A message from our CEO
To our valued customers,
With health and safety being of heightened concern for many of us right now, I wanted to reassure you about travelling with Red Funnel and let you know what we’re doing to protect our customers, ensure continuity of essential services to and from the Isle of Wight, as well as support the combined global effort to tackle Coronavirus.
We have a dedicated team closely monitoring the evolving Covid-19 (Coronavirus) situation and we are taking all appropriate actions in full compliance with official guidance. As always, we are doing all we can to keep our ferries and terminals safe and clean and we have made significant uplifts to this in light of the development of Covid-19.
We have a rigorous cleaning schedule and have escalated the frequency of cleaning in high traffic and high hand contact areas, as well as increased cleaning across all other areas. We have added a significant number of hand sanitising stations both on board and around our terminals, as well as amplified our communications at all touch-points to remind staff and customers about the importance of good hygiene. Behind the scenes, we’ve reinforced staff training on hygiene and implemented early measures to increase the amount of staff working offsite to further preserve critical management functions and to help ensure the resilience of our crews and operations teams.
I know that many of us may be feeling an increasing amount of uncertainty and anxiety around travel plans at this present time, and in other cases, where customers or those in their household may have virus symptoms, we fully recognise that travel may not be possible at this time. With that in mind, I wanted to remind you that if you need to amend your booking to a future date, or need to cancel a sailing, we’re here to help. We have waived amendment fees and can also hold the cost of your booking as a credit against a future sailing if you need time to decide on your plans. All information about how to do this can be found here.
I would also like to address the most common question we have received to date: “Can passengers remain in their vehicles?”
Vehicle decks are classified as cargo spaces under International and National Maritime law, and it is not normally permitted for passengers to transit in these spaces for this reason. Whilst Red Funnel does not have the legal authority to allow passengers to remain in their vehicles, we are very aware of the requirements to support social distancing and protect our customers in this exceptional situation. We have worked closely with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency in recent days and have agreed a set of exceptional and mitigating actions that will permit us to offer a number of select crossings on which passengers will be able to remain in their vehicles. This is not a change to legislation, nor a change to policy, but is a direct and exceptional response to an unprecedented situation and we are grateful for the MCA’s support to allow us to respond to your requests.
For more details about crossings where you can remain in your vehicle, please visit our FAQ’s page, here.
The safety of our passengers and staff remains, as ever, our highest priority, and as such we will continue to liaise with the relevant health, government and transportation authorities and update our Covid-19 page as the situation evolves.
Please be assured that we fully recognise our obligation as a lifeline service between the Island and the Mainland and remain fully committed to running our ferry services. It is our duty to keep sailing, as it has been for almost 160 years and we are both proud and privileged to serve the Isle of Wight – we don’t take that commitment lightly.
Should you have further questions or require assistance, please get in touch with us at: CustomerServices@redfunnel.co.uk
Thank you for your understanding and patronage as our teams work hard to support you.