Latest Guidance from Scottish Government and Shiel Buses

Please follow these latest Scottish Government steps for your own safety and the safety of others:

  • Stay at home if you or anyone in your household is experiencing coronavirus symptoms (new continuous dry cough, fever or the loss of or a change in your sense of smell or taste) or if you are self-isolating or you are shielding
  • Only travel if your journey is essential, for example, for work or shopping.
  • Consider walking or cycling, if you can, to reduce pressure on the road network and on public transport where capacity will be limited
  • Plan your journey and leave additional time due to temporary restrictions or changes to previous timetables or schedules
  • Pay for your journey online, use smart ticketing, the operator’s mobile app, or contactless payment, if you can, to reduce cash handling (Please see Shiel Buses own guidance on this, below).
  • Comply with any signage or instructions on public transport or from transport staff as the safety measures in place are for everyone’s benefit
  • When travelling by bus, tram or rail you should, and are expected to, wear a face covering
  • Keep yourself and others safe by maintaining the 2 metre physical distance rule
  • Where impossible to maintain 2 metre distancing, avoid physical contact and face away from others, keep the time you spend within 2 metres of others as short as possible
  • Be considerate of the impact of restrictions on the needs of fellow passengers who may have impairments, disabilities or mobility issues
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or use a hand sanitiser before and after every transport journey.

Thank you for your patience and understanding during these difficult times.


In addition, we at Shiel Buses would like to reassure you that we are doing everything we can to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 and ensure that we are maintaining and encouraging safe and responsible travel.

Bus Services - We continue to operate a restricted service with many routes reduced. Please see our Timetables page.  Our priority now is to make sure Key Workers and those that must travel (as per Government's guidelines) are able to do so safely and effectively. We are continually monitoring this and being advised by Local Authority and the Government.

School Services – At present, with schools still in lock down, we are not running any school services. The Scottish Government aim to open schools on the 11 of August 2020 to some degree. As yet, there are no firm plans for what this will entail however we will be in constant discussions with The Highland Council for further guidance.

Cleaning - We have a robust cleaning system in place. Each bus in service is thoroughly deep cleaned daily and high usage areas are being disinfected between services. Key hot spot areas such as hand poles, seat backs and buzzers are disinfected throughout the day.

Hygiene - Our drivers have hand sanitizer which they can use when out on service and are advised to wash their hands thoroughly before and after their service. Each driver has been given face masks and gloves which they can choose to use.

We have also installed Hand Sanitiser on our buses for customer use. Be aware of the surfaces that you touch and always sneeze into a tissue or your elbow. Please take the tissue away with you and bin it responsibly.

Please refrain from eating and drinking on our buses. It is very important that you leave no litter on the bus. Please remove all rubbish and dispose of it responsibly. This includes your ticket which you must still keep on you for the duration of your journey.

PPE – Screens have been fitted in the buses that allow this. In addition, each driver has a choice to wear face mask and gloves if they wish.

Face Coverings - The Scottish Government expect anyone travelling on public transport to wear face coverings. We ask you to respect this advice and use face covering on our buses. This could be a scarf, mask or home-made face covering. This excludes young children. Some customers are unable to wear masks for a range of reasons, we would also ask you to not judge those who do not wear masks.  Further information for face coverings can be found on the Scottish Government’s website. Face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in Scotland from Monday 22nd June 2020. 

Fares - We have attempted to go cash free as handling cash is a high risk to our drivers and administrators, however we do appreciate and understand that not everyone has a Contactless card or a Smart Phone. We have re-introduced our Smart Card which you can purchase for £1 from the driver and top up with £10, £15, £20, £25, £30, £40 or £50. After the initial cash transaction, you can use your Smart Card each time you travel and until you need to top up again. For more information, see HERE.

Bus Stops – As recommended by the Scottish Government, please maintain a 2 metre distance from yourself and those not from your own household.  When the bus arrives, be sensible, if it is too busy and you’ll be unable to practice safe social distancing then we recommend that you wait for the next bus.

On the bus – Please practive responsible social distancing on our buses.  You will notice that we are beginning to mark off/remove certain seats to protect our drivers and you.  Please also read advice signs on all of our buses. We are looking into capacity counters and will update accordingly. Please avoid face to face seats and only sit close to members of your own household.

As a token of our immense appreciation, NHS and Care Workers can travel for FREE until further notice if you show our driver your ID badge. Please remember to tell the driver where you are going, let them see your ID clearly and remember - a smile and a thank you go a long way!

We appreciate your continued patience and understanding throughout this unprecedented time and thank you in advance for adhering to these new Government advised measures that we have in place to ensure safe travel.  We ask that you remember to be polite and considerate to our drivers at all times, this is a challenging time for everyone especially those on the front line.

For further information, please email

Take care and stay safe.