The chamber announced a strong change in crew change policy.
By Michael McGrady, Maritime Direct Americas & Pacific Correspondent
LONDON — Her Majesty’s Department of Transport announced on March 15 that seafarers transiting through the United Kingdom would be exempt from the government’s so-called Red List and Acute List country restrictions, effective on March 19, 2021.
“The change represents a significant win for the Chamber, which has lobbied both the UK and Scottish Governments for seafarers to be exempted from the restrictions,” said Tim Springett, the policy director for the chamber, in a statement.
“Seafarers remain exempted from other restrictions on persons arriving in the UK, including quarantine and testing requirements. We are delighted to have helped secure this exemption. Seafarers are key workers and play a vital role keeping trade flowing,” he said.
Seatrade Maritime News reports that the rule change will permit domestic and international seafarers to join ships, take shore leave, and even fully disembark from their vessels. These new rules also include provisions to implement COVID-19 crew change effectively.
The Department of Transport also announced that Portugal, including Madeira and the Azores, and Mauritius, will be removed from the Red List and the Scottish Acute List. Ethiopia, Oman, Somalia, and Qatar will be added to restriction lists.