Covid-19 Statement from Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd

Thursday 19th March 2020

Statement from Rathlin Island Ferry Limited:

"NO NON-ESSENTIAL TRAVEL UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE

Statement in relation to current situation of COVID-19

Latest Government advice sets out social distancing measures we should all be taking in order to reduce the transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19). Those at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) are advised to be particularly stringent in following social distancing measures. As with elsewhere in Northern Ireland, many facilities on Rathlin Island have now closed including the West Lighthouse, the RSPB Centre, the Pub and the Manor House.

In response to this and following consultation with the Rathlin Island Community and the Department for Infrastructure, Rathlin Island Ferry Limited has introduced a range of measures with immediate effect. These measures aim to support the Rathlin Island community, ensuring continued connectivity for the island community while protecting crew and passengers by supporting government advice on social distancing measures.

We discourage all non-essential travel at this time, please refer to the Rathlin Development Community Association statement which can be found on their website www.rathlincommunity.org

1. All fast ferry sailings are suspended – this is to help with social distancing, the relief vessel we have been using requires passengers and crew to be in close proximity with one another

2. The Spirit of Rathlin, our cargo ferry, will continue to operate to the normal schedule

3. We ask that people (both the general public and Islanders) do not board the vessel for deliveries, our crew will handle the goods on and off the vessel

4. On board toilet facilities available during the sailing will be reduced. Only the accessible toilet will be in use and crew will be on hand to clean after every use

5. Crew/staff will be wearing disposable gloves at all times

6. A deep clean of the vessel will take place after each sailing.

7. On-line booking facilities have been suspended. The ferry office will be closed to the public except during the following times when the ferry is in Ballycastle 09.30 – 10.30 and 15.30-16.00. The office will be manned outside these hours for phone enquiries and deliveries only.

These arrangements will be reviewed daily and any changes will be published as soon as possible.

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited will continue to work with government departments, agencies and the Public Health Agency to respond to, and plan for, this evolving situation, and remains committed to ensuring the Rathlin community is served and supported in this difficult time.
Thank you for your co-operation.

Rathlin Island Ferry Limited
Management and Staff"

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