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Transport / Ferry link to Skerries disrupted after crew member contact traced

The Skerries ferry Filla, whose timetable is to be cut as part of the council's savings programme.An archive image of the Skerries ferry Filla.

THE FERRY service connecting the remote community of Skerries to the mainland of Shetland has been disrupted after a crew member was contacted by Test and Protect team and told to have a Covid test.

Sailings on Wednesday were cancelled as a result, although the council run service is due to resume tomorrow (Friday).

A Shetland Islands Council spokesman said on Thursday: “A crew member has been contacted by the Test and Protect team and is awaiting results from a Covid-19 test.

“The Skerries ferry service will operate as normal tomorrow morning, either with the current crew or a replacement crew. However, the weather may affect ferry sailings tomorrow.”

In a voicebank update on Thursday night staff said that the Covid test had come back negative.

Under the current restricted timetable there are sailings throughout the week on a bookings basis, apart from Tuesdays or Thursdays.

The ferry is the only remaining transport link to Skerries after a regular air service stopped running a number of years ago.

Chairman of Shetland Islands Council’s environment and transport committee councillor Ryan Thomson said the ferry situation “shows the fragility of the service”.

“We have an emergency timetable in place to protect the resilience of the service,” he said.

“There have been numerous instances of crews having to self isolate, which shows and highlights the real fragility of the current service during these extremely difficult times.”