Orkney and Shetland MP, Alistair Carmichael, has today called on the government to take the lead on international action to support seafarers stranded by Covid-19. Many seafarers continue to be stranded on ships or abroad due to travel restrictions, including 2000 UK sailors, with severe effects on sailor welfare.
Speaking in the House, Mr Carmichael said:
“Hundreds of thousands of sailors across the world are stranded as a result of Covid-19 restrictions. This needs international action and it needs our country to take the lead, will the Minister do that?”
Responding for the government, Kelly Tolhurst MP said:
“I’m happy to be able to inform him that I will be holding an international summit next week, particularly on crew change and how we can do our best for seafarers internationally.”
Reacting after the exchange, Mr Carmichael said:
“Last Thursday was 2020 Day of the Seafarer – a time to recognise the essential role of seafarers in the global supply chain, still more essential during recent months. Given the serious challenges faced by seafarers at this time in particular, it is right that the government is organising a summit on crew changes.
“More international coordination on seafarer welfare has been badly needed even before the pandemic. We must ensure that the remaining UK crew can return home, and that Covid-19 is not used as an excuse to undermine seafarers’ working conditions.”