Shipping: Coronavirus

Department for Transport written question – answered on 31st July 2020.

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Photo of Lord Patten Lord Patten Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Vere of Norbiton on 20 July (HL6506), what is the median length of time that foreign national crew have spent stranded in UK ports; what is the cost of the repatriation programme; and whether they claim back the costs of repatriation from ship owners.

Photo of Baroness Vere of Norbiton Baroness Vere of Norbiton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

We do not have median figures. The Department began work on facilitating repatriation 90 days ago (as at 29 July). At that time there were 11,374 crew in the UK. To date we have facilitated the repatriation of over 13,000 seafarers and there are currently 4,258 awaiting repatriation.

Many vessels arriving in the UK are able to repatriate large numbers of seafarers over the 2-3 days after arrival. However, for seafarers from certain countries the length of time in the UK will be longer due to restrictions in their own state.

It should also be noted that seafarers arriving in the UK may still be under their original contract and, outside the pandemic conditions, would not be due to be repatriated. The cost of repatriation is met by the shipping company and not by the Government.

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