Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed today that Scotland will move into phase three of the Coronavirus route map, and from July 15th most tourist businesses will be able to operate with control measures in place. Full details of all the changes are here.
CalMac have also announced some improvements to the service:
- From Friday July 10th, the rolling booking window will be increased from 2 weeks to 4 weeks. So on the 10th, bookings for 11th July – 8th August will be open. On July 11th, you will be able to book services from 12th July to 9th August … and so on.
It is also hoped that the booking window will be further lengthened soon.
- CalMac now have permission from Government to reduce the on-board social distancing limit from 2 metres to 1 metre. This change takes effect from 10th July. This will result in a significant increase of passenger capacity. For example, The capacity of the MV Isle of Mull will rise from 104 to 187.
Even if a sailing is shown as full despite these increases, remember that 20% of capacity (both foot passengers and vehicles) is being held back for ‘turn-up-and-go’. This should provide plenty of capacity for last-minute or urgent travel (for example a hospital appointment) – just make sure you arrive in good time.
CalMac are also offering ‘outside only’ tickets for foot passengers, on a turn-up and go basis. So if all 187 spaces are full, you will still be able to travel – just make sure you take a coat! These tickets are at the Master’s discretion – so if the weather is very bad, they may not be available. Despite being outside, you will still have access to a toilet inside!
On July 15th, the Coruisk will re-enter service, where you can stay in your car for the crossing.