Industry group urges UK government to exempt offshore workers from quarantine restrictions


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

The United Nations’ International Maritime Organization’s Secretary-General has supported the Group's 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 fifty 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 Organization (ICAO), the Director-General of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Secretary-General of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) issued a joint 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, aircrafts, 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 specialised roles, all of which are critical to the daily activities required to maintain energy supplies, such as wind farm engineers and offshore survey specialists.

UK Government information on quarantine can be found here: