WIGHTLINK is to resume services on the Lymington ferry route to Yarmouth on Friday 17th July.
All sailings were stopped in March when lockdown restrictions were introduced but the company says the easing of measures has resulted in a rise in demand from travellers.
There will be eight round-trip sailings each day, operating roughly every two hours, using one of the Wight-class ferries. The first will depart Lymington at 5.35am and the last at 8.05pm.
Customers will be directed to the passenger lounge or outside sun deck during the crossing and need to wear face coverings. Toilet facilities will be available but, initially, the on-board café and shop will not be open.
Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said he was delighted at being able to restart the service.
He said: “Our partnership with the Isle of Wight Council’s transport infrastructure board and the other cross-Solent operators has ensured ferries have kept the island supplied with essential goods and services throughout the crisis.
“We hope to make an announcement later this summer about resuming our FastCat route between Portsmouth Harbour and Ryde Pier, but demand from foot passengers is still only around 15% of normal levels and would not support services from two operators.
“The current combined timetable is designed to provide enough capacity for islanders and visitors while helping operators survive financially, fund their vessel maintenance programmes in the autumn and protect jobs and services for the future.”
Wightlink’s Portsmouth to Fishbourne route has maintained a lifeline service throughout the pandemic and hourly sailings on this route will resume from Monday.