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Almost 70 workers removed from North Sea accommodation vessel after Covid outbreak

Safe Zephyrus Covid-19
Prosafe's Safe Zephyrus accommodation vessel

Dozens of North Sea workers have been flown home after an outbreak of Covid-19 on an accommodation vessel.

Shell confirmed that four people aboard Prosafe’s Safe Zephyrus, which is positioned adjacent to the oil and gas giant’s Shearwater platform, have been evacuated after testing positive for the virus.

As a further precaution, more than 60 workers who may have come into close contact with the cases have been removed from the vessel.

It’s understood those returned to shore are contractors who were temporarily mobilised to carry out a maintenance programme.

Shell confirmed that production from Shearwater, which is around 140 miles east of Aberdeen in the Central North Sea, has not been impacted.

A first case of Covid-19 was detected on the Safe Zephyrus ‘floatel’ on Monday – the person was evacuated that same day.

Shell then carried out testing of workers, with the process throwing up a further three positive cases. They were flown off on Wednesday to continue their isolation at home.

An additional 63 workers identified as close contacts have subsequently been returned home.

A total of 12 workers were recently removed from Safe Zephyrus, which is carrying out work for Shell after the initial contract was delayed, after a Covid-19 outbreak on board.

A Shell spokesperson said: “Our priority is the health and wellbeing of our people and contractors, and safe operations across all our activities. We are taking all appropriate precautions, in line with our procedures and national protocols related to coronavirus.”

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