries, unless you have a medical exemption.

8 thoughts on “Phase two update […updated!]

  1. Will calmac be making arrangements for safe transportation for those travelling to the mainland for hospital treatment who are still in the ‘shielding’ category and therefore can’t risk mixing with others? Shielders have been told to avoid public transport but this is one form of public transport that has no alternative! NB, shielding is currently set to continue until ‘at least’ 31 July. Maybe on the Isle of Mull, while the cafeteria is closed, vulnerable folk could be directed to the cafeteria area? This would, of course, require a certain amount of ‘policing’ by the crew. I realise that after Coruisk comes back into service, folk can stay in the car .. if they have one!

    1. Good question, and I’ll try to get specific answers. Obviously if travelling Lochaline-Fishnish or Oban-Craignure on the Coruisk you can stay in your car. But I’ll ask about shielding foot passengers travelling for medical reasons.

    2. I’ve got bit of advice on this from CalMac, and they will of course do their best to look after anyone who makes themselves known on boarding, to be found the best, most protected spot possible. But the scope for that is obviously going to be limited with more people on board. I think the best thing for any individual with particular concerns is to get in touch with the Craignure CalMac office prior to travel. Iain Erskine and his team are always super-helpful, and I am sure they will do their best for a shielding foot-passenger.
      If you can, travelling by car on the Coruisk or via Lochaline would be the best solution…. but if that can’t be done, best to speak to CalMac in Craignure about individual specific needs. All the best.

  2. If it is of any help my partner (who is shielding and having chemotherapy at the moment) and I have been travelling weekly on the Isle of Mull for the last 7 weeks. Rather than using the ambulance room we have been shown to the bar area where we are on our own. The crew could not have been more helpful and more often that not someone is waiting to show us into the bar. Our only worry is if things get busier will we still be able to get on the ferry as some visits have been at short notice.

    1. I’ll add this query to the previous one and see what provisions can be made. For sure, if you have medical need you should be sure of travel – but we need to also be sure that shielding/vulnerable passengers are cared for.

    2. I’ve got bit of advice on this from CalMac, and they will of course do their best to look after anyone who makes themselves known on boarding, to be found the best, most protected spot possible. But the scope for that is obviously going to be limited with more people on board. I think the best thing for any individual with particular concerns is to get in touch with the Craignure CalMac office prior to travel. Iain Erskine and his team are always super-helpful, and I am sure they will do their best for a shielding foot-passenger.
      I’m sure they will also make certain that there is space for you. 20% of the boat capacity is being held for turn-up-and-go. I’m sure they will make absolutely certain you can travel if you speak to the staff in Craignure.
      All the best.

  3. When you say “Fishnish-Lochaline, Fionnphort-Iona and Tobermory – Kilchoan will remain as turn-up-and-go “, is this for both vehicles and foot passengers? No booking required for either?

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