Wed. Nov 25th, 2020

Isle of Wight Observer News

The Island's Free Newspaper

Red Funnel shares further details on the wearing of face coverings

4 min read
Red Funnel is sharing further details and shedding light on frequently asked questions. 

Following the recent government announcement regarding the mandatory wearing of face coverings aboard public transportation, Red Funnel is sharing further details and shedding light on frequently asked questions. 

The company recently added a section to its website, called ‘Sail Safe’, which, in addition to FAQs about face coverings, captures what the operator is doing to keep passengers safe, as well as advice about what passengers can do too.

The face covering FAQ highlights include:

Where to wear them:

  • Face coverings are mandatory on board, inside Red Funnel’s passenger lounges and when moving about the interior, communal areas. Passengers must also wear a face covering when embarking and disembarking on foot.
  • They are optional in terminals and on the outside (exterior) passenger decks.
  • They are not required when passengers are inside their vehicle.

Is anyone exempt?

Ahead of any further clarification from the government, Red Funnel understands that exemptions only apply to passengers for whom the nature of their disability prevents them from being able to wear a face covering, or for passengers whose safety and wellbeing would be compromised by the use of a face covering. If the nature of a passenger’s disability has no bearing on their ability to wear a face covering, then they must wear one as advised.

Children under three or those children who may find it difficult to manage a face covering correctly are also exempt from having to wear a face covering.

What will happen if a customer arrives without a face covering?

Face coverings will be available for purchase by customers who do not have their own and 100% of the net proceeds will go to charity. When arriving by vehicle, the check-in staff member will ask for proof that all vehicle occupants have a face covering with them. We may require passengers to hold up their covering as proof (if passengers are not wearing them already). Those passengers purchasing a face covering past the point of check-in will be required to show the Loader their face covering prior to boarding.

What will happen if a customer refuses to wear a face covering?

By law, Red Funnel must refuse travel to customers who can, but do not, wear face coverings. If a customer does not have a face covering and refuses to purchase and/or wear one, our staff will have no choice but to refuse boarding, and the cost of the booking will be forfeited. If a passenger refuses to wear a face covering in accordance with government requirements, Red Funnel will have to refer the matter to the police and the passenger could be subject to fines or other penalties.

Can customers still eat and drink on board?

Yes, but only on the outside (exterior) passenger decks, or inside a vehicle. Face coverings must be kept on during the entirety of the crossing when inside passenger lounges, and when embarking and disembarking on foot.

Red Funnel also announced that 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of face coverings purchased on site at Red Funnel will go directly to their 2020 ‘Charities of the Year’ – Monkey Haven (LEAF Foundation) and Daisy Chains, which are both in urgent need of funding to carry on their important work they’re doing on the Island.

Fran Collins, CEO, Red Funnel, said: “Wearing a face covering when travelling on our ferries is one simple way that we can all help keep ourselves and each other safe, and strike a balance between returning to a more familiar way of life while also taking those small extra precautions that can really make a difference when we all participate. We hope that our passengers will also appreciate the principle behind the government’s new face coverings rule and see it not as an inconvenience, but quite simply the right thing to do.

“Our expectation is that passengers will act in good faith and only exempt themselves from wearing a face covering if they legitimately fall under the government’s defined exemptions. The exemption clause is in place for the safety of those passengers who would struggle to wear a face covering or whereby a face covering could pose a risk to their safety and wellbeing. We trust that the passengers who need this exemption know who they are, and we trust them to make this judgement and take responsibility for their own safety. Anyone falsely positioning themselves as having a disability or breathing difficulty which prevents them from wearing a face covering is disrespectful to those who are legitimately exempt. We urge everyone using all forms of public transportation, including our ferries, to do the right thing and act with integrity.”

“We also felt very strongly that donating 100% of the net proceeds to our incredible Charities of the Year was the right thing to do and we’re hopeful that together with our customers we can help support these charities at time when they need our help the most.”

For more face covering related FAQs and more detailed responses, please visit www.redfunnel.co.uk/SailSafe