This BIMCO COVID 19 weekly report for the week ending 3 December covers the World Health Organization (WHO), Argentina, Canada, France, Indonesia, Jamaica, Japan, Mauritius, Norway, Oman, Philippines, Portugal, Reunion Island, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, UK P&I Club Global Crew Change Advice and the latest from the International Maritime Organization (IMO).
Every week, BIMCO summarises measures imposed by governments for sea transport, including for crew change, as well as updates from United Nations bodies such as the IMO, WHO and International Labour Organization (ILO).
Based on the advice of WHO’s Technical Advisory Group on Virus Evolution (TAG-VE), WHO designated the variant B.1.1.529 a variant of concern, named Omicron on 26 November 2021, WHO provides an update on Omicron, covering the danger of this strain of virus, effectiveness of current tests and treatments, and WHO's recommendations for countries to undertake.
According to information provided to BIMCO by VEGA & CO - Marine Risk & Insurance Solutions, all vessels arriving in Argentina are required to undergo a 14-day quarantine starting from the day of departure from the last port in Africa.
Additional details in Decisión administrativa 1163/2021 revealed that crew change is restricted as either or both the embarking and disembarking crew are prohibited from entering Argentina, if they have a travel history to Africa within the last 14 days.
Transport Canada has issued the following ship safety bulletins (SSB) due to the outbreak of the Omicron variant:
To check on the latest list of countries affected, please consult the List of Acts and Regulations for the list.
Similarly, a foreign national, including a seafarer, should not depart outbound from Canada for crew change purposes if, they have been in a country as mentioned above within the last 14 days of seeking to leave Canada.
Otherwise, effective 30 November 30, 2021, an individual traveller, including seafarers, when departing outbound from Canada to be fully vaccinated. Unvaccinated foreign nationals, including seafarers, can still board an outbound flight as long as they provide a pre-departure COVID-19 molecular test result:
The most recently updated list of Red list countries with severe travel restrictions to France includes the following:
The health control measures for Red list countries are as follows:
According to information provided by the Cabinet Secretariat, travellers with recent travel history within the past 14 days to the following countries are restricted in their entry to Indonesia:
Foreigners are banned from entry, while Indonesian citizens will be subject to a 14-day quarantine. Foreigners and Indonesian citizens without a travel history to the above-mentioned countries must undergo a 7-day quarantine.
According to information provided by the Jamaica Information Service, persons with recent travel history within the last 14 days to the following countries are prohibited from entry into Jamaica:
The Japanese Ministry of Justice has issued on 29 November, a notice " Strengthened Border Enforcement Measures Against the Omicron Variant ( B.1.1.529)". In brief, the following measures are as follows:
More information can be found here.
Recent information circulated by the Government of Mauritius provides that entry restrictions would apply if a person has travel history with the last 14 days to any of the following countries:
Following a surge in confirmed cases in Norway and in the wake of Omicron spreading out of the African continent, a new testing regime has been implemented requiring all travellers - fully-vaccinated as well - to undergo antigen testing upon arrival. Quarantine regimes apply as well. Seafarers are exempted from the general quarantine regulations. Please see the official translation provided by the Norwegian Maritime Authority.
According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News and confirmed by Oman Airports, travellers with recent travel history within the past 14 days to the following countries are prohibited from entering:
Omani citizens are excluded from this decision subject to testing on the day of arrival and day six hereafter and 7-day quarantine.
Resolution no. 150-D as issued by the Inter-Agency Taskforce effectively suspends until 15 December, all inbound flights from:
The term "other countries with local cases" is not clarified and what the threshold for suspension of flights is. The list of countries as mentioned above which were classified as "Red" on 28 November as per Resolution no. 151-A was amended and will now include as on 30 November, the following additional countries:
With gratitude to BICMO member Pinto Basto, please find the following information on COVID-19 restrictive measures:
The Portuguese government has raised the level of danger from State of Contingency to State of Calamity - a move, which heralds further restrictions to crew change. On this basis and as per Ministry Council Resolution no. 157/2021, please be informed of the present restrictions in force to enter/leaving Portugal as follows:
According GAC Hot Port News, a new testing regime is implemented which applies to both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated travellers alike as follows:
The government of Saudi Arabia announced to the IMO (via IMO circular letter no.4243 /Add.2) that a vaccination campaign for seafarers working on board ships calling at Saudi ports on the Arabian Gulf and the Red Sea has been launched.
Á temporary suspension of crew change and vaccination of crew in Singapore has been effected on 2 December 2021. This suspension will apply to crew with recent travel history to Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zimbabwe within the last 14 days prior to arrival in Singapore or transit through Singapore where entry will not be allowed. Full details can be found in the Port marine circular (PMC) no. 44/2021 issued by the Maritime Port Authority of Singapore ( MPA). Note that this circular must be read in conjunction with PMC no.39/2021.
In addition to PMC no. 40/2021 where all operations are carried out contactless or contactless with segregation protocol, the MPA has advised via MPC no. 45/2021 issued today, that approval from MPA will be required for shore-based personnel to board ships that have called on any of the NTL countries listed in Annex A of the said circular, within the last 14 days or ships that have signed on crew from those countries within the last 14 days. For ease of reference, the NTL countries are as follows:
List of NTL countries
6. South Africa
Also, additional PCR tests for shore-based personnel required after disembarking would be required. Non-fully vaccinated individuals will not be allowed to board any ships in the port.
Following the outbreak of Omicron in southern Africa, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has implemented travel restrictions to the following countries:
It is unclear whether and to what extent seafarers are exempted from the 10-day quarantine regime imposed by Law 19801/21 and how far in the past travel history to these countries will impact restrictions.
According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News, the Ministry of Health has restricted travellers with travel history within the past 14 days to the below countries from entering Sri Lanka as per public notice issued:
According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News, the government of the UK has adjusted the testing and quarantine regime and added a number of countries to the Red list. According to the news pieces, seafarers are exempted from the ordinary testing regime, however they must still perform the lateral flow test no later than days 2, 5 and 8 after arrival.
The Red list of countries now includes the following:
Kindly notice guidance may be different for:
The below circulars represent the latest information to-date from the IMO.
According to GISIS today, the list of countries (46) informing the IMO of their national focal point of contact for crew change and repatriation of seafarers are: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, the Bahamas, Bangladesh, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Cook Islands, Cyprus, Dominica, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Greece, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Libya , the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Montenegro, Myanmar, New Zealand, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand , Tunisia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Vanuatu.
BIMCO is continuously monitoring COVID-19 restrictions and its impact on the shipping industry in particular on crew changes. Below are some of the type of information currently being provided by BIMCO :
You can also view all information on our COVID-19 landing page.
Access BIMCO's COVID-19 related articles and advice.
Veritas Petroleum Services (VPS) publish regular Bunker Alerts based entirely on fuel samples and have kindly permitted BIMCO’s Members to access this information.
The Bunker Alerts are not intended to be an evaluation of overall bunker quality in the port or area concerned, but usually highlight a specific parameter within the fuel which has raised a quality issue.
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