Brittany Ferries suspends Portsmouth services amid coronavirus travel restrictions

FERRY services from Portsmouth to mainland Europe have been put on hold due to coronavirus-imposed travel restrictions.

Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 11:20 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd February 2021, 11:21 am

Cross-Channel ferry and holiday company Brittany Ferries is extending the suspension of some services operating between the UK, France and Spain.

The announcement comes as travel restrictions are implemented by governments either side of the English Channel, with only essential travel currently permitted.

Under the revised plans, Bretagne will not sail from Portsmouth to St Malo, and Cap Finistère will not travel to Bilbao or Santander.

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Brittany Ferries' chief executive Christophe Mathieu, pictured on the Mont St Michel. Picture: Sarah Standing (290620-745)

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Other ships will still sail on routes to Le Havre, Santander, Cherbourg and Caen.

Christophe Mathieu, Brittany Ferries’ CEO, said: ‘We had hoped for a return to service for all our routes in mid-March, but the reality is that most people are simply unable to travel at this time.

‘Booking levels are extremely low and we are relying on loans to carry us through this difficult period. It is therefore simply not viable to run loss-making routes at this time.

‘But we continue to monitor the health and travel situation in all our markets – UK, Ireland, France and Spain. As soon as our customers can travel again, we will be there for them.’

Mr Mathieu says the company is pushing the government for a ‘co-ordinated and clear roadmap’ for travel routes to be reopened.

In the meantime, the firm will remain a predominantly freight-only service.

‘We believe that the ramp-up of vaccines means that this re-opening could be considered sooner rather than later,’ the CEO added.

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