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What safer travel rules are in place when travelling by ferry?


We're looking forward to welcoming you on board.

This winter, please play your part in helping to reduce the spread of Covid-19.  You can help to protect one another, our crew and the communities we serve by following our safety rules and mitigations:

1. Don't travel if you feel unwell or are self isolating.

2. Plan ahead and be prepared.

3. Wear a face covering, unless exempt. They are legally required on public transport.

4. Wash hands regularly.

5. Pay using contactless methods.

6. Follow guidance and listen to staff.

7. Keep your distance from others, wherever possible.

The guide below will help you plan your next journey.

Prepare and plan ahead

Whether you've sailed with us recently, or not for a while - it's critical that you prepare and plan for your journey. The situation is still very different to 'normal times':

  • We have extra safety procedures and safer travel rules in pace. We've set the checklist out above, and there's more detail below. They include the wearing of face coverings on public transport unless exempt. Face coverings are legally required on public transport in Scotland.

  • We advise you to book online prior to travel, where possible - even if you're travelling on foot.

Before you travel:

  • A voluntary, Scottish Government scheme inviting all passengers to self-test for Covid-19 three days before travel to a Scottish island and on the day of travel is now in place. It's designed to reduce the risk of spread to island communities. Details are available from gov.scot  - including information on how to order free test kits. 

  • Don't travel on the ferry, and stay at home if you feel unwell or, if anyone in your household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms.

  • If you require to be tested for Covid-19 and live on an island, please request a home testing kit or visit the local island testing facility, if this is available. If you live on the mainland, please arrange to visit a mainland testing centre or request a home testing kit .

  • Plan ahead as much as possible and be prepared.

    • When travelling on our bookable┬ároutes, we strongly advise all passengers to book ahead, even if you're a foot passenger. 

    • Please check and adhere to the check-in times for your route. You'll find them on your tickets or on the timetable for your route. 

    • When travelling on our 'turn up and go' routes, plan ahead as your first choice of sailing may not always be available. There may also be an extended wait time for your journey. 

    • Please book online where possible. Reducing face to face contact is one way of helping to keep one another safe.
      Buy Tickets

    • For the same reason, please select 'print at home tickets'. Print your tickets out in full, single sided and bring them with you. (This is important to avoid a delay to check-in and boarding).

    • Pets travel for free. Ferries can be unfamiliar places for some pets - so, please familiarise yourself with our pet travel guidance prior to travel.

    • Pet tickets - From 18 October 2021 - 24 March 2022, pets will not require a ticket during our quieter Winter Timetable period. Pet tickets aim to be back up and running for the Summer 2022 bookings.

  • Don't travel without confirming any required accommodation at your destination.

  • Prior to your journey, familiarise yourself with VisitScotland's #RespectProtectEnjoy guidance and check the arrangements individual islands and locations have for managing the safety of their visitors and communities.

  • Wash your hands regularly - particularly before, during and after travel.

At the port

  • On public transport, you must by law wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. They are required in our offices, ports and indoor areas of our vessels throughout your journey. (Some exemptions apply).

  • Wash your hands before, during and after travel.

  • Where you need to pay, please do so using a contactless method. We accept MasterCard, Visa, Apple, Google and Samsung Pay. American Express is no longer accepted. 

  • Reduce your risk and keep your distance from others, where possible.

  • Follow the advice of our staff at the port and on board the vessels.

During your sailing                

  • On public transport, you must by law  wear a face covering, unless you are exempt. They are required in our offices, ports and indoor areas of our vessels throughout your journey. (Some exemptions apply).

  • Wash your hands regularly - particularly before, during and after travel.

  • Reduce your risk and keep your distance from others, where possible.

  • Follow the advice of our staff on board the vessels.

  • All of our food and retail outlets are now open, as well as our children's play areas. Find out more about our food and drink offer.

Read our FAQs for more information on travelling safely.

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