The British Ports Association (BPA), which represents all the UK’s main passenger ports, has expressed regret following the Government’s announcement that visitors coming to the UK from France and the Netherlands will soon be forced to quarantine for 14 days.
Responding to the change in the Government’s advice on international travel corridors and the list of countries exempt from the UK’s health measures, the BPA’s Chief Executive, Richard Ballantyne said:
“This is extremely disappointing news and while we fully understand the difficult situation the Government is in, this is very sudden and will cause much disruption at the peak of the summer season. With travel to and from France and the Netherlands soon to be covered along with Belgium and Spain, the overwhelming majority of the UK’s international maritime passenger operations will be impacted.
While hauliers and ships’ crew are at least largely exempt this will hit passenger operators hard at a key time. It could also create logistical challenges for many people visiting the UK or returning from their holidays abroad and some will potentially rush to get back home in the next 24hrs.”
The passenger sector is an important revenue stream for maritime operators and in particular ferry companies. These ferries are responsible for bringing the majority of traded consumer goods – including food – into this country.
A number of travellers and professionals are exempt from the quarantine measures, including passengers travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man as well as also road haulage and freight workers to ensure the supply of goods is not impacted. However aside from those on Common Travel Area routes all other travellers will be required to complete and present a mandatory declaration form on arrival into the UK as well as, increasingly, to quarantine themselves.