This NTM update should be read in conjunction with NTM 17/20.

Guidance from the Scottish Government is currently being updated on a regular basis. The Government has strengthened measures to tackle the spread of Coronavirus and the message is clear, STAY HOME – PROTECT THE NHS – SAVE LIVES.

With the need to protect vulnerable island communities while still providing essential lifeline support, CMAL and our harbour operator CalMac Ferries Ltd are strictly following the Government guidance and hence mariners are informed that with immediate effect restrictions in force at all CMAL locations (full list here) have been revised and are as follows.

Open port access to all CMAL ports, harbours and facilities continues to be closed to all non-essential visiting vessels. These specifically include:

  • Recreational vessels
  • Cruise ships
  • Superyachts
  • Tour boats
  • Other small commercially operated vessels that are chartered or are carrying fare paying passengers, not being lifeline ferries

CMAL locations remain open to the following essential vessel traffic:

  • Lifeline ferries
  • Local fishing and fish farm vessels or those only landing catch or taking on supplies
  • Commercial ships operated in support of local communities and essential businesses
  • Vessels seeking a port of refuge
  • Marine casualties or other similar emergencies
  • UK Warships and Naval Auxiliary ships on active service
  • Serco Group vessels operating in support of military vessels, e.g. crew transfers
  • Northern Lighthouse Board and Marine Protection Vessels
  • Emergency services vessels, e.g. RNLI, HM Coastguard, HM Border Force, Police, Fire & Rescue
  • Medivacs

All non-local vessels entering harbour limits at staffed port locations must contact the harbour office via VHF 12 and follow any further instructions.

During the evolving covid-19 health crisis mariners are advised that staffing at some CMAL ports and harbours may become reduced to levels that could impact on the ability to answer vessel calls, provide port mooring or other services.

Where a vessel cannot establish contact with the local Harbour Office, please communicate by email via or telephone (+44) 7917 242 140 confirming particulars of the proposed call and vessel contact details.

It is essential linkspan berthing areas are always kept clear for the exclusive use of lifeline ferries.

It should be also be noted:

  • There should be no shore leave for visiting vessel crews
  • Vessels will be allowed to take on fuel and water where available, but any required stores will be delivered to the bottom of the gangway
  • Service engineers should only attend for repair of critical ship systems and will require a risk assessment to be carried out in conjunction with the local CalMac port manager

Finally, all recreational boating activities are considered to be an unnecessary activity at this critical time as there is the additional concern that if something goes wrong, however unlikely that may seem, there is the potential that further and avoidable pressure will be placed on harbour staff and the emergency services. These are exceptional times and CMAL advises all recreational boaters to act responsibly and adhere to the Government’s advice and regulations to help limit the spread of the virus.

Further information about Covid-19 may be found at:


This NTM will remain in force until further notification is issued.

Issued on behalf of the Harbour Master

Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited

Categories: Uncategorized @gd