The number of workers currently offshore in the UK oil and gas industry has returned to levels not seen since the beginning of the global Covid-19 pandemic, according to latest figures.

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Trade body Oil & Gas UK (OGUK) said on Tuesday that the average daily number of workers offshore for the week ending 13 June 2021 was 11,238.

This is an increase on 10 March 2020 where there were 11,183 personnel on board installations, and 4037 more than the height of the first national lockdown in the UK in April 2020.

OGUK health, safety and environment director Trevor Stapleton said: “It has been an incredibly difficult 18 months for our sector and we’re encouraged to see the number of workers returning to their critical offshore work, continue to rise to pre-pandemic levels.

“While we welcome this milestone, the safety of our workforce offshore remains our top priority.

"We encourage those returning to work offshore to maintain those barriers which have been put in place, to protect the safety of themselves and their colleagues.

"As well as this, we also encourage all members of the workforce to take the vaccine, when offered."

OGUK is due to unveil its Workforce Covid Safety information campaign in the coming days, a joint project with the Step Change in Safety organisation to help to continue to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 and other infectious diseases offshore.