The UK Chamber of Shipping has requested the Government of the UK to exempt maritime workers and seafarers from quarantine restrictions amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

The trade body has also urged the government to provide immediate clarification on the rules for the 14-day quarantine period.

This follows the UK Prime Minister’s announcement regarding the gradual relaxation of the lockdown restrictions in the country.

The Prime Minister said that the lockdown will be in place until 1 June and that some public places could be reopened. However, passengers travelling by air will have to undergo quarantine.

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The organisation has initiated talks with ministers and is waiting for confirmation from the government regarding the quarantine rule.

The UK Chamber of Shipping CEO Bob Sanguinetti said: “The UK shipping industry employs nearly 200,000 people and it is imperative the UK Government avoids applying quarantine restrictions to seafarers and other maritime workers.

“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.”

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Last week, the UK Chamber of Shipping requested the government to adopt new measures so that crew changes in a ship could take place.

The International Chamber of Shipping developed a 12-step roadmap for crew changes along with input from various global associations. The International Maritime Organisation issued the guidelines.