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Phase 2 - Inter-island ferries

24 June 2020

Inter-island ferry services in Shetland will operate to the summer timetable from Monday 29th June, with some restrictions around late evening sailings. 

Until now, ferry services on routes in Shetland have operated with a single vessel service with a reduced timetable during the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. In line with Phase 2 of the Scottish Government’s Routemap, increased ferry services are now permitted. Ferry crossings will return to two-vessel operations on Yell Sound, Bluemull Sound and Whalsay routes, along with single vessels on other routes, as normal.

The restrictions that remain are reduced late evening sailings, with the last sailings being around 10pm depending on the route. The timetables that will take effect from Monday 29th June will be available for bookings and published tomorrow (Thu 25th) on the Council’s Ferry Services webpage at: www.shetland.gov.uk/ferries/timetable.asp

All services remain bookings only and payment by account card only. Booking details are available at: www.shetland.gov.uk/ferries/bookings.asp

The change to timetables has been made to support continued travel for essential workers, commercial activity and other necessary travel. Home working is still the preferred means of working in Phase 2. Where home working is not possible businesses and organisations are encouraged to manage travel demand through staggered start times and flexible working patterns.

Current guidance is that people should continue to stay in their local area as much as possible and should not travel more than broadly five miles for leisure or recreation. The Scottish Government has announced today that this guidance is likely to be lifted from 03 July, when self-contained holiday accommodation, such as cottages and caravans, will also be able to open.

Public Bus Services

Detail on public bus services, which link with ferry services, from Monday 29th can be found here.

Face Coverings

Face coverings are now mandatory on public transport. Passengers must wear a face covering while travelling on local buses, in taxis, on inter-island flights, or in the enclosed areas on ferries, such as passenger lounges. Children under five and people with certain medical conditions are exempt from this requirement.

Passengers are reminded that they should not be travelling if they have symptoms of coronavirus, and are asked to observe physical distancing on public transport.

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