In general, as the COVID-19 has affected the shipping industry, key shipping stakeholders are making efforts to keep the trade flow stable and continuing.

Thus, the UK Government is said to have joined an agreement with Brittany Ferries, DFDS, Eurotunnel, P&O, Seatruck and Stena.

The decision will protect sixteen of the most important routes covering the Channel, the Short Strait, the North Sea and routes between Great Britain and Northern Ireland which were previously at risk of closure due to a drop in demand as a result of coronavirus.

The routes also include Portsmouth-Santander, Portsmouth-Cherbourg, Poole-Bilbao, Dover-Dunkerque, Dover-Calais, Folkestone-Coquelles, Cairnryan-Larne, Tilbury-Zeebrugge, Teesport-Europoort, Hull-Europoort, Hull-Zeebrugge, Heysham-Warrenpoint, Rotterdam-Killingholme, Cairnryan-Belfast, Harwich-Rotterdam and Harwich-Hoek van Holland.

It is stated that they will be designated as Public Service Obligation routes for a period of up to nine weeks.

The agreements follow the UK, French and Irish governments’ pledge to work together on temporary measures to ensure COVID-19 does not threaten vital freight routes between the countries.