Nichola Mallon: Tourists ‘not permitted’ to visit Rathlin Island

Tourists have been told they are not allowed to visit Rathlin Island by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon.

The Rathlin Island ferry
The Rathlin Island ferry

The minister has put in place revised travel restrictions for the Rathlin Ferry to support the island community during the Covid-19 recovery period.

So far the island, off the north coast of Northern Ireland, has been free of coronavirus cases.

From Sunday, the ferry operator will provide for essential travel only in line with the Health Protection Coronavirus Regulations and subsequent amendments. At this stage, tourists are not permitted to travel to the island on the ferry under any circumstances.

Minister Mallon said: “The decision to maintain restrictions on the ferry is not one which I have taken lightly, but one that I am taking with the health and well-being of the islanders in mind and in consultation with them.

“I know that in normal circumstances Rathlin Island would be a major tourist attraction at this time of year, however it is vitally important that for now tourists do not visit the island.

“We are now in an extraordinary time and we must continue to listen to the advice and guidance given on essential travel, social distancing and helping shield those who may be most vulnerable to the virus.

“The advice is clear, we all must do it to get through it. I know this is an incredibly difficult time, but we must each play our part in keeping ourselves and others safe, and continuing to slow the transmission of Covid-19.”