20th March 2020
Dear Community Member
The next few weeks/months will be difficult for the country as Covid-19 spreads. Both the UK and Scottish Governments are putting things in place to try and slow down the spread but we as a community can also help to slow the spread down by helping those who fall ill, have to self isolate or are vulnerable.
If you or a family member show symptoms and have to self isolate or if you are vulnerable we can help.
Contact one of the numbers below and one of our volunteers will help you by:
• Collecting and delivering your shopping to your door
• Collecting and delivering medicines
• Chatting to you on the phone
• Delivering urgent supplies
Something everyone can do:
• Phone your immediate neighbours every couple of days to check they are okay. As the virus spreads people will become more isolated and it is important that we keep in contact and look after each other.
To get a volunteer to contact you phone:
Cathleen Russell Danuta Steedman or Davie Munro
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CALMAC - COVID-19 QUESTIONS FOR CUSTOMERS
What is CalMac doing in response to the current COVID-19 situation?
CalMac has a full COVID-19 Response team in place which has been working to ensure our customers and staff are already responding to the latest Government instructions surrounding the current outbreak.
We work closely and frequently with Transport Scotland, the Scottish Government's Resilience Team and Health Protection Scotland to stay on top of the latest advice and guidance from Government and health officials. It is vital to ensure a coordinated approach is taken to keeping our customers and staff safe and supported.
Customers have a responsibility to ensure they are aware of the latest Government advice around hand hygiene and self-isolation before attempting to come on our vessels. The information and actions we would expect our customers to follow can be found at: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19
Can passengers stay in their vehicles on the car deck?
CalMac currently only allows those passengers who are in ambulances and accompanied by medical staff to travel whilst on the car deck of our major vessels. Allowing passengers to remain in their own vehicles is a matter that resides with the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA). At this time, CalMac does not have the authority to allow passengers to remain in their vehicles on our major vessels unless expressly authorised by the MCA. We will work closely alongside the MCA and we will keep you posted of any future developments. Car passengers are, of course, allowed to stay in their vehicles on our small ferry fleet.
Will CalMac screen passengers for temperature or illness before boarding?
No. Such screening would need to be organised and deployed via the NHS or Health Protection Scotland, and at this time we are not aware of any such plans to set up testing hubs at our terminals. CalMac staff do not possess the specific expertise necessary to conduct such screenings, nor do we possess the necessary equipment. Making decisions about who can and who cannot travel is a complex matter where the NHS, Health Protection Scotland or another third-party authority would need involvement.
Can I delay or cancel my sailing?
CalMac has put in place a temporary change to our policy until 31 May 2020 which means you can now cancel any planned bookings without having to pay a fee, as long as the cancellation is made in advance of the sailing. If you're concerned about your upcoming pre-booked travel plans and wish to make an amendment or cancel, you can do so free of any additional fees. For assistance, you can make amendments online via: https://www.calmac.co.uk/faqs/online-amendments or get in touch with our Contact Centre team to cancel on 0800 066 5000.
Please note that our Contact Centre operating hours are (up to Sunday 22 March 2020): 07:00-19:00 from Monday to Friday, and 08:00-17:00 on weekends. And (from Monday 23 March 2020); 07:00-2100 from Monday to Friday, and 08:00-20:00 on weekends.
What additional health and safety precautions is CalMac taking at this time?
Our Masters now include the latest COVID-19 safety advice as part of their safety briefing before every sailing.
CalMac has moved to a position on our major vessels of wiping down all high touch surfaces every two hours with specialist cleaning equipment. This is then logged against a strict recording regime to ensure it has been completed. This does not apply to our small vessel fleet where passengers are allowed to stay in their vehicles. In fact, we are now recommending that all passengers remain in their cars when on these small vessels.
CalMac is also removing any uncovered foodstuffs from display, such as cakes and biscuits and is in the process of scaling back its on-board catering offerings. Hand sanitiser is available in our ports and on our vessels and NHS Inform Coronavirus posters are being put up on all of our vessels and ports.
What is the potential impact on CalMac services if you do not have enough staff to operate the vessels?
In the event that we have a number of staff unable to operate our services, CalMac will institute its Route Prioritisation Matrix, agreed with Transport Scotland. This will see decisions being made for the whole network rather than a single route, with a view to maintaining lifeline services.
I have further questions. Who should I contact?
Email us at: email@example.com or contact us on 0800 066 5000 This is the best way for us to take in your questions/comments and get them to the right place, as well as ensure the fastest response.