Information on Covid-19

Government Guidance on Covid-19 is constantly being updated so to get the most up to date information check the following page.

At the request of some of our members we have produced a summary of Government guidance and industry best practice to help the UK maritime industry manage the COVID-19 risk and to promote a common approach where required. The document will remain ‘live’ and will be updated as the Government guidance changes.


The Society of Maritime Industries is geared up to assist members through the current COVID-19 crisis. Member companies are encouraged to keep SMI appraised of their circumstances and if they have encountered any difficulties with accessing the financial benefits announced to contacts us. SMI will be in touch will all members directly to offer guidance through this difficult time. We are also keen to hear what support and activity you would like SMI to provide through this period. 

Support for Businesses:

The Chancellor has set out a package of temporary, timely and targeted measures to support public services, people and businesses through this period of disruption caused by COVID-19.

This includes a package of measures to support businesses including:

  • a Statutory Sick Pay relief package for SMEs
  • a 12-month business rates holiday for all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England
  • small business grant funding of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief
  • grant funding of £25,000 for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses with property with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000
  • the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank
  • a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms, helping them bridge coronavirus disruption to their cash flows through loans
  • the HMRC Time To Pay Scheme

Guidance for employees, employers and businesses:

This guidance will assist employers and businesses in providing advice to their staff on:

  • the novel coronavirus, COVID-19
  • how to help prevent spread of COVID-19
  • what to do if someone has symptoms of COVID-19 has been in business settings
  • eligibility for sick pay

URGENT Readiness to supply ventilators and ventilator components

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is looking for organisations who can support in the supply of ventilators and ventilator components across the United Kingdom as part of the Government's response to COVID-19. These questions aim to identify the suitability and readiness of organisations to be involved in the initiative.

There are three main sections:

  • Basic details and contact
  • Supply chain experience
  • Business capabilities

Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS)

The new CLBILS will ensure that more firms are able to benefit from UK government-backed support during this difficult time. It will provide a UK government guarantee of 80% to enable banks to make loans of up to £25 million to firms with an annual turnover of between £45 million and £500 million.Loans backed by a guarantee under CLBILS will be offered at commercial rates of interest and further details of the scheme will be announced later this month.

Bounce Back Loans scheme, 

The new Bounce Back Loans schemes, will allow businesses to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000 and access the cash within days. Loans will be interest free for the first 12 months, and from Monday 4 May, businesses can apply online through a short and simple form. 

Export Insurance Policy (EXIP)

UK Export Finance (UKEF) has also expanded the scope of its EXIP meaning UK businesses will now be eligible to secure export insurance cover to all major markets.

Useful contacts during this time

The first port of call for advice and support is for individual businesses.

  • BEIS is scaling up their Business Support Helpline so businesses in England can speak directly to an advisor (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have their own equivalent services in place). To speak to an advisor call 0300 456 3565.
  • HMRC have launched a tax helpline to help businesses concerned about paying their taxes due to COVID-19. To speak to someone call 0800 0159 559.
  • Companies House has produced guidance if coronavirus COVID-19 has affected your company and you need more time to file your accounts.
  • Acas provide excellent advice for employers and employees on the health and safety of staff as well as guidance on mental health in the workplace
  • Business support have created FAQs on business closures and stay at home rules.

Guidance for schools, childcare providers, colleges and local authorities in England on maintaining educational provision

If your work is critical to the COVID-19 response, or you work in one of the critical sectors listed below, and you cannot keep your child safe at home then your children will be prioritised for education provision:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Education and Child Care
  • Key Public Services
  • Local and National Government
  • Food and other Necessary Goods
  • Public Safety and National Security
  • Transport
  • Utilities, Communication and Financial Services

International Travel Corridors

Passengers will not be required to self-isolate when they arrive in England from a number of exempt countries and territories. List of countries can be found here and will be continously updated following further discussions between the UK and international partners.