The ferry operator Stena is reducing its Belfast services as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The firm, which normally operates seven ships on 138 sailings a week from Belfast, has temporarily berthed one ship and cut sailings to 108 a week.

Earlier this week, the firm said it would furlough staff and make redundancies across its UK and Ireland operations.

Stena sails from Belfast to Heysham, Liverpool and Cairnryan.

It is understood freight volumes have fallen since the crisis began but that non-freight traffic has collapsed.

‘Strategic importance’

On Monday, Stena said it would furlough 600 employees and make 150 redundant across the UK and Ireland.

The number of positions affected in Belfast is still to be confirmed.

Stormont ministers have been talking to the UK Department of Transport about a support package for freight and ferry services but nothing has yet been agreed.