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Ferry operator CalMac’s reduced service timetable, which was initially scheduled to end on Sunday, has been extended for two weeks.
Covid-related staff absenteeism means the timetable will continue until Sunday February 6.
The temporary timetable was introduced on the Ardrossan to Brodick route, and across most of the network, to allow CalMac to focus its resources on maintaining lifeline services.
However, a further 50 staff have been absent, bringing the total number of absentee staff to 203.
Robbie Drummond, CalMac managing director, said, ‘We fully appreciate the difficulties these changes will cause for some of our customers, and we apologise for any disruption to their journeys over the next few weeks.
‘I am very grateful for their continued patience and understanding at a time of intense pressure.
‘We will continue to review the temporary timetable on an ongoing basis and will add services back in as soon as we possibly can, however, a return to a full service will require a significant reduction in the level of staff absence.
‘In the meantime, we will continue to operate as flexibly as possible to ensure we restore sailings where and when we can.’
In addition to the reduced timetable – which has been cut by around 15 per cent – port offices at Ardrossan and Brodick are also be operating to reduced hours based on sailing times.