Inspectors and surveyors of ships exempt from new UK government border entry rules

Kelly Tolhurst Minister for Aviation, Maritime & Security Department for Transport
Kelly Tolhurst, Minister for Aviation, Maritime & Security, UK Department for Transport

This is an extract from a longer open letter by Kelly Tolhurst MP about the UK government’s new Coronavirus border rules with details of those who are exempt when entering the UK from overseas.

Dear Colleague,

Earlier this month, the Government published Our Plan to Rebuild: the UK Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy, setting out our plan to rebuild the UK and safeguard livelihoods. We are writing to update you on our progress; notably the self-isolation / quarantine measures for international arrivals that we announced yesterday (22 May).

Step One of our carefully planned timetable for lifting restrictions was enacted on 13 May in England. As the level of infection in the UK continues to reduce, it is important we manage the risk of importing cases from abroad. To that end,
we announced work on a series of measures that would be introduced at the UK border, including a requirement for international arrivals (with some notable exemptions) to self-isolate for fourteen days upon arrival.

I am now in a position to be able to update you with further details and guidance on these measures.

14-day self-isolation/quarantine measure
Following the Home Secretary’s announcement yesterday, the requirement for international arrivals to be subject to mandatory 14-day selfisolation/quarantine upon arrival will come into force on 08 June 2020. Those travellers will be required to show where they plan to self-isolate. If they are unable to demonstrate this, they will be required to quarantine in accommodation. We have established a list of exemptions; including arrivals from the Common Travel Area (Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands), as well as occupational exemptions, such as crew and for drivers transporting goods into the country. A full list of exemptions can be found here.

But to be clear, anyone – British citizens and foreign nationals – who fails to comply with this self-isolation measure could face enforcement action, including a fixed penalty notice or potential prosecution and a fine. This measure, alongside others we have put in place to help combat the spread of the virus will be reviewed every 3 weeks.

All those entering the UK will be strongly advised to download and use the NHS contact tracing app once it is live. This will support tracking and testing, allowing public health teams to quickly trace and isolate potential new cases. Operators across all transport modes will be required to increase communications regarding social distancing and public health measures, including on-board announcements to all passengers to help us communicate the new requirements.

We recognise the significant challenge that implementing these measures will bring and are committed to working closely with you through this process to ensure effective roll-out.

Refinements in the future
As the Secretary of State for Transport said during Transport Orals on 18 May, we will consider refinements as we further develop this system and are in active discussion with stakeholders across all modes. This is one of the biggest international challenges faced in a generation and these measures are first and foremost designed to protect the health of the British public; something we can all agree is our top priority.

Yours sincerely,

Kelly Tolhurst
Minister for Aviation, Maritime & Security
Department for Transport

The full version of this letter can be found here.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): travellers exempt from UK border rules – specifically named in the above guidance document are:
– seamen and masters
– a pilot, as defined in paragraph 22(1) of Schedule 3A to the Merchant Shipping Act
– an inspector and surveyor of ships

An IIMS member has advised that having the following available too could be helpful:
– Have proof of residence
– A copy of your passport
– A signed letter of engagement, stating the dates on which you are required on board and where the vessel is berthed – this should also have your passport details on it
– A copy of the vessel registration
– A copy of your accommodation details
– Up to date travel permits for the countries that you are visiting or passing through


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