WITH an expected drop in demand due to the stage four coronavirus restrictions, Searoad Ferries has suspended weekend ferry services between Sorrento and Queenscliff until at least 19 September.
The ferry will continue its two-hourly Monday-Friday service.
The cut back follows changes brought in with the stage three restrictions last month (“All clear for essential ferry” The News 13/7/20).
“This is obviously an historic and significant step to suspend the service for the first time in 33 years,” Searoad CEO Matt McDonald said.
“However, we must respond to the unprecedented circumstances which we find ourselves in, with stage four lockdown in the greater Melbourne region.”
Mr McDonald said essential travel and for permitted work and would continue.
“We believe we have a responsibility to provide a service for those who need to travel and to assist the critical and essential parts of our community to remain operational,” he said.
Under the regulations the transport operator is an essential service for approved travel, transport and freight. This includes travel for emergency services, essential supplies, work, medical purposes and compassionate reasons.
“During COVID-19 we have continued to move a broad range of customers who rely on our service,” Mr McDonald said. “[This includes] essential travel, such as the supply of milk to the Mornington Peninsula, tradies travelling to jobs on either side, emergency services, medical staff, as well as individual carers travelling for compassionate reasons.”
“We are maintaining our practices in line with our COVID safe plan which includes hourly sanitation and cleaning of the vessels.”