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Red Funnel urges public to heed latest government advice on travel and keep to essential travel only on ferries

(13 May 2020) In line with the latest government guidelines, Red Funnel Ferries is urging the public to heed the government’s advice and refrain from using public transport as much as possible. This includes using the company’s ferry service between Southampton and East Cowes.

While the UK government has somewhat relaxed its ‘Essential Travel Only’ message, it remains clear that travel for the purpose of holidays, including visits to second homes, remains prohibited.

Red Funnel is also reminding customers that while the government has stipulated people may travel as far as they like for exercise or to meet one other person in an outdoor space, the government has also advised the public to avoid using public transportation as much as possible. As Red Funnel continues to maintain its lifeline service to the Island with a reduced timetable, the company urges the public to use their best judgement and avoid using its ferries to take day trips for exercise or to visit friends and family, at this time.

Said Fran Collins, CEO, Red Funnel: “We hope the public will take both the detail and the spirit of the updated government advice into account and refrain from using our ferries for leisure and social reasons at this time. With everyone being asked to avoid public transport as much as possible, our ‘essential travel only’ message remains appropriate at present.  We appreciate that the Island is a beautiful place to visit, particularly at this time of the year, but we must ask visitors to wait, as sadly the Isle of Wight remains closed for tourism at this time. Accommodation providers, attractions, restaurants and most shops remain closed but the Island will return to normal in time, and we’re asking people to ‘Dream now, sail later’.”

With the risk of infection reduced by being outside, and social distancing measures still in place, Red Funnel is also encouraging those who are travelling for essential reasons to use the outdoor deck spaces where possible, and travel with the appropriate attire. The company encourages passengers to consider wearing face coverings, especially during peak sailing times where the passenger lounges are in operation. This advice is aligned with the latest information from the government, which suggests face coverings can help protect others and reduce the spread of the disease in enclosed areas, such as on public transport, especially when symptoms are not evident.

Red Funnel continues to monitor the latest advice and remains focused on adapting its operations in line with the government’s social distancing and travel guidance for the foreseeable future.

Added Fran Collins: “The safety and wellbeing of our passengers, our staff and the communities we serve is our highest priority and we will continue to operate in accordance with government guidelines in order to protect this.”

Keep up to date with the latest developments as to how Red Funnel is responding to COVID-19 here: www.redfunnel.co.uk/COVID-19