Over 20 passengers refused travel on NorthLink since lockdown

NorthLink has had to stop 23 passengers from travelling on its ferries after they gave non-essential reasons for booking their trip.

The passengers were denied travel due to stringent measures brought in on essential travel last month, following a Scottish government announcement on 22nd March.

Details of the passenger numbers followed a request by The Shetland Times.

The company reiterated its request that non-essential travellers should “stay at home and help to save lives”.

NorthLink said that as part of the national effort to deal with the current public health crisis, it had been monitoring passengers’ reasons for travelling, which were captured during the booking process, and denying travel to or from the Northern Isles to those who disclosed non-essential reasons.

NorthLink managing director Stuart Garrett said: “We are currently running an essential lifeline service between the Scottish mainland and Orkney and Shetland and must insist that people do not travel unless absolutely necessary. 

“We would like to thank our passengers for their understanding and co-operation at this time and do remind them that by staying at home they are helping to keep themselves and others safe.”

Earlier this month NorthLink introduced a new temporary timetable, designed to “continue to provide a lifeline service while reflecting travel demand during the Covid-19 outbreak”.

A reduced on board offering and terminal usage has also been put in place.


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