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No ‘Essential Worker’ Exemptions for Foreign Crews Delivering Boats to Ireland, Transport Says

13th February 2021
No ‘Essential Worker’ Exemptions for Foreign Crews Delivering Boats to Ireland, Transport Says

There is no “essential worker” exemption for foreign crews delivering boats to Ireland amid the current pandemic restrictions.

Irish Marine Federation chairman Paal Janson received the official line from the Department of Transport, following suggestions by UK delivery skippers that they could sail under the ban on non-essential international travel — which is expected to be extended until at least the Easter period.

“Some UK delivery skippers are strongly suggesting that they are considered transport workers and exempt from a lot of the current restrictions. This turns out not to be the case,” Janson says.

Irish Marine Federation Chairman Paal JansonIrish Marine Federation Chairman Paal Janson Photo: Afloat.ie

“In addition, should the boat be big enough to have a full-time professional crew, this is also not acceptable in the eyes of the department.

“If the boat turns up regardless, the crew must have a negative PCR test result (less than 72 hours old) and have filled in all the paperwork.”

Janson says the Irish Marine Federation will continue to raise with both the Department of Transport and HSE Dublin Port Health on the matter.

The response from the Department of Transport is below:

There is a Government Advisory in operation against all non-essential international travel and this would be considered to be non-essential travel.

However, if the voyage goes ahead the crew of this vessel are not considered to be part of the maritime supply chain and therefore are not essential workers, in other words they would not be exempt from the requirements placed on normal visitors to Ireland and so must complete the passenger locator form and quarantine according to place of origin and have negative PCR test result (less than 72 hours old).

The owner of the vessel is subject to the travel restrictions placed on the general population.

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Coronavirus (COVID-19): Irish Sailing & Boating

Since restrictions began in March 2020, the Government is preparing for a 'controlled and gradual return to sport' and the 2020 sailing fixtures are being tentatively redrafted by yacht clubs, rowing clubs angling and diving clubs across Ireland as the country enters a new phase in dealing with the Coronavirus. The hope is that a COVID-19 restrictions might be eased by May 5th as Sport Ireland has asked national governing bodies for information on the challenges they face. 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

COVID-19 is a new illness that can affect your lungs and airways. It's caused by a virus called coronavirus.

To help stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) everyone has been asked to stay at home. But some people may need to do more than this.

You may need to either:

You do these things to stop other people from getting coronavirus.

Read advice for people in at-risk groups

Read advice about cocooning.

Restricted movements

Everybody in Ireland has been asked to stay at home. You should only go out for a few reasons, such as shopping for food.

But you need to restrict your movements further if you: 

  • live with someone who has symptoms of coronavirus, but you feel well
  • are a close contact of a confirmed case of coronavirus
  • have returned to Ireland from another country

You need to restrict your movements for at least 14 days.

But if the person you live with has had a test and it is negative, you don't need to wait 14 days. You should still follow the advice for everyone - stay at home as much as possible.

Close contact

This is only a guide but close contact can mean:

  • spending more than 15 minutes of face-to-face contact within 2 metres of an infected person
  • living in the same house or shared accommodation as an infected person

How to restrict your movements 

Follow the advice for everybody - stay at home.

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