New Travel Arrangements for Rathlin Island

Thursday 25th June 2020

A statement from Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd:

Rathlin Island Ferry Service – New Travel Arrangements

Following consultation with the Department for Infrastructure and the Rathlin Development and Community Association new travel arrangements will be put in place on the Rathlin Island Ferry Service. From Friday 26 June people who have pre booked accommodation (including second homes) on the island will be able to travel on the ferry. From 3rd July tourists wishing to visit the island using the ferry service will be able to do so. These arrangements have been drawn up taking into account public health concerns and are in line with the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2020 and subsequent amendments. They are also reflective of the steps being taken by the Northern Ireland Executive to recover from the current pandemic.

We would ask everyone using our service to respect our staff and crew and to adhere to the conditions of travel that we are implementing to ensure the safety of our passengers and crew. These are set out in more detail below. You should note that we are still operating fewer sailings than normal at this time of year and our capacity is significantly reduced. Please continue to be responsible when considering travel. Your decision to travel could impact someone else’s ability to travel – for example key workers and those travelling for medical reasons.

As the capacity per sailing has been reduced to a maximum of 20 people per sailing (due to measures introduced to maintain social distancing) we are only accepting advance bookings. The capacity per sailing may be reduced to less than the maximum to account for variables including weather and sea conditions. This is to ensure passenger comfort as the outer decks will be in use. The capacity will be solely decided by RIFL with guidance from Maritime and Coastguard Agency only.

Travel is not permitted if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19.

These arrangements are constantly under review and we are ready to respond with additional capacity should demand warrant such a move. When on the island please respect the local community as we all transition from lockdown.


How to BOOK and PAY for travel -

1. Passengers must book the day before requested travel date, this can be done by phone, email or Facebook Messenger during office hours 08.30 – 12.00 & 14.00 – 16.30 (subject to change, changes will be published on our Website and Facebook page). Any bookings sent by email after the office closes will not be accepted. Bookings cannot be made with the crew. NO walk-on passengers will be authorised, except for medical or emergency services.

2. Contact details to be provided at time of booking – Name, Phone number, email address and postal address. This will allow us to contact all passengers for contact tracing should a case be suspected.

3. Contactless ticketing will be maintained, we ask all passengers to pay over the phone at the time of booking. If this is not possible, we ask that the correct monies be given to crew on embarkation. Alternatively, if you wish you can pay for travel at the end of the month. Please inform staff at the time of booking.


4. All passenger must wear a face covering for the duration, from embarkation to disembarkation.
5. All passengers must wear disposable gloves for the duration, from embarkation to disembarkation, dispose of in the bins provided at the ramp. Crew will then dispose of the bagged rubbish as per guidelines.
(subject to change, office staff will inform of requirements at time of booking or check our website and facebook page for up to date information)


6. CREW ARE IN CHARGE OF PASSENGER MOVEMENT AT ALL TIMES, PLEASE LISTEN AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS. Anyone not willing to follow crew instructions may be refused travel.

7. On boarding the vessel crew will provide hand sanitiser for each passenger.

8. Where possible passengers are encouraged to travel in their vehicle, this reduces the contact during the crossing. Normal vehicle charges apply.

9. RIFL will deliver to vulnerable residents only. Subject to change, Island will be notified by Ferry Text of any changes.

10. RIFL will notify residents of deliveries and leave them in bus shelter for collection daily after 12noon. Subject to change, Island will be notified by Ferry Text of any changes.

12. Any change to ferry timetable will be notified by:
• Ferry Text (contact office if you wish to be added to text service or need number changed)
• posted on our website
• posted on our Facebook page

These travel conditions apply to all passengers, Island residents included.

To help enforce these conditions of travel we plan to do the following:

 Have signage on both slipways, on-board vessel and at terminal to advise of social distancing
 Markers on the slipway indicating 2 metre distance.
 Markers on vessels indicating 2 metre distance.
 Hand Sanitiser on-board vessel.
 We will operate one-way systems:
 SOR will be embarking through port side door/stairwell & disembarking through starboard side door/stairwell.
 RE will be embarking through access gate, to the left, past the stairwell, round stairwell past toilet and into saloon. When saloon is full then passengers will be guided up the stairs to upper deck.
 Minimum of 1 crew member will be present on each deck throughout the crossing.
 Crew will guide embarking/disembarking to enforce social distancing.
 Seating will be clearly marked to maintain at least 2 metre distance.

If you have any queries or concerns about travelling, please do not hesitate to contact RIFL management and discuss in confidence.

MARY – 07553359596
SIOBHAN – 07706807584


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