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.