Orkney’s MSP, Liam McArthur, has welcomed Orkney Islands Council’s confirmation that residents in the North and South Isles can continue to use the inter-isles ferry service as normal from 27th December.
After being contacted by constituents concerned at plans by Orkney Ferries to restrict travel to and from after Christmas to key workers and essential travel, Mr McArthur held discussions with Orkney Ferries, Orkney Islands Council and Scottish Ministers.
Responding to the announcement from OIC, Mr McArthur commented:
“I’m pleased that additional flexibility has been applied that will allow inter-isles travel to continue to operate after Christmas. This will come as a great relief to many isles residents and their families, who risked being disproportionately affected by the heightened restrictions announced by the First Minister on Saturday.
“While additional care certainly needs to be taken, and travel and gatherings should be avoided wherever possible, it’s right that people in Orkney are able to travel within their local authority area in the same way as people in every other part of the country.
“I have been contacted by many constituents over the past 24 hours, surprised and concerned at the prospect of more robust restrictions being put in place for those living in the isles. I’m pleased, therefore, that the Council has taken this decision. From my discussions earlier today with Scottish Ministers, I understand this is in line with government advice”.