Offshore energy sector workers should be exempt from 14-day quarantine restrictions introduced by the UK government on 8 June, according to the Offshore Industry Group
Comprising five offshore energy sector associations, the Offshore Industry Group has the support of the IMO’s secretary-general for its Recommendations (IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.13) calling upon governments to recognise offshore energy sector workers as ‘key workers’. This allows regular crew movements during mobilisation and demobilisation and exempts such workers from quarantine restrictions.
The group has formally written to more than 50 governments and maritime authorities urging them to implement these recommendations.
In a subsequent document (IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.18), the secretary-general of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the director-general of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the secretary-general of IMO jointly issued a statement to enlist the support of governments for the facilitation of crew changes in ports and airports in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.
ILO estimated that between 150,000 to 200,000 seafarers are trapped on board ships around the world due to measures put in place to contain the Covid-19 pandemic.
To facilitate the required crew changes, the UN agencies, as a matter of the utmost priority, encourage governments and relevant national and local authorities to grant seafarers, marine personnel, fishing vessel personnel, offshore energy sector personnel, aviation personnel and service provider personnel at airports and ports any necessary and appropriate exemptions from national travel-related, health-related or movement restrictions to facilitate their joining or leaving ships, aircrafts, airports and cargo facilities.
Despite assurances that international offshore energy sector workers would be exempt from the quarantine restrictions, these workers have not yet been included in the list of exemptions.
The Offshore Industry Group comprises the International Association of Drilling Contractors, the International Association of Geophysical Contractors, the International Marine Contractors Association, the International Association of Oil & Gas Producers and the International Support Vessels Owners Association.
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