CalMac announces temporary essential services timetable
CalMac has announced temporary changes to several timetables from Monday 3 January to cope with covid-related staff absence.
The increasing number of crew on vessels and staff in ports either testing positive, self-isolating or waiting for PCR test results has meant that CalMac is unable to operate to full capacity at the current time.
The latest figures show that 93 crew and 18 port staff are unavailable because of covid. This equates to a covid absence rate of 9% amongst vessel crews and 5% amongst port staff and is in addition to a non-coronavirus absence rate of 6%.
As of 3 January 2022, a temporary timetable will be launched across the network until at least 23 January and will then be kept under weekly review. This will allow CalMac to focus current crew resources on maintaining lifeline services.
Robbie Drummond, CalMac Managing Director, said, "Over the past week the number of covid-related absences amongst vessel crew has increased by 166%, from 35 on Christmas Eve to 93 today. Covid absences amongst port staff have risen by one third over the same period. The loss of such large numbers of staff makes it necessary for us to take immediate action to try and preserve essential services to communities.
"We fully appreciate the difficulties these changes will cause for some of our customers, and we apologise for any disruption that may result. However, because this situation is changing rapidly, we must protect core services, which is why we are now having to introduce this temporary timetable."
All services, irrespective of timetable or service change, are subject to change, cancellation or interruption at very short notice. We would ask all customers to check service status before commencing their journey to ports, but sailings may be cancelled right up to the point of departure.
Our ports at Stornoway, Ullapool, Uig, Lochmaddy, Lochboisdale, Castlebay, Armadale, Mallaig, Coll, Tiree, Ardrossan and Brodick will be operating reduced hours focussed on sailing times.
The temporary timetable is available here