Other coronovirus news in brief

The Banner photos of the new Brodick ferry terminal have provoked a very mixed response.

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New ferry timetable

CalMac has introduced an essential lifeline timetable which will see just two ferries a day from Ardrossan at 7am and 3.20pm and Brodick at 8.20am and 4.40pm, with changes on a Sunday.

The new reduced timetable, which will run for an initial three-week period, comes amidst a lockdown on all but essential travel across the whole of the UK. It will be subject to continual review in a rapidly changing environment, but they believe it is sustainable with their current crews.

All islands will receive a regular lifeline service ensuring essential goods and services are delivered.

Save the number

NHS Ayrshire and Arran is asking residents to save the number 0800 678 3393 in their phones so that if clinical and administrative staff call, residents can immediately recognise who is calling and to take the call.

Calls generated from NHS Ayrshire and Arran come from the telephone number 0800 678 3393.

As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak, NHS clinical and administrative staff are making an increasing number of telephone calls to patients in order to deliver clinical care.

Local business grants

These are: £10,000 grant to ratepayers of businesses in receipt of the Small Business Bonus Scheme or Rural Relief. Business with a rateable value up to £18,000 are eligible. You can also get this grant if you applied for Nursery Relief or Disabled Relief but are eligible for the Small Business Bonus Scheme.

Retail, hospitality and leisure business ratepayers with a rateable value between £18,001 – £50,999 can apply for a one-off grant of £25,000.

North Ayrshire Council, are processing application forms on behalf of the Scottish Government and businesses should apply if they meet the criteria.

Open spaces and public areas

North Ayrshire Council has closed all playparks to prevent parents and children touching the same play equipment, as part of the effort to reduce the possibility of transmission of Coronavirus.

A spokesman said: ‘While we would encourage people to continue to exercise and go outside, this should be done in a safe manner which restricts the possibility of close contact with others.’

Shut Out Scammers 

Police Scotland is advising the public to be cautious of strangers offering bogus services during the coronavirus pandemic.

Social distancing and self-isolation mean more people than usual are in their homes at the moment. This presents an ideal opportunity for criminals to take advantage of elderly and vulnerable people, in particular.

Police Scotland is working with a number of partners on the Shut Out Scammers campaign to signpost the public to relevant prevention advice and support services.

Vehicle testing

Vehicle owners will be given a six month exemption from needing MOT testing for their vehicles the Scottish Government has announced. From Monday March 30, vehicles which are due for their annual MOT will be allowed to forgo the testing but will still be required to keep their vehicle in roadworthy condition.

The Department for Transport is also working with insurers and the police to ensure that people are not unfairly penalised for things out of their control.

Free food

Young people eligible for free school meals and/or in receipt of a school clothing grant can apply to receive a weekly food package for both them and their families. The North Ayrshire Council Food Initiative will supply food packs for families of four with food that can be delivered straight to your door. Food packs are available right now and are available locally.

To take part in the scheme, eligible families must opt-in by signing up at  https://forms.gle/14Z1dpbcissPL3qt8. Deliveries of the food packages will begin in the very near future and will be delivered to your home with lunch recipes and related ingredients.


Scottish Tourism Alliance has launched a new free to use portal to help colleagues from across the tourism and hospitality sectors who have found themselves displaced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.

This new portal is supported by the Scottish Tourism Alliance and UK Hospitality, and is designed to help tourism and hospitality staff find at least temporary employment in other sectors such as food retail and supply, health care and delivery that now require high volumes of staff to get through the crisis.

Businesses can refer staff to the portal registration email HospitalityUnite@harri.com  where they will get through to the Harri team who are fielding enquiries.

News and information

The Arran Banner will continue to provide updates and information on developments relevant here on Arran and further afield. Free access has also been provided on our website at www.arranbanner.co.uk for all the important updates and information on the pandemic.