OnTheWight always welcomes a Letter to the Editor to share with our readers – unsurprisingly they don’t always reflect the views of this publication. If you have something you’d like to share, get in touch and of course, your considered comments are welcome below.
This from a reader known to OnTheWight who wishes to remain anonymous. Ed
Your findings and ongoing investigation into Ferry lockdown funding, led me to consider the ferry companies refusal to monitor passengers’ reasons for travel.
It seems the policy was that it is the responsibility of individuals to observe Covid travel rules and ferries stated that they were not able to interfere with this.
Surely a violation of the Covid rules?
I suggest that permitting tourists and other non-essential visitors to travel across the Solent without question is complicit in the violation of the Covid rules.
When cars with 4 or 5 people, sometimes with children, were queuing to board it must have been clear they were not travelling for work or medical reasons.
It is in the powers of any company to refuse custom providing it is not discriminatory (The Equalities Act, 2010). There is no obligation to accept custom.
Must have contributed to rising numbers
The ferry companies refusal to even ask travellers their reason for travel clearly contributed to the substantial rise in cases on the Island at the time we were in Tier 1 and Portsmouth and Southampton were not.
I do not have evidence of the contribution this made but considering the number of tourists and second home owners that appeared as soon as the Tier system began, the detrimental impact could not have been negligible.
My point here is that if they are receiving public monies they should bear a degree of public responsibility and have turned away non-essential travellers then and continue to do so now.