Hong Kong authorities announced they would ease strict quarantine restrictions imposed on vessels calling at the Asian shipping hub.
s Reuters reports, from June 15, crew of non-cargo goods vessels visiting Hong Kong for shipping services, including bunkering and provision supplies, will be exempt from the curbs, subject to conditions.
More specifically, Frankie Yick, a transport sector legislator, told Reuters that “this is a long overdue relaxation as the trade had already demonstrated to the health authority here in Hong Kong that there is no human contact throughout the process.”
Hong Kong’s bunkering industry was significantly affected by the strict 14-day quarantine requirement imposed on crew of vessels calling for reasons other than to load or discharge cargo. In fact, ship operators chose to refuel in neighbouring ports, such as China, Singapore and Taiwan.
What is more, because of this situation, volumes fell by about 70% from levels before the pandemic. For comparison, before the restrictions, Hong Kong had typically supplied about 500,000 tonnes of bunkers each month.