In a joint statement by the DfT and trade unions, Transport ministers pledged to 'work tirelessly' with unions to support staff in the transport industry through not only the immediate challenges, but also the issues that will affect the sector once the country has overcome the pandemic.

During their first meeting Wednesday, the government and unions reiterated the importance of working together at this crucial time for the country to ensure that all areas of the industry and all the people working within it have the appropriate support needed over the coming period.

Both the government and the unions underlined the vital role that transport workers play in keeping the country moving and ministers recognized the importance of maintaining worker safety and support for businesses.

Unions taking part in the ministerial calls include: Unite, GMB, Prospect, Nautilus International, RMT, ASLEF, TSSA, BALPA, and TUC.

This follows announcement by UK-based union Nautilus International Thursday that it is working with the International Transport Workers' Federation (ITF) to support seafarers affected by sudden lay-offs and contract voiding due to cruise cancellations mid voyage, amid the COVID-19 outbreak.