The introduction of the 'unlockdown' Phase 2 public bus services has been delayed until tomorrow, Wednesday 1 July, says Comhairle nan Eilean Siar. 

Timetables for these services will now be available from today, Tuesday 30 June 2020.  Moving to Phase 2 provides increased services but capacity remains significantly limited to allow for physical distancing.  In Phase 2, travel at peak times is still to be discouraged unless travelling to and from work.

The delay to the start of this service has been due to the need to ensure that the services currently being provided for key workers can be integrated with the new services.

To manage safe numbers, passengers wishing to use the Phase 2 public bus services will be required to book a seat for the majority of services.

Timetables and contact details for your local bus operator are available on the Comhairle website- https://www.cne-siar.gov.uk/roads-travel-and-parking/public-transport/

Please remember that face coverings are now compulsory on any form of public transport and passengers will only be permitted to travel on public transport if they are wearing appropriate face covering.  Exceptions will apply, such as young children or for those with health conditions for whom a face covering would be inappropriate.  Passengers will be expected to provide their own face coverings. Where a screen has been provided, the driver will not be required to wear a face covering.

Good hygiene regimes remain important to protect against Covid-19.  Face-coverings are not intended to help the wearer, but to protect against inadvertent transmission of the disease to others.  It is vital that passengers do not see facemasks as an alternative, but as an addition to other measures such as social distancing, hand washing and disinfection of surfaces frequently touched by other people. Following social distancing and hand washing guidelines is more effective than wearing a mask.

It is hoped that the country will soon be moving to Phase 3 and this will allow further extension of public bus services and an eventual return to normal service timetables.  We would like to thank all bus passengers for their patience during the Covid-19 pandemic.