IOW ferry cancellations due to covid staff shortages

Passengers are facing disruption due to staff shortages on one of the Isle of Wight ferries.

Red Funnel said it had been forced to cancel vehicle ferry sailings because 30% of staff were unable to work, according to the BBC.

The company said many staff were having to isolate because they had been pinged by the NHS app or had come into close contact with someone with covid. Six sailings had to be cancelled each way between Southampton and East Cowes on Wednesday and Thursday.

“Despite higher levels of recruitment than normal, currently 30% of our staff are unable to work, with many team members being contacted by the NHS Track and Trace system or self-isolating,” said chief executive Fran Collins. “We sincerely apologise to both passengers and the local community.”

The BBC reports the ferry firm is also struggling to recruit more staff and currently has 51 unfilled roles.

“The tourism and hospitality industry has been hit hard by the pandemic and as an industry we are working hard to address the staff shortage,” continues Collins. “We are continuing to increase our seasonal recruitment, taking on more seasonal team members than we did in 2019.”

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