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EU to exclude British Crew from European Health Pass

The EU is set to exclude British Yacht Crew from the proposed European Health Pass scheme which will allow vaccinated EU citizen to travel within the bloc without further tests, quarantine or proof of Covid free status.

The logic of this exclusion of British (as well as Australian and South African) crew is consistent with the EU’s mission to safeguard the welfare of its citizens as well as maximising the benefits of EU membership.

The UK has gone hot and cold on the idea of Covid passports and is more likely not to implement such a scheme. Britain is one of the few countries that do not have national ID cards and where carrying an identity document is not a legal requirement. Proposals by the EU  to introduce a European ID scheme helped push the narrow Brexit vote over the line.

Even if the EU were prepared to give equality to any scheme managed by a third country, it is unlikely the UK would have one in place. This would mean that the British and non-EU crew would need to test negative at each port of call before being allowed to disembark.

One suggestion made in Brussel is that the EU Health Pass cover foreign nationals with settled status or resident visa. Many foreign yacht crew are, however, unwilling to apply for residency in an EU country as this will make them fiscally identifiable, subject to local taxation.


Although never explicitly stated, the EU Commission is determined that Britain should be disadvantaged in all area of inter-community social and economic activity. The UK has not helped its cause by some very clumsy negotiations with the EU, and by threatening to tear up any parts of the Brexit Withdrawl document that it finds onerous.

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