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Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Brittany Ferries confirms re-launch of services next week


Brittany Ferries has confirmed it will return to normal scheduled passenger services from June 29 when it will begin to operate four cross-Channel routes from the UK.

It will re-launch with four ships initialy, adding a further three ferries in July.

However, three further ships won't operate this summer due to an anticipated lack of demand and a shortage of cabins. This means that Brittany won't have any sailings between Poole and Cherbourg.

From next week, Brittany will sail in the UK from Portsmouth to Caen and Santander and from Plymouth to Roscoff.

In July, it will add more sailings from Portsmouth to Caen, St Malo, Cherbourg and Le Havre.

Passenger capacity will be limited on all ferries to 550 passengers, a reduction of more than 60%, from June 29.

Brittany said this would apply at least until mid-July.

Foot passengers, including cyclists, will also not be allowed on board.

A spokesman said: "For several weeks now we've been assessing how we may be able to offer passenger services whilst still adhering to all applicable guidelines.

"Like so many other businesses we've had to take some tough decisions in order to assure our services.

"These include drastically reducing the number of people that may travel on board our ships at any given time, and fundamental changes to our boarding and disembarkation procedures in port in order to simplify operations and keep all passengers, crew and shoreside safe.

"EU passenger rights are also an issue when sailings are disrupted, necessitating transfer buses for foot passengers and cyclists - again this poses problems.

"In order to streamline operations and ensure everyone's wellbeing we've unfortunately had to suspend carriage of both foot passengers and cyclists for now, but we will of course keep this situation under review with a view to restoring these services when we can.

"We'll need some time to assess how our operations will function with the new post-Covid measures and will consider what further adaptations we can adopt with a view to increasing capacities of all passenger types in due course. When we are sure we can offer transit to more foot passengers and cyclists in a safe and viable manner, we will do so quickly."

A range of new sanitary and social distancing measures will also be imposed on all vessels.

"These measures go above and beyond compliance with statutory guidance in countries served by the company," said Brittany.

Masks must be worn by passengers in public areas on board, and a cabin or reserved seat is compulsory on all crossings.

"We are very much looking forward to welcoming holiday makers back on board starting on Monday," said CEO Christophe Mathieu.

"Operationally, we have put in place everything for a safe return to service and we have practised these measures daily. Our job now is to reassure passengers that ferries are open for business and that travel by sea is the safest way to enjoy an international holiday.

"It won't be quite the same Brittany Ferries experience on board of course, at least to start with. However, it will still be a relaxing sea bridge to take you to the beautiful destinations you have been dreaming of during lockdown."

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