Published: March 17, 2020 | Updated: March 17, 2020

Biz coronavirus update: Brittany Ferries, Dorset Chamber, Chicken & Blues and Oscar Pet Foods

By Andrew Diprose, editor

Brittany Ferries suspends Barfleur services from Poole to Cherbourg

Brittany Ferries has suspended passenger services from Poole to Cherbourg as a consequence of the on-going coronavirus crisis.

The company says the move is in response to changing government policy in France and to protect all passengers and crew members.

The Cherbourg to Poole service has been suspended until at least March 23.

The last sailing left Cherbourg for Poole at 21.45 last night, March 16.

In a statement the company said: “This decision has not been taken lightly, but has been taken in the best interest of all.

“We are systematically contacting all affected customers by telephone, email and SMS but there is enormous pressure on our contact centre staff.

“The speed of response may not be up to its usual standard for which Brittany Ferries apologises in advance.

“Passengers are being asked not to contact us by telephone but to visit the website for latest information.

“Brittany Ferries very much regrets the effect that this ongoing disruption will have on customers.

“Directors will continue to monitor the situation with a view to resuming normal service as soon as the situation allows.

“We respectfully ask all customers who are not booked to travel within the next two weeks to delay contacting our customer call centres.

“In addition, normal two-way interaction via social media may not be possible due to the volume of enquiries and availability of staff.

“Brittany Ferries apologises in advance for delays in usual response times.”


Dorset Chamber suspends events programme until end of April

Dorset Chamber has suspended its events programme until the end of April because of the coronavirus crisis.

The chamber, which was founded in 1949 and has more than 700 members, said the decision had been made after “careful consideration” and that the situation would be kept under close review.

In a statement on the chamber’s website it added: “We know there are huge concerns regarding the potential impact of coronavirus and we are doing all we can to support the business community through these challenging times.”


NHS ‘real-life superheroes’ offered discount by Chicken & Blues

Restaurant chain Chicken & Blues is offering NHS workers 50 per cent off all orders placed through its website for collections until the end of April.

The offer is subject to its restaurants being operational across Bournemouth and Poole.

A statement on its website said: “It goes without saying that our NHS workers are real-life superheroes, and will be under huge strain and pressure at this time.

“As a neighbourhood restaurant group, we want to do our bit, however small, to help the local community.”

Full details of the offer can be found here.


Oscar to the rescue for pet owners having to self-isolate

Pet owners having to self-isolate can get quality pet food and other pet supplies delivered to their door at no extra charge.

Sarah Stephens runs Oscar Pet Foods Avon & Stour, the franchise of Oscar Pet Foods covering Bournemouth, Christchurch, Verwood and surrounding areas.

Sarah said: “Coronavirus is not considered a food safety issue by the Food Standards Agency or the EFSA (European Food Standards Authority).

“As a home delivery business my main focus is on limiting the risk of spreading the virus through human contact.

“Deliveries will be left in whatever safe place is agreed and any personal contact can be limited to what is necessary.

“Delivery back up is arranged in case I have to stay at home, so no need to worry about stocking up.

“I will always get the pet food order to customers, although it may take a little longer than normal as things progress.”

Sarah who normally offers face to face consultations for new potential new customers, said she was equally happy to offer telephone consultations and to deliver samples of suitable foods for a dog or cat.

Full product range details can be found at or contact Sarah via her Facebook page here or phone 07770 601668.