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Wightlink Update - Coronavirus

UPDATE 02/04/2020 08.47

As few people are crossing the Solent, except essential workers and freight, and to help restrict the spread of Covid-19 we will be operating a reduced 2 hourly timetable on our Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry service from 06.00 Tuesday, 7 April 2020.

UPDATE 23/03/2020 15.32

The Coronavirus outbreak has had a significant impact on the numbers of people who want to travel to and from the Isle of Wight. Far fewer people than usual want to cross the Solent at present and the Government has advised everyone not to travel unless it’s essential.

This has affected all cross-Solent ferry companies and is likely to last for many weeks.

We have decided, following discussions with Isle of Wight Council, and in accord with other operators, to bring in a reduced timetable with fewer sailings during this emergency.

Wightlink will be prioritising essential freight supplies to the Island, including food and fuel as well as assisting the NHS and emergency services.

We are now running a two-hourly service on the Lymington to Yarmouth route, and hourly sailings on the Portsmouth to Fishbourne car ferry and Portsmouth to Ryde Pier Head FastCat passenger routes.

Everyone’s safety continues to be our highest priority. Crew members are continually cleaning our vessels and passenger terminals. All our ships are well-ventilated with fresh air, not recycled air, and you can choose to travel on the outside decks of our car ferries and passenger FastCats if conditions permit.

You can now stay in your vehicle onboard if you wish, following detailed discussions and agreement with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Portsmouth-Fishbourne car ferry St Clare is now reserved for people who wish to do this. St Clare sails on the even hour from Portsmouth (06:00, 08:00 etc) and the odd hour from Fishbourne (07:00, 09:00 etc). Unfortunately, we are not able to accommodate motorcycles or foot passengers on these ‘remain in vehicle’ sailings.

All other services (both Portsmouth-Fishbourne and Lymington-Yarmouth) are operating in the usual way with all customers leaving their vehicles after embarkation and spending the crossing in passenger lounges. We ask that all our customers please respect the official advice on social distancing and hand washing.

In light of the Government’s direction for cafes to close, we have made some changes to the way our Costa and Wight Taste outlets operate. Many of our cafes are now offering a take-way only service and some are now closed temporarily.

We are sorry that the spread of Coronavirus has forced us to reduce our sailings and look forward to returning to normal operations as soon as we can.


We wanted to update you on the measures we are taking to keep our customers and colleagues safe while travelling with Wightlink.

At the start of this outbreak of coronavirus, we reviewed our systems and procedures to make sure we were following all official guidance from Public Health England and our regulators, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). We installed more hand sanitisers at our ports and on our ships and emphasised the importance of good hygiene to everyone. This includes frequent hand washing, using tissues to catch coughs and sneezes and keeping your distance from others if you feel unwell.

Crew members are continually cleaning our vessels and passenger terminals.

All our ships are well-ventilated with fresh air, not recycled air, and you can choose to travel on the outside decks of our car ferries and passenger FastCats (during daylight hours and subject to weather conditions) if you prefer.

Some people have asked if they can stay in their car or van on our vehicle decks during the crossing, rather than going up to the passenger lounges.

We are now able to permit this, following discussions with our regulator, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

We will use one of our larger ships St Clare for this purpose from Thursday 19 March. She sails on the even hour from Portsmouth (06:00, 08:00 etc) and the odd hour from Fishbourne (07:00, 09:00 etc). All other services (both Portsmouth-Fishbourne and Lymington-Yarmouth) will operate in the usual way with all customers leaving their vehicles after embarkation and spending the crossing in passenger lounges.

Wightlink

02 April 2020

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