No change to ferry Covid cancellations

Hopes that the Covid regime which has led to frequent cancellations of Caledonian MacBrayne ferries would be eased this week have been dashed – leaving continuing doubts over reliability of services.

By Brian Wilson
Thursday, 17th March 2022, 4:07 pm
Services have been cancelled when even one crew members gets Covid
Services have been cancelled when even one crew members gets Covid

In recent months, CalMac’s interpretation of the circumstances in which crew members have to be laid off with resultant cancellations have appeared draconian, compared both to other ferry operators around the UK and other modes of transport.

The problem has been exacerbated by the fact that the company now relies heavily on crew from other parts of Scotland and even further afield who have to be assembled as relief crews before normal service can be resumed.

A spokeswoman for the company told the Gazette: “The First Minister did not announce any immediate changes to the rules around self-isolation, so there will not be any change to what happens on board vessels.

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“If someone has symptoms, they have to immediately self-isolate, and if they are positive, close contacts have to follow the current advice depending on their vaccination status”.

The issue was not touched on either by Ms Sturgeon or any of the MSPs who asked questions following her statement which lifted most Covid-related restrictions apart from the wearing of face masks on public transport “and in certain indoor settings”.

She said: “From next Monday, 21 March, the remaining domestic legal measures will be lifted and replaced with appropriate guidance. That means that, on Monday, the requirement for businesses and service providers to retain customer contact details will end.”