The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed the targeted relaxation of the quarantine restrictions at the border with the Government’s publishing of a list of transit corridors.
The transit corridors allow a number of countries that are deems as low-risk in terms of COVID-19 transmission to enter the UK with relaxed quarantine restrictions.
The BPA said this will provide much relief to certain ports and passenger shipping routes.
This list includes France and Spain and other countries in Europe with established ferry links to the UK. Whilst freight has continued to flow between Europe and the UK along these routes (and others), passenger numbers have been hit hard.
Passenger revenue supports these critical supply routes and Government has needed to step in to guarantee minimum levels of service to protect critical supply chains.
Welcoming the Government’s decision, Richard Ballantyne, Chief Executive of the British Ports Association said, “Ferry travel in particular is one of the safest modes for passenger travel as social distancing is far easier to maintain and use of public transport to the terminal is minimal.
“Most international ferry journeys involve vehicles and include opportunities to social distance, both at ports and onboard ships. We have been discussing this with ministers and officials and are glad they feel that certain international travel options are now safe. Opening up these safe corridors also supports the economic resilience of critical supply chains that move freight on these same services.”
The BPA will continue to work with the Government to safely open more passenger gateways, including those for the cruise industry.
The industry is keen to see the cruise industry get back on its feet as soon as possible and will be working with Government to ensure that can happen safely as quickly as possible. The leisure and tourism sectors are important to many ports and coastal communities.