Coronavirus – Covid-19 – statement from Transport Scotland – update 28 May 2020

Thursday 28th May 2020

On 21 May 2020, the First Minister published the COVID-19 – Framework for Decision Making setting out Scotland’s route map through and out of the crisis ‘the Route Map’. This was supported by the Transport Transition Plan published 26 May 2020.

As confirmed 28 May 2020, Scottish is moving to Phase 1 of the Route Map. In this Phase we should not go to our Islands except for essential reasons. This is to prevent spreading the virus to more remote communities and ferry capacity will remain restricted.

Who can travel?

Until further notice, ferries will be for those who live on our islands, who have an essential need to travel to or from the mainland and for essential supplies or business. Nothing else. You should also not travel to places for exercise or recreation where you need to travel by ferry.  Where a visit to a family member is essential please limit the number of visits to as few as possible.

Only if a prospective traveller can evidence that they are either an island resident, a key worker or making an essential visit to family members will they be sold a ticket and permitted to travel. 

  • For residents that evidence could be a recent utility bill plus photo ID or Island Card.
  • For a key worker that is someone who need access to the islands in the course of their business. Each local authority has a list of key workers.

Business and freight can continue to use the services.

Traveling Safely

Information on safely traveling on ferries is provided in the Transport Transition Plan at

You should try to keep 2 metres away from people at all times. There may be situations where this is not possible. If you come within 2 metres of others, you should avoid physical contact and keep the time you spend within 2 metres of others as short as possible.

You should follow the instructions on board the vessel on the recommended wearing of face coverings.  When travelling comply with any signage or instructions on the ferry or from staff as the various safety measures are in place are for everyone’s benefit.

If any problems arise or you feel ill during your journey, speak to a member of staff. In the case of an emergency, contact a member of the staff.  Maintaining a 2 metre distance from members of staff where possible.

Thank you. Finally, please don’t be offended by this advice.  We look forward to welcoming you back to the Islands when the Coronavirus threat has passed.