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Condor working on safe way to restore passenger ferries

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CONDOR is investigating how to restart passenger ferry travel, but is concerned that two-week self-isolation restriction on all incoming travellers would stop most people from travelling.

(Picture by Peter Frankland, 28341988)

There have been no passenger ferries since the end of March, with only freight services operating.

No passengers have been allowed to use theses sailings. They are vital for keeping the island stocked with food and goods and by not having passengers, it helped protect staff from being exposed to the coronavirus.

Condor’s fast ferries, Liberation and Rapide, have been sitting idle during the pandemic.

A Condor Ferries spokesman said it was looking into the idea of restarting services.

‘We have seen the announcement by the States of Guernsey that non-essential travel is now possible as the island has reached phase four of its exit from lockdown, so we are seeking further clarification from the States on the specific implications and conditions which would allow us to resume sailing,’ he said.

‘Phase four still has the very clear guidance that quarantine for 14 days is required which precludes the vast majority of passengers from travelling unless for essential purposes.

‘Condor is putting in place a range of measures to ensure the safety of passengers and crew when high speed sailings restart.’

The abrupt stopping of services in March has left some people stranded on the wrong side of the Channel, unable to fly if they have their vehicle or a pet.

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Condor confirmed it has shipped between 150 and 200 vehicles as freight over the last month, which has allowed their owners to fly between Guernsey and Southampton. Those with smaller dogs have also been able to take advantage of Aurigny’s scheme to carry one dog per flight.

There has not been any announcements yet on any increase in air travel.

Blue Islands is not offering services from Guernsey, while Aurigny is operating a return service to Southampton five days a week until the end of August.

While non-essential travel is allowed, the number of people planning to travel in the future seems limited.

More people seem to be travelling at short notice, however. A one-way flight to Southampton today costs over £100. But anyone planning to go away over the August bank holiday weekend can do so for £80 return.

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