BPA welcomes UK’s COVID-19 policy

Dramatic sunset color over famous Big Ben clock tower in London, UK.

The British Ports Association (BPA) has welcomed the UK government’s decision to extend the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October 2020, saying it will help the UK port industry and wider economy recover. 

The government announcement came as it began to slightly ease the lockdown measures imposed across the UK since late-March.

In a statement, the BPA said it also supported the updated social distancing guidance published by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy in England, designed to help business work safely during the pandemic.

According to the BPA, the guidance was developed in consultation with a wide range of industry stakeholders, of which it was one and offers a practical framework for businesses to continue or restart operations where it is safe to do so. It also includes guidance on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) use and the BPA is aware of supplies being stretched.

Sara Walsh, Corporate Services Manager, BPA, described the announcements “good news” for UK ports.

“The announcement regarding furloughing is good news for UK ports. This has been by far the most useful Coronavirus support mechanism for ports and unlike other measures such as those for commercial tenants which has left many ports out of pocket, it has not led to knock-on effects elsewhere.

“The ports industry is cooperating closely with the Department for Transport and other government agencies and the availability of PPE is becoming an issue. PPE supplies such as sanitiser and masks are beginning to run low in some ports.”

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