Coronavirus – updated MCA guidance for seafarers on passenger ferries

Circular No: NP/081/20


Our ref: S6/9

1st April 2020

Dear Colleagues

Coronavirus – updated MCA guidance for seafarers on passenger ferries

Further to Circular no. 066/20, please find attached the updated guidance produced by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) in response to your Union’s concerns over the approach to COVID-19 taken in the UK passenger ferry sector, where some employers have continued to expect our members to keep bars and restaurants open during sailings, even after the Government instructed land based bars and restaurants to close.

The guidance is a step in the right direction for seafarers on international routes but their remain concerns over application on domestic ferry routes, PPE provision to crew, crowding of passengers (including freight drivers) and the role of Flag States in undermining UK Government advice on social distancing and other anti-Coronavirus measures in place for land based workers.

We are in constant dialogue with the MCA and the Department for Transport regarding safety at work issues for all seafarers on domestic and international shipping routes, and for dockers working in UK ports during this crisis. You will be kept fully informed of any and all updates, where relevant.

I would be grateful if you would share this update with maritime members in your branch or region and I will keep you informed of further developments.

Yours sincerely


Mick Cash

General Secretary