Covid-19 Coronavirus

Pet Shipments during COVID-19

Updated 17 July 2020

Standard Operating Procedure: Shipment of pet animals on the Steam Packet ferry during COVID-19 border closure 

Please note: As of 15/06/2020 all passengers on the IOMSPC ferry must wear face masks and observe social distancing requirements at all times.

  1. If you are leaving the Island and taking your pet with you, please book with the SPC as normal and of course follow their social distancing measures during the journey including the requirement to wear a face mask.

  2. If you are being Repatriated to the Island and bringing your pet and this has been approved and arranged (i.e. you have applied for and received a Manx Entry Permit), please liaise with the SPC to follow their social distancing measures during the journey including the requirement to wear a face mask. Your pet should travel with you direct to your isolation residence for the 14 days. 

  3. From Monday 20 July, the Isle of Man will move from Level 5 to Level 4 in the Isle of Man Borders Framework. This means that if you wish to export or import a pet and return/remain on the Isle of Man, you can either:

    • Make the whole journey from Isle of Man to UK premises and back to accompany your pet (either leaving the pet in your vehicle or using the dog lounge/dog cabins) provided you have applied for and received a Manx Entry Permit which includes the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on return to the Island, OR;
    • Follow the below Standard Operating Procedure designed to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission from the UK to IoM residents without the need for you to self-isolate. 

Standard Operating Procedure

Pets should be transported in a pet carrier where possible, i.e. this should include ALL pets except dogs too large for a pet carrier.

  • Pets transported in pet carriers: the person delivering the pet to the boat must ensure the welfare needs of the animal are met for it to remain in the carrier for the whole journey and ensure the carrier is secured to prevent escape. The carrier and any contents (essential items only) must be washable.
  • Dogs on leads: No collar, lead, coat or other equipment is left with the dog in the kennel – only the dog, water bowl and food bowl – unless absolutely essential. Anything that does travel with the dog must be washable.

The person delivering the pet to the boat:

  • Drives on-board and is directed to the kennel area in their vehicle
  • Maintains social distancing at all times, avoids touching any surfaces unnecessarily and must wear a face mask
  • Wearing gloves, puts the dog/carrier into the kennel, ensures water and food are available as required, secures the kennel
  • Sanitises kennel area including the surface of the kennel, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as the door and catches
  • Washes/sanitises their hands as soon as possible
  • Drives back off the boat in their vehicle.

The SPC staff:

  • Assume responsibility for the pet’s welfare during the sailing as per the SPC’s Type 2 Transporter Authorisation
  • Ensure the pet carrier is secured within the kennel so it can’t move around
  • Wash their hands as soon as possible after touching the pet/carrier/kennel area
  • The Master of the vessel decides based on forecast conditions whether or not to accept unaccompanied pets, on the same basis as they would for livestock.

The person receiving the pet:

  • Drives on-board and is directed to kennels in their vehicle
  • Maintains social distancing at all times, avoids touching any surfaces unnecessarily and must wear a face mask
  • Brings their own collar/lead as necessary for dogs not in a carrier
  • Removes the dog/carrier from the kennel and into their vehicle and cleans out the kennel
  • Sanitises kennel area including the surface of the kennel, paying particular attention to high-touch surfaces such as the door and catches
  • Washes/sanitises their hands as soon as possible
  • Does not take the bowls from the kennel, only the pet/carrier
  • Drives off the boat in their vehicle
  • Once home: bathe the pet or wipe the pet with a pet safe damp cloth if appropriate for the species. All wipes or cloths should be disposed of immediately after use. The pet carrier and any items that travelled with the pet must be washed using soap and water. Wash hands again with soap and water.
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