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coronavirus

NorthLink to run to new temporary timetable

NorthLink Ferries will run a revised timetable in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

Serco NorthLink Ferries has introduced a new temporary timetable in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Designed to continue to provide services between mainland Scotland and the Northern Isles while reflecting travel demand during the COVID-19 outbreak, the revised timetable will begin from Sunday, April 5, and is currently projected to run until Sunday, May 3.

NorthLink warn that the timetable could be extended further as required in tandem with any restrictions on movement advice received.

In line with advice from the Scottish Government and health officials, restrictions have been implemented in recent weeks to allow only necessary travel, resulting in a significant reduction in passenger numbers.

From Sunday, the Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick passenger service will move to a revised schedule seeing one passenger ship operating on the following off-peak timetable:

  • Aberdeen to Lerwick on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday
  • Lerwick to Aberdeen on Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Aberdeen to Kirkwall on Thursday and Sunday
  • Kirkwall to Aberdeen on Wednesday and Friday

MV Hamnavoe will remain on a two-trip-a-day timetable between Scrabster and Stromness.

NorthLink Ferries’ freight services will continue to provide daily connections to and from the Northern Isles.

Passengers should be aware that additional changes may be introduced at short notice, and when travelling must follow strict social distancing requirements at all times.

Speaking on the revised timetable, Stuart Garrett, Serco’s managing director of NorthLink Ferries, said: “The wellbeing of our passengers and staff is always our top priority and since the outset of COVID-19 we have taken all the necessary precautions to ensure their health and safety.

“We will continually review the changing situation and shape our response in line with the most recent guidance from Government and health officials.

“It’s for this reason that we are now introducing a temporary revised timetable to support essential lifeline services while responding to the reduction in passenger footfall.”

NorthLink Ferries has implemented restrictions to allow only necessary travel for island residents, key workers and those travelling to provide medical support to family members.

A reduced on board offering and terminal usage has also been put in place, including:

  • Suspension of cinema
  • Suspension of car valet parking
  • Closure of on board shops
  • Closure of on board bar area
  • Amended menu available on crossings between Aberdeen, Kirkwall and Lerwick
  • Suspension of MV Hamnavoe bed and breakfast

For more information about NorthLink Ferries and to view the revised timetable, visit www.northlinkferries.co.uk or call 0845 6000 449.