UK Gov't Urged to Exempt All Offshore Workers from Quarantine Restrictions

A group comprising five offshore energy industry associations has called for the UK Government to exempt all offshore energy sector workers from the 14-day quarantine restrictions introduced on June 8.

The group that calls itself the global Offshore Industry Group, comprises  International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), International Association of Geophysical Contractors (IAGC), International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA), International Association of Oil & Gas Producers (IOGP) and International Support Vessel Owners Association (ISOA)

 “Despite assurances that international offshore energy sector workers would be exempt from the quarantine restrictions, which the UK Government introduced on 8 June, these workers have not yet been included in the list of exemptions. These workers perform a wide variety of specialized roles which are all critical to the daily activities required to maintain global energy supplies, such as windfarm engineers and offshore survey specialists,” the Group said on Thursday.

Indeed, the UK Government’s guidance on travelers exempt from quarantine rules include some offshore energy workers, but not all.

Per the current guidance, only workers required for the continued safe and secure operation, maintenance and essential support services for offshore oil and gas infrastructure in the UK don’t need to self-isolate for 14 days.

They are, however, required to complete the Public Health passenger locator form before they travel to the UK.  

The Offshore Industry Group says it has the support of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization’s Secretary-General for its Recommendations calling upon Governments to recognize offshore energy sector workers as ‘key workers’. This allows regular crew movements during mobilization and demobilization and exempts such workers from quarantine restrictions.

The group has formally written to more than fifty governments and maritime authorities urging them to implement these recommendations.

In a subsequent document, the Secretary-General of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (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.

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