A small number of countries around the world are stepping up to provide leadership to deal with the growing humanitarian crisis.
Denmark, Singapore and Sri Lanka are taking steps to alleviate the seafarer crew change crisis.
The island nation is open for crew changes, which can be facilitated at the ports of Galle or Colombo. Seafarers can be repatriated via isolation centres. For further details contact the Crew Change Consortium: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The International Chamber of Shipping is reporting that the Danish Government is helping to facilitate crew changes for Danish ships i.e. shipping companies with ships under the Danish flag, or which operate ships under other flags from their base in Denmark.
In summary, the scheme helps seafarers to obtain a visa to enter or leave Denmark under controlled conditions. In practice, this is done by issuing ‘border visas’ to seafarers at Copenhagen Airport which enables them to travel to other EU countries.
Where entry is by charter flight, seafarers can be kept separate from other passengers to minimise the risk of cross-infection and there is a chance to have COVID-19 test if the journey is due to continue.
A “Crew Bridge” has been established from Copenhagen to Manila and Mumbai. Using chartered planes, between 200 to 300 seafarers will be placed on each flight. After short or long stays in Copenhagen, seafarers can also be sent to crew change destinations primarily Bremerhaven, Rotterdam and Algeciras, using smaller charter flights.
There are a wide range of notification procedures, fees, and evidentiary requirements along with rules on who can do what. Further details can be found under the “Denmark” bulletpoint of the international crew changes section of our COVID-19 pages.
The Lion City has released numerous updates and changes aimed at protecting health and at facilitating the changeover of crew. There is far more detail than can be sensibly detailed in this short summary. However, the key points are:
- ships seeking to conduct activities such as repairs, servicing, surveys and inspections which require shore personnel to board the ship must inform the Port Master at least three days prior to the arrival of the ship and undertake additional measures including disinfecting working areas in the ship
- additional precautionary measures are in place for harbour pilots
- existing floating accommodation is being used to set up a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) – it’s a self-contained facility with an on-site medical centre, testing and holding facilities
- signing-off crew will depart Singapore or stay at existing designated holding facilities
- signing-on crew from specific low-risk countries who have already completed pre-arrival isolation may be exempted from quarantine in Singapore
- COVID testing at certain approved or ISO accredited stations is being facilitated
- an SG$1 million fund has been set up to work with stakeholders in seafaring nations on concrete solutions for safe crew changes
For further details of these, and other measures, found under the “Singapore” bulletpoint of the international crew changes section of our COVID-19 pages.