As the UK government announces plans for coming out of COVID-19 lockdwon, the UK Chamber of Shipping has urged it to exempt seafarers and maritime workers from any quarantine restrictions and to provide industry with urgent clarification on the rules around the 14-day quarantine.
Speaking on May 10, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans for a 14-day quarantine period for air passengers, but he did not mention people entering the country by sea.
The Chamber has been involved in calls with ministers over the weekend and whilst it has been assured by government that seafarers will be exempt from the quarantine rule, it awaits urgent confirmation that this is the case.
UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive Bob Sanguinetti said: “The UK shipping industry employs nearly 200,000 people and it is imperative the UK government avoids applying quarantine restrictions to seafarers and other maritime workers.
“If we want to ensure supply chains remain open, and essential goods including food, fuel, raw materials and vital medical supplies continue to flow into the country, it is vital that seafarers and maritime workers can move between countries without imposition. We urgently call on the government to provide the industry with clarity on this issue.”
Around 2,000 UK seafarers are currently stranded around the world due to COVID-19 lockdowns.