The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has confirmed its revised schedule following the easing of travel restrictions by the Isle of Man Government.
From 20th July, the Island will move from Level 5 to Level 4 in the Isle of Man Borders Framework. This will allow Island residents to visit the UK and beyond for holidays or to visit friends and relatives before self-isolating for 14 days on their return.
Although the Steam Packet Company rescheduled its timetable in late March, it has continued to operate daily services between Douglas and Heysham, including an overnight lifeline freight service.
The change in government policy – considered the next stage of a phased border reopening – will see the company run two daily sailings between Douglas and Heysham on the Ben-my-Chree on most dates from Friday 24th July, as well as providing a daily fast craft service to Liverpool on Manannan from Fridays to Mondays (again beginning on 24th July).
Chief Executive Mark Woodward said: ‘We were anticipating this news for some time so have been developing rigorous processes to ensure measures are in place to protect passengers and crew.
‘This schedule is available for Manx residents who can self-isolate on their return for 14 days. It will see the Ben-my-Chree provide a twice-daily service for both freight and passengers to Heysham and a link to Belfast. Manannan will also provide a passenger service to Liverpool.
‘Throughout the pandemic, our team has worked within strict parameters and the safety, wellbeing and protection of our passengers and staff remains our number one priority with easy-to-follow guidance in place for those travelling on our vessels. Passenger bookings are currently being capped on every sailing to around 40% of capacity to help maintain social distancing onboard.’
From 20th July, Island residents must have a Manx Entry Permit to ensure they can return and need to complete an online Government Landing Form prior to travelling.
The Isle of Man borders remain closed to non-residents unless they have been granted an exemption certificate.
New reservations can be made online at: www.steam-packet.com, by calling 661661 or by visiting the Ferry Travel Shop at the Sea Terminal in Douglas. Sailing schedules may be adjusted in due course to reflect the revised level of demand. All passengers affected will be contacted by the company.