Industry Group Urges UK Government To Exempt All Offshore Energy Sector Workers From Quarantine Restrictions

The global Offshore Industry Group, comprising IADC, IAGC, IMCA, IOGP, and ISOA urges the UK Government to exempt all offshore energy sector workers from the 14-day quarantine restrictions introduced on 8 June.

The Group has the support of the United Nations’ International Maritime Organization’s Secretary-General for its Recommendations (IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.13) 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.

oil rig silhoutter
Representation Image – Photograph by Andrey Vakarchuk

In a subsequent document (IMO Circular Letter 4204/Add.18), 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.

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 in order to facilitate their joining or leaving ships, aircraft, airports, and cargo facilities.

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.

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