These conditions include the following:

  • Isolation: People arriving in Cyprus by aeroplane have been subject to self-isolation conditions for 14 days before their arrival; and
  • Negative coronavirus test: People arriving in Cyprus by aeroplane have been subjected to a PCR-based coronavirus test either in the country they are in or, if not possible, in Cyprus upon their arrival.
  • Logistics management: The company or agent arranging the crew change is entirely responsible for arranging the transfer of all seafarers from the vessel to the airport and from the airport to the vessel, taking all the necessary precautions.

If the times of arrival of the ship and the aeroplane do not coincide, or if the PCR-based test results are still pending, the company or agent will need to make arrangements in coordination with governmental authorities for the crew to remain in isolation at a designated address until the time of their departure. Where possible, seafarers should stay onboard the vessel during this period.

See also: Crew changes: An overview

These measures come in line with recommendations from the IMO, EU, ILO and ICS and in line with growing recognition for seafarers as key workers. Several international associations and organizations, including INTERCARGO, Nautilus International and ITF, have recently vowed for a fairer treatment to seafarers amid this unprecedented situation.

Meanwhile, they come in addition to existing deadline extensions granted by Cyprus. These include deadlines for Certificates of Competency, Certificates of Proficiency, Medical Fitness Certificates, Seafarer’s Identification, and Sea Service Record Books under specific conditions.

We remain committed to facilitating a smooth process when assisting individuals in getting back to their loved ones, which is so important at this difficult time. We will continue to adapt processes and procedures as necessary, ensuring we are doing all we can to support safe, efficient and compassionate shipping operations,

...Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, said.

Cyprus flags over 1,000 oceangoing vessels with a total gross tonnage exceeding 24 million.

Recently, Spain approved the Order TMA/374/2020, legislating seafarers as key workers to ensure their movement through Spanish ports.