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Covid-19 Customer Updates and Travel Advice

Customer Update on change to Covid restrictions from 9 August 2021

Scotland changes to Coronavirus protection measures from 9 August 2021

Following the First Minister's confirmation that Scotland will move beyond Level 0 of the Scottish Government Coronavirus protection measures, we can confirm the following changes to operations across our network from 9 August 2021.  

Our capacity  

Official physical distancing guidelines will be lifted on 9 August 2021. This means that the number of passengers we can carry on board our vessels will increase. 

Although our passenger capacity is increasing, we expect vehicle ticket availability to be limited since demand remains high and there are customer vehicle reservations already in the system. This may mean that your preferred choice of sailing is not always available. 

Our systems will be updated this evening, (Tuesday 3 August). Reservations for the additional capacity we have available for the period from 9 August 2021, will be available for booking via calmac.co.uk from Wednesday 4 August and our telephone reservations will open at 8am on the same day.   

We are very much looking forward to being able to welcome more of you on board. If you are planning to sail with us, a warm welcome awaits.   

Making a reservation  

Our telephone lines and website are likely to be busy from 4 August. Where possible, we encourage our customers to make reservations at calmac.co.uk. Access to our website will be managed by a queue system, which is in place during periods of high demand to provide an improved booking experience. When in the queue, customers will automatically be directed to our website when it's their turn. We are grateful for your patience. Find out more about how this queuing system is managed.  

Safer Travel with CalMac   

As outlined by the First Minister, when Scotland moves beyond Level 0 of the Coronavirus protection measures on 9 August, some mitigations will remain in place to help reduce the risk of new COVID-19 strains spreading. This means that within indoor areas on our ferries and in our port offices, face coverings will still be required by law, unless exempt. We'll also continue to implement important safer travel rules, which we need everyone to follow to help us all exercise care and caution, while we work together to keep our crews, our customers and the islands we serve safe. The safer travel rules are: 

  • Don't travel if you feel unwell or self-isolating. 

  • Continue to prepare and plan ahead for your journey. 

  • Wear a face covering unless exempt. 

  • Wash your hands regularly. 

  • Pay using contactless methods. 

  • Follow guidance and listen to staff.  

Increased vessel turnaround times will continue to allow for enhanced cleaning, which are already reflected in the timetables of individual routes.  

Other changes to how we sail  

Changes to physical distancing guidelines will also alter other aspects of how you sail with us. From 9 August 2021, we will be able to open more of our food and drink outlets on board, while passengers who were previously asked to remain in their vehicles on our Wemyss Bay - Rothesay, Berneray - Leverburgh, Oban - Craignure (MV Coruisk) sailings will no longer be able to stay in their vehicles during the crossing. Find out more about what this will mean for other routes that you previously had to remain in the vehicle here.

You will find more information on these aspects of travelling with us via our website FAQs. They are regularly updated based on the questions you ask us. You can also stay in touch with us via our @Calmac_Updates Twitter channel, which carries all our latest customer service updates and information.  

Thank you

These have been challenging times for our customers, the communities we serve and for our staff. As Scotland moves into this next phase, we want to thank you for the patience and understanding you continue to show.   

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