Covid risk means shared cabins still not an option: NorthLink chief

NorthLink’s managing director has said the threat of Covid means shared cabins cannot return at the moment.

At Tuesday’s external transport forum, Stuart Garrett was grilled on why shared cabins had not been brought back by the ferry operator.

Mr Garrett said it was their policy that, with the risk associated with Covid, shared cabins were still not possible.

Shetland West councillor Liz Peterson said it was “not the law” that people could not share small spaces anymore.

“I have a different view,” Mr Garrett replied.

Asked by councillor Alex Armitage if NorthLink would bring shared cabins back if Covid cases reached zero levels, Mr Garrett said he would “not give a yes or no on that”.

“We’d consider the position,” he added.

External transport chairwoman Moraig Lyall said she was “fully in agreement” with Ms Peterson and Mr Armitage about shared cabins.

She added of the passengers looking for shared cabins: “I believe it’s them that are taking the risk, they are asking to share the cabin, they are fully aware of the risk.”

Mrs Lyall asked what the distance would be between people sleeping in the pod lounge, compared with people sharing a cabin.

Mr Garrett said they would spread people out sleeping in the pods, and added that the pod lounges were “not a closed environment” like cabins.

The NorthLink chief said he “didn’t have an issue” with folk sharing cabins through the ‘Share a Cabin on NorthLink’ Facebook page.


Add Your Comment
  • Betty Dinwoodie

    • June 22nd, 2022 15:16

    I’m lucky as I get the vouchers for 2 free trips a year since I’m a pensioner, but it does mean that is reduced to one free trip as they took both sets of vouchers for the one trip last year as I was travelling alone. It costs a lot more now if I go on 2 or more trips a year now.

    • Anne Gair

      • June 23rd, 2022 21:19

      I don’t agree with them taking both your tickets because you were alone, that is discriminatory and unfair, they should not be doing that! Is it written down anywhere when you book with them? Northlink needs to answer questions about that and I’m sure the council would want to know the reason they saw fit to take all your vouchers off you for one journey!

  • Gordon Downing

    • June 23rd, 2022 15:06

    Time for newer and larger ships on this route,although Serco will not fork out for new vessels. All serious are interested in is profits,no interest at all in customers,or customer service. No interested in the islanders,more profit to be earned from tourist coming to the islands


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