CalMac’s overnight freight service between Stornoway and Ullapool is to be withdrawn until July 15th, with the last night-time service due to operate tonight (Friday 20 March).

Island-based hauliers have been notified that the Loch Seaforth will now carry freight using the 7am sailing from Stornoway and the 11.30am return from Ullapool, with the change to remain in place until 15 July.

The change also means passenger service being reduced to one sailing a day, leaving Stornoway at 3pm and Ullapool at 6.30pm.

All other services, including sailings from Tarbert, Lochmaddy, Lochboisdale and Castlebay, are to remain on the winter timetable until 15 July and will not move to the more frequent summer service, as was originally scheduled, from next week.

The service change comes in response to unprecedented conditions in the transport industry and as a means of maintaining lifeline links while crew with existing health conditions need to self-isolate to protect their own health.

A CalMac spokesman said information was continually coming in and further service changes could not be ruled out.