Quarantine Travel

Travelling to the Isle of Wight and need to quarantine / self-isolate OR travelling to the Island for a Covid-19 test?

If you live on the Mainland, but have been booked for a test on the Isle of Wight, or live on the Island and have been booked for a test on the Mainland, we strongly urge you to contact the NHS via 119 as soon as possible to explain that you have been given a test appointment which requires ferry travel. Try requesting that your appointment be changed to prevent you needing to travel on a ferry - whilst we cannot guarantee your appointment location will be changed, we have heard reports of success from others.

If you still need to travel, you must contact us ahead of time and make arrangements to travel via a private vehicle, whereby you MUST remain inside your vehicle for the duration of the crossing. You are NOT permitted to board the ferry as a foot passenger. This applies for travel in both directions for those visiting the Island for the sake of a Covid-19 test.

Please note that the crossing times where we can currently pursue ‘remain in vehicle’ exemptions for customers are limited, and you MUST contact us in advance to request being able to stay in your vehicle at one of these times.

We are currently accepting requests for crossings from Southampton to East Cowes as follows:

  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 10:00 / 12:00 / 16:00
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 10:30 / 12:00 / 16:30


We are also accepting requests for crossings from East Cowes to Southampton as follows:

  • Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday: 08:30* / 11:30 / 16:30
  • Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 09:00 / 12:00 / 16:30

*No 08:30 on Saturdays

Please note that we can not always guarantee that the above times will be available and exemption capacity is restricted.

To make a request to stay in your vehicle, please email us at customerservices@redfunnel.co.uk or call us at 01983 896705 (Mon-Fri 08:00-16:00) or 02380 019192 (Mon-Fri 16:00-19:00, Weekends 08:00-18:00) ideally at least 48 hours in advance of your travel. Should this not be possible, our teams will still endeavor to do their best to assist you on shorter notice.

To enable us to assist you more swiftly, please include a copy of your return flight or holiday details, or your  NHS appointment booking, along with your ferry travel details.

It is the responsibility of passengers to make arrangements to gain access to a vehicle when travelling back to the Island in these scenarios. If you live on the Island and family or friends are unable to offer assistance, or you are unable to hire a vehicle, contact the Isle of Wight Council for further guidance and support. You can call 01983 823 600 between 9am and 5pm, 7 days a week or email contact.centre@iow.gov.uk

The requirement to travel via vehicle (and remain isolated therein) if in a quarantine situation was established by the Isle of Wight Transport Infrastructure Board, in consultation with key stakeholders which includes the Isle of Wight Council. Accordingly, Red Funnel is unable to waiver from this process, which has been established to protect the Island community.