Skip to main content
Health and safety

UK confirms seafarer keyworkers exempt from mandatory Covid test rules for inbound travel

13 January 2021

The UK government has confirmed that seafarers who are travelling for employment are exempted from the requirement to take a PCR or equivalent Covid-19 test not more than 72 hours before boarding their mode of transport to the UK. 

The exemption applies when seafarers arrive in the UK:

  • On their ship as members of the crew
  • As passengers to join their ships
  • As passengers when being repatriated

The Department for Transport (DfT) has confirmed that masters, pilots and all crew employed or engaged in any capacity onboard any ship are exempt.

Seafarers are also exempt from the requirement to complete a Passenger Locator Form unless they work on a vessel that carries passengers and they travel in a part of the vessel that is accessible to passengers.

The requirement to obtain a test not more than 72 hours before boarding the mode of transport will enter into force at 0400 hours on Friday 15 January. It will be phased in for those already in transit. 

A lateral flow test will not be accepted.

All other travellers arriving in the UK will need to provide proof of when they took the test and of a negative result. A paper certificate or electronic record, such as a text message, will be accepted.

Airlines could be fined £2,000 per person for allowing passengers onto flights without a verified PCR test.


More articles

Health and safety

Nautilus FAQs on Covid-19 Coronavirus

  • Telegraph
  • 01 December 2021

New Covid test and quarantine exemption certificate for arrivals from Red List countries

Nautilus has updated its key worker exemption from mandatory quarantine and proof of negative Covid-19 test documentation, used by seafarers on arrival in the UK.

  • News
  • 14 January 2021

Warning raised over access to medical care in ports

Non-emergency medical care at ports is becoming more difficult to access during the pandemic, leaving sick seafarers to suffer in silence, sometimes for months at a time.

  • News
  • 15 January 2021

Singapore crew changes cancelled as airlines demand negative Covid tests

Crew changes through Singapore have been thrown into disarray as airlines demand proof of negative Covid-19 tests, despite seafarers being exempted from the new rules.

  • News
  • 15 January 2021

Nautilus helps seafarers stranded by new Covid restrictions return home from the Netherlands to the UK

Nautilus industrial officers have helped stranded seafarers to return home from the Netherlands after they were trapped by travel restrictions.

  • News
  • 11 January 2021

Nautilus warns yacht members to beware new Covid travel rules

Nautilus is warning members who serve on superyachts and pleasure craft to check whether they are exempt from travel bans brought in by European countries in response to a new strain of Covid-19.

  • News
  • 08 January 2021

Philippines suspends crew changes for seafarers travelling from 20 countries

According to the Philippines Port Authority (PPA) these new measures, which last until 15 January, have been suggested by the country’s National Task Force against Covid-19 in an attempt to prevent a more infectious strain of Covid-19 from entering the country.

  • News
  • 05 January 2021

Become a Nautilus member today