UK resident seafarers not exempt from hotel quarantine

Following a recent announcement from UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock, returning residents arriving from a country on the UK’s travel ban list from 15 February 2021 will be required to quarantine in a government-approved facility for 10 days at a cost of £1,750.

Despite intense lobbying by the maritime industry, the government has refused to exclude UK resident seafarers from this regulation, despite being recognized as key workers. Scotland, however, is currently granting seafarers and other essential key workers exemption from its hotel quarantine requirements.

According to Sea News UK, 'The new measures in England require that, before any travel is undertaken, an online booking is made for a quarantine package costing £1,750 per person, which includes the hotel, food, transport, and testing for the ten-day isolation period.'

The 'red list' of countries which are subject to the travel ban, currently includes yachting locations such as the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Panama, Portugal (including Madeira and the Azores) and Seychelles. It's important to note that this list is being updated regularly and could soon include additional countries, resulting in more yacht crew being affected.

The pandemic has resulted in increased strain on yacht crew, making it difficult for many to return home for holiday leave or rotation. Payment of this additional fee could very likely be at the expense of many UK crew, depending on their contract and individual circumstances, therefore, adding additional pressure to these individuals.

Please note, this information is only accurate at the date of publishing 12.02.2021 and may be subject to changes. Please refer to the UK Government website for the latest regulations.

Need advice?

We encourage any of our members who are unsure of their rights, to contact our MAS team for personalised advice.

Mental Health Support

If you or someone you know is struggling with their mental health due to the pressures of the COVID-19 regulations, we encourage you to reach out to the ISWAN's Yacht Crew Help support service.