FROM 5am tomorrow (Wednesday), Cowes floating bridge will limit passengers and vehicle journeys to blue-light services and essential workers only.

A spokesperson for the service said: "This is to ensure that staff and passengers are able to maintain social distancing, whilst keeping this vital transport link available for those who need it.

"Foot passenger capacity will be reduced. This means that the lower passenger accommodation will be limited to six people, and the upper deck limited to 12.

"Car lanes might be used for foot passengers if necessary, which will mean more can be carried.

"To make sure that everybody is following this new limitation, staff may ask passengers or drivers about their journey."

UPDATE 1.08pm: 

The Isle of Wight Council has reneged on its floating bridge arrangements, and clarified the bridge is still open to all users, but essential workers will be given priority. 

A spokesperson said: "The floating bridge is still operating, and we are prioritising foot passenger and vehicle journeys to ensure essential workers can cross at all times.

"Other passengers are still able to use the service, but we would remind people of the Government’s advice to stay at home, protect the NHS and save lives.

"All users are reminded to use either prepay at the ticket machines, or use a Saver Card, as we will not be handling cash at this time."