*Our services are operating on time and in line with Govt. guidelines. - Please read our latest message from our MD.

COVID-19 Information

Hovertravel is flying workers between the Isle of Wight and the mainland, as well ensuring vital supplies of medicines and the Royal Mail continue to flow across the Solent. We are also providing a fast freight service and transferring patients via our NHS Island Rescue. Please follow the Government advice regarding travel which states:

We can all help control the virus if we all stay alert. This means you must:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly
  • do not leave home if you or anyone in your household has symptoms.

We are operating a revised essential Lifeline timetable, operating hourly from Ryde at 0615 until 1930 from Southsea to keep the communities on both sides of the Solent working together during this national emergency.  


All passengers using Hovertravel are being asked to observe Public Health England’s social distancing rules which state: “Public Health England recommends trying to keep 2 metres away from people, where possible, as a precaution. The key is not to be too close to people more than a short amount of time.”  Hovertravel staff will ask passengers to remain two metres from their fellow travellers in the terminals and whilst getting on and off the craft for the ten-minute journey.


The Government has also issued guidance for those who have to use public transport which suggests passengers should:

  • If you can, travel at off-peak times
  • Where possible, book your travel online through an app or website or consider contactless payment to buy tickets.
  • If you can, wear a face covering

Please read the latest update from our Managing Director, Neil Chapman.

Q: What steps has Hovertravel taken to manage the COVID-19 crisis?


We have an internal team monitoring the situation and keeping in regular contact with the Isle of Wight Council, Public Health England and the Marine & Coastguard Agency. We have adopted the recommended guidelines published by the Government to protect the health & safety of our staff and customers.

Q : What extra cleaning measures are you taking?


We are enforcing good hand hygiene among our staff in line with the advice from Public Health England.


We are also cleaning our hovercraft after every service with recommended anti-bacterial sprays, as well as maintaining an increased frequency for cleaning the terminals throughout the day, both with a focus on door buttons, grab handles, counter tops and all touch points.

Q: Is Hovertravel observing the social distancing guidelines?


In our terminals, at the boarding gate and during getting on and off the hovercraft, our passengers are asked to observe the recommended two metre distance from their fellow travellers and our staff.

Q: Do I need to take any specific precautions when travelling with Hovertravel?


The Government has produced specific guidelines for people using public transport which are available here


Additionally, we are suggesting that customers scan their own tickets, rather than handing them to the staff member at the boarding gate, to reduce unnecessary contact.


Both our Ryde and Southsea terminals have washing facilities in our toilets where customers can, if they wish, wash their hands in accordance with the advice from Public Health England. 


Q. Are my bookings affected by the current hourly timetable?


For customers who are booked to travel, including season and travel card holders, and need to change their booking due to the current timetable, Hovertravel has a simple process to transfer bookings to a different service, extend travel periods or put a booking on hold for the future

Find Out More

Q: I no longer wish to travel; can I cancel my booking?


We have updated our policies to provide our customers the most flexibility we can offer during these challenging times and are giving the opportunity to re-book or refund your travel to a later date, without penalty.

Find Out More

Q: Do I need to wear a mask to travel with Hovertravel?



The Government advice is to wear a face covering, if you can,  whilst using public transport.  See the full guidance here

Q: Why is Hovertravel not conducting temperature screenings?


We have not been asked by the authorities to conduct any temperature checks on passengers and these screenings would have to be organised by Public Health England as they would have to provide the appropriate equipment and trained staff. We are unaware of any plans to introduce such checks.

Q: Can I use Hovertravel to visit my friends and family or for my permitted exercise?


The Government advice is to stay at home as much as possible, work from home if you can and limit contact with other people. You should avoid using public transport where possible. Our Essential Lifetime timetable is for people who cannot work from home including key workers, as well as for freight such as vital medical supplies and Royal Mail.

Q: Can I use Hovertravel to transfer children between parents living apart?


The Government does allow the following; Where parents do not live in the same household, children under 18 can be moved between their parents’ homes.  There are more details here.


Our unaccompanied minor procedure works as normal, but our staff will observe the social distancing guidelines at all times in the terminals and when boarding.

Q: Does the new Government advice mean we can use Hovertravel for day trips on the Island or in Portsmouth?


No.  The Government is still asking everyone to stay at home if they can. Pubs, restaurants and attractions are all closed on both sides of the Solent.  Essential Hover only please.

Q: What is the best way to contact Hovertravel?


Please email us at: info@hovertravel.com 


This will be the fastest way to get a response and we can draw in information from across the business, if required. You can also use our LiveChat facility on our website.


Please note: our customer service team is dealing with a very high volume of enquiries and we thank you for your patience as we process these.