After the UK Prime Minister’s broadcast regarding measures to ease the lockdown, the UK Chamber of Shipping is urging the UK government to exempt seafarers and maritime workers from any quarantine restrictions.
The UK Chamber of Shipping also called the government to provide the 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, However, he did not mention people entering the UK 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 says that it awaits urgent confirmation that this is the case.
UK Chamber of Shipping Chief Executive Bob Sanguinetti, specifically said:
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
The UK shipping industry employs nearly 200,000 people, with the UK Chamber of Shipping noting that ”it is imperative the UK government avoids applying quarantine restrictions to seafarers and other maritime workers.”
Currently, about 2,000 UK seafarers are stranded around the world because of COVID-19 lockdowns.