To remind, the recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was published on May 5 2020 highlighting the importance of designating seafarers as key workers, among other measures.

The protocols have now been revised with the principle purpose of emphasizing the need for compliance and strict adherence with COVID-19 testing and quarantine requirements, reflecting that  these are now a reality in many national jurisdictions.

In addition, the changes also reinforce the importance of seafarers not commencing or continuing to travel if they feel unwell or suspect that they may have COVID-19 symptoms.

Some additional recommendations have also been included to prevent infection on board when seafarers join their ship. With the exception of a few minor editorials, no other substantive changes have been made.

It is highlighted that shipping companies will endeavour to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, prior to leaving their country of residence, that seafarers strictly comply with any isolation,
quarantine and/or testing requirements, that may be applicable locally or nationally, and as may be required by the relevant authorities in transit countries and/or in the destination country where the crew change will take place.

Also, each company has to provide seafarers with information on the Company’s policy regarding the need for strict compliance with any requirements of relevant authorities (and those of the
Company), related to isolation, quarantine and testing, including advice that any non-compliance may be considered as grounds for disciplinary action by the Company.

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Circular Letter No.4204-Add.14