To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what recent steps his Department has taken to ensure that relief crews are able to take over from UK seafarers who have remained at sea as a result of the outbreak of covid-19 so that they can return to the UK.
2 June 2020
UK has not placed restrictions on the transit and transfer of seafarers and I personally wrote to the International Maritime Organisation, the International Labour Organisation and the World Health Organisation on 23 March 2020, confirming that the UK will continue to meet its international obligations related to the transit and transfer of seafarers and highlighted that the UK is fully committed to the welfare of all seafarers regardless of their nationality, asking other States to follow this example.
The Government has ensured quarantine requirements for those travelling into UK, announced on 22 May, do not apply to crew or marine pilots travelling in the operation of their duties.
The Government is continuing to monitor the welfare of all UK seafarers and is working to support employers in their repatriation efforts for all non-essential staff.
The Department is currently considering the framework, recently developed by the International Chamber of Shipping and other organisations, which has been supported and circulated by the International Maritime Organisation, in more detail to see what more can be done to further facilitate crew changes in UK.