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CalMac Community Board welcomes Scottish Government action restricting ferry passengers to those making 'essential' journeys only; it means the likes of the Ullapool-Stornoway ferry will be mostly for islanders only

By Philip Murray

The MV Loch Seaforth at the dock in Ullapool.
The MV Loch Seaforth at the dock in Ullapool.

MOVES to restrict ferry travel between Ross-shire and the islands amid the coronavirus pandemic have been welcomed by community figures.

The independent CalMac Community Board said it "very much welcomes" the moves by the Scottish Government to restrict ferries to use by essential travellers only.

In effect, this has barred most non-islanders from travelling to the Hebrides, which have yet to report any cases of Covid-19 and were fearful that its spread would put too much strain on the area's sparse health facilities.

Angus Campbell, the chairman of the community board, said: "The independent CalMac Community Board very much welcomes the announcement by the Scottish Government to restrict ferry travel to those for whom travel is essential.

"It is important we do not add extra pressure to the delivery of health and other services to already fragile communities at this crucial time.

"The demographics of our islands demonstrate a significantly higher proportion of our population in the 'at risk' categories. Let us collectively do all we can to protect them.

"The Community Board would also like to put on record its appreciation for the already considerable efforts of CalMac's front line and head office staff. All of us who travel on ferries should recognise the extra pressure they are under and show support and understanding."

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