As Shetland moves into Phase 1 of Scotland's route map through and out of the Covid-19 crisis, people are asked to avoid using public transport unless absolutely necessary.
While the Scottish Government’s message remains very clearly ‘stay at home’, there has been some easing of the guidance around visiting family or other households.
Minor changes to public transport timetables, focussing on ferry services initially, will come into effect from Monday 1st of June; these are principally aimed at continuing to support essential travel by key workers, and the reopening of some workplaces. While we understand that, for some, public transport provides the only means of travel to visit friends and family, we would ask the public to continue to avoid using buses or ferries unless absolutely necessary.
It is likely that there will be additional pressure on buses, particularly around peak times, so anyone who must travel should avoid these times if possible. Social distancing must be maintained, which restricts the space available for safe travel significantly on buses, and vehicles will be marked out accordingly. Passengers should, and are expected to, wear a face covering when using public transport.
Ryan Thomson, Chair of ZetTrans and Shetland Islands Council’s Environment and Transport Committee: “We must emphasise that the changes announced by the First Minister yesterday (Thurs) amount to a very slight amendment to lockdown conditions, and our public transport continues to focus on support for those who must travel.
“All of us want to visit friends and family after such a lengthy period of lockdown, but we’d continue to ask you to stay at home as much as possible, and to be patient as we slowly move towards a more normal situation. We have to maintain safe distancing at all times on our buses and ferries, and this is a particular issue on buses where the number of passengers able to travel will be much more limited than normal.
“This is only Phase 1 of the government’s route map out of lockdown, and we are planning for what any future changes may mean for public transport. We will obviously keep the public informed as we move forward, but in the meantime I’d like to ask folk to please be patient, stay at home if possible, and make responsible choices around using public transport.”