SHETLAND’s inter-island ferries are to move to a restricted timetable from Sunday morning (3 January) to preserve the overall resilience of the service.
The local bus timetable has also been amended so that key workers can, if required, meet the appropriate ferry run.
The new timetables are expected to be in place until at least the end of January 2021.
It comes amid a spike in cases of coronavirus in Shetland, with over 300 people now self-isolating.
All ferries should be booked either by phone or online – the booking office will be open on Saturday 2 January from 12 noon till 6pm.
From Sunday onwards it will be open 8am to 5pm, seven days a week, with folk asked to call 01595 745804.
A similar approach was taken earlier this year, and the system has already been slightly amended to deal with specific Covid-19 risks.
Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee chairman Ryan Thomson said: “We’ve taken this decision to preserve the overall reliability of the service.
“Should any of our crews be required to isolate due to contact tracing for Covid-19, this timetable allows for that to happen with the lowest possible impact on the wider service.
“I would like to remind folk that, under the current Tier 3 guidelines, our ferries and buses should be used for essential travel only.
“I understand that this may inconvenience some in the community, but it is important that we all do what we can to limit transmission of the virus, and protect our essential services.”
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