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Coronavirus / NorthLink back to full capacity

FERRY operator Serco NorthLink has confirmed that its passenger ferries will be able to go back to pre-pandemic capacity numbers from Monday.

The two NorthLink ferries serving Shetland will again be able to carry 600 passengers. Photo: NorthLink Ferries

This follows on from yesterday’s (Tuesday) announcement by first minister Nicola Sturgeon that Scotland will move “beyond level zero” in terms of Covid restrictions as of 9 August when most of the remaining legally imposed measures will be lifted including social distancing.

Serco’s operations director at NorthLink Ferries captain John Strathearn said: “In line with Scottish Government guidelines we will be increasing capacity on board our ferries from Monday 9 August.

The company clarified that by ‘increasing capacity’ it meant reverting from current 335 passengers on the Hrossey and Hjaltland to the full capacity of 600 passengers.

Captain Strathearn added:”Face coverings will remain mandatory onboard and we continue to ask passengers to plan ahead, follow hygiene measures and conduct pre-departure lateral flow testing to protect themselves, other passengers and keep our crew and communities safe.”

Serco NorthLink also confirmed that from Monday the forward bar on the ferries will be open for longer hours.

However, booking single bunks in a shared cabin will continue to be off limits for the time being.