[Answer] What’s the COVID19 Screening Protocol for New Crew Joinings?

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The most pressing concerns for seafarers and shippers today are crew changes as the COVID19 pandemic restrictions are making it impossible to make it possible. While seafarers’ contracts are being extended for long in face of no crew change, the worker’s associations like ITF and others are slowly waking up to issue strong messages and warnings.

Amidst this situation, it has been critical to do crew changes and governments have started facilitating. But the safety of these crew members remains a concern as there’s a fear of COVID19 spread during a crew change. Keeping this in mind, the IMO has published a detailed crew change protocol. Earlier we looked into the crew leaving ships protocol now we will discuss the new crew joining protocol as showcased by IMO

About the IMO Circular

The Secretary-General is aware of the significant challenges being faced by the global
shipping industry to effect crew changes as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Due to ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, large numbers of seafarers are having to extend their service onboard ships after many months at sea, unable to be replaced after long tours of duty or be repatriated via aircraft to their home countries. Shipping is vital to the maintenance of global supply chains, but the current situation is unsustainable for the safety and wellbeing of ship crew and the safe operation of maritime trade. Each month about 150,000 seafarers need to be changed over to and from the ships which they operate to ensure compliance with international maritime regulations for ensuring safety, crew health and welfare, and the prevention of fatigue.

The Secretary-General refers to IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.6 of 27 March 2020 which
contains, inter alia, recommendations to Member States about measures to facilitate ship crew changes in seaports during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Expanding on these recommendations, the Secretary-General has received a Recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, proposed by a broad cross section of global industry associations in consultative status with the Organization representing the maritime transportation sector, as follows: ICS, IAPH, BIMCO, IFSMA, INTERTANKO, P&I Clubs, CLIA, INTERCARGO, InterManager, IPTA, IMCA, INTERFERRY, FONASBA, ITF and WSC; and which also take account of input from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The Secretary-General supports these protocols and urges their implementation.

Member States and international organizations are invited to make use of the annexed
Framework and to disseminate it among relevant national authorities with responsibility, inter alia, for maritime issues, health, customs, immigration, border control, seaport and civil aviation authorities; and to liaise with relevant national authorities with respect to the use and implementation of this Framework, as appropriate.

PROTOCOLS FOR JOINING A SHIP

From a seafarer’s place of ordinary residence in one country via aircraft to join
a ship in a seaport in another country the following locations are important and based on these,  safety precautions and health information are to be furnished by seafarers.

  1. Location 1 Place of ordinary residence
    Period: Time spent at place of ordinary residence before departure
    Period: Time (potentially) spent at any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar
    Period: Travel to airport
  2. Location 2 Airport of departure
    Period: Time spent in airport of departure
  3. Location 3 Aircraft
    Period: Time during flight
  4. Location 4 Airport of arrival
    Period: Time spent in airport of arrival
    Period: Transfer (potentially) to any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar
    Period: Time (potentially) spent at any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar. Period: Travel to seaport
  5. Location 5 Seaport
    Period: Movement in port to ship
    Period: Embarkation onto ship
    Location 6 Ship
    Period: Time spent on ship following embarkation

Objectives of This Protocol

From a seafarer’s place of ordinary residence in one country via aircraft to join a ship in a
seaport in another country.

The objective of these protocols is to facilitate safe travel of seafarers to join ships for
the purpose of conducting crew changes, and to ensure that effective measures are
applied to manage and control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with the
coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other persons, prior to leaving their place of
ordinary residence and while travelling via aircraft (and other modes of transport) to
join ships in a seaport in another country.

For this, the following checkpoints are crucial :

  1. P1 LOCATION: PLACE OF ORDINARY RESIDENCE
  2. P2 LOCATION: AIRPORT OF DEPARTURE
  3. P3 LOCATION: AIRCRAFT
  4. P4 LOCATION: AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL
  5. P5 LOCATION: SEAPORT
  6. P6 LOCATION: SHIP

LOCATION: PLACE OF ORDINARY RESIDENCE

Period: Time spent at place of ordinary residence

Objective: To ensure, as far as practicable, that seafarers are healthy when they travel
to join ships and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus
(COVID-19), or infecting other persons, immediately before leaving their place of ordinary residence to begin travel to join a ship.

NOTE: The duration of this period may be determined by requirements of relevant national authorities at both ends of the journey but, depending on the circumstances that prevail at the time, this might normally be at least 7 days.

NOTE: Seafarers may be required to undergo a pre-deployment medical to meet the requirements of the employer, which might involve travel prior to their departure. Travel for this purpose and attendance at a medical facility or practitioner should be undertaken adhering to the same measures for travel to the airport of the departure.

Requirements of shipping companies

  • Shipping companies will endeavour to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that
    seafarers monitor their health during time spent at their place of ordinary residence
    immediately before leaving to travel to join a ship.
  • Shipping companies will determine, based on any applicable national requirements
    or in liaison with its representatives or agents in the country, the duration of the period
    for which records should be recorded for the time spent at the place of ordinary
    residence immediately before departure (which may also include time subsequently
    spent at any hotel in the vicinity of the airport).

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Familiarize themselves with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and
    standard infection protection and control precautions provided by relevant national or
    local authorities.
  • Familiarize themselves with all information and guidance provided by the Company
    on its coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures.
  • Comply with all standard infection protection and control precautions related to social
    distancing, self-isolation, hygiene (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.) and
    safe food handling practices, in accordance with WHO, national or local guidance.
  • Avoid close contact with any persons who are or appear unwell or show COVID-19
    symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Check their temperature twice daily and keep records during the required number of
    days before travel (see appendix for a suggested template for keeping the records),
    and inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show systems.
  • Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms at their place of ordinary residence before leaving to travel to join the ship.
  • Conclude all pre-joining formalities to the extent possible online while still at their place
    of ordinary residence (receiving documents and instructions, use of electronic signatures to sign documents, etc.).
  • Prepare and assemble documentation referenced in these protocols to complete
    travel to the ship, which may be inspected by relevant authorities or other stakeholders during the course of travel and crew change. The documentation should include the following as referenced in these protocols (for suggested possible
    templates see appendix):
  1. Evidence of Seafarer Status Document(s)
  2. Crew Health Self-Declaration Form & Daily Temperature Records
  3. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet

Assemble and prepare any other documentation required to complete their travel to
the ship, as may be required by the Company and/or relevant authorities.

The Company will:

  • Provide seafarers with general information on coronavirus (COVID-19) and standard
    infection protection and control precautions based on WHO guidance.
  • Provide seafarers with detailed information on the Company’s coronavirus
    (COVID-19) plans and procedures.
  • Arrange for seafarers to be provided with (or make arrangements for them to obtain
    this if the circumstances so dictate and allow) necessary personal protective
    equipment (PPE) sufficient to cover the period of travel to the ship, in accordance with
    national or local guidance and/or requirements of the Company (e.g. masks, gloves,
    hand sanitizer, thermometer, etc.), except for PPE which might be made available by
    third parties for a specific time or use.
  • Arrange flights and other supporting travel (e.g. transfers) for seafarers, and develop
    any necessary contingency plans.
  • Provide or ensure that seafarers receive documentation on their crew change and travel arrangements (see appendix) which, where possible, may include the following:
  1.  Crew Health Self-Declaration Form & Daily Temperature Records
  2. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet
  3. Port – Crew Change Information Sheet
  4. Airport – Crew Travel Information Sheet (for both departure and arrival airports, as well as any transit airports)
  5. Airline – Crew Travel Information Sheet
  6. National – Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet (for flag State and both departure and arrival countries)

Conduct all pre-joining formalities with seafarers while they are still at their place of
ordinary residence to the extent possible.

Period: Time (potentially) spent at any hotel, temporary accommodation or
similar

Objective: To ensure that seafarers are healthy when they travel to join ships and to
control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) while
staying at a hotel, temporary accommodation or similar before travelling to join a ship
Requirements for shipping companies

The Company will instruct seafarers to comply with:

  • Instructions or procedures of the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, and
    national or local authorities, paying special attention to social distancing, hygiene and
    PPE requirements.
  • Comply with all standard infection protection and control precautions related to social
    distancing, self-isolation, hygiene (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.) and
    safe food handling practices, in accordance with WHO, national or local guidance.
  • Avoid close contact with any persons who are or appear unwell or show any
    COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Check their temperature twice daily and keep records during the required number of
    days before travel (see appendix for a suggested template for keeping the records).
  • Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms before leaving to travel to join the ship.

Period: Travel to airport of departure

Objective: To facilitate safe crew travel to the airport of departure and to control the risk
of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other persons,
while travelling to the airport of departure

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    and safe food handling practices in accordance with national or local guidance
    (e.g. social distancing, hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Avoid close contact with persons who are or appear unwell or show any COVID-19
    symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask
    and gloves, etc.).
  • Carry and handle their own luggage.
  • Keep all relevant documents required for travel to the ship, in a bag or compartment
    that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.
  • Provide all requisite documentation for verification or inspection if requested by
    authorities.

The Company will:

  • Arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the airport that, as far as possible,
    minimizes contact with other persons after leaving place of residence, such as a
    private transfer.
  • In large towns or cities, shipping companies should avoid, as far as possible,
    instructing seafarers to travel by means of public transport, although this may be
    appropriate for longer journeys depending on the prevailing circumstances.

LOCATION: AIRPORT OF DEPARTURE

Period: Time spent in airport of departure

Objective: To manage seafarers at airports travelling to join ships and to control the
risk of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other
persons, while in the airport of departure and to facilitate their safe travel by aircraft
Requirements of shipping companies

 

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of time spent in the airport as far as
    practicable (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.);
  • Keep all relevant documents required for travel to the ship via aircraft in a bag or
    compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

The Company will:

  • Provide seafarers, as far as possible, with the latest available information on their
    flights.
  • Provide seafarers with instructions and information on the arrangements awaiting
    them at the airport of arrival.
  • Provide seafarers with instructions and procedures to follow standard infection
    protection and control precautions
  • Liaise with relevant authorities in the destination country about measures and
    requirements of the destination country applicable to seafarers travelling for the
    purposes of a crew change.
  • Cooperate with airports on the implementation of any special arrangements for health
    protection, security, customs, immigration and border controls.
  • Encourage airports to:
  1. Designate a special pathway for seafarers to pass through check-in, security,
    customs, immigration and border control that minimizes contact with airport
    personnel and other passengers/seafarers.
  2. Designate a special zone or area for seafarers to await boarding of aircraft that minimizes contact with airport personnel and other passengers.
  3. Facilitate social distancing in the airport (e.g. by marking the floor in queuing areas with at least 1 metre spaces where possible).
  4. Ensure that all relevant airport personnel are aware of any special arrangements or permissions related to the travel of seafarers.

LOCATION: AIRCRAFT

Period: Time during flight

Objective: To manage seafarers on board aircraft and to control the risk of seafarers
becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19) or infecting other persons in-flight
Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with the instructions and procedures of the airline and cabin crew of the
    aircraft.
  • Maintain social distancing to the extent possible from other passengers on the flight,
    and sit with appropriate seat spacing, as may be arranged by the airline or cabin crew
    on board the aircraft.
  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the time spent in-flight (e.g. mask, gloves,
    etc.).
  • Limit exposure to the extent possible to aircraft crew during in-flight service and other
    passengers when using the facilities.
  • Handle their own luggage on board the aircraft.

LOCATION: AIRPORT OF ARRIVAL

Period: Time spent in airport of arrival

Objective: To manage seafarers travelling to join ships and to control the risk of
seafarers becoming infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19), or infecting other
persons, at the airport of arrival and to facilitate their safe onward transfer to the seaport
and ship

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with the instructions and procedures of the airport and relevant local
    authorities, including any health screening requirements such as temperature checks.
  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of time spent in the airport so far as
    practicable (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.).

Period: Transfer (potentially) to any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safe crew travel to the place of any required hotel stay,
temporary accommodation or similar, and to control the risk of seafarers becoming
infected with the coronavirus (COVID-19) while travelling to any such places

NOTE: For practical and logistical reasons, a hotel stay may be necessary before travelling to the port. Provided, however, this is consistent with any national requirements or restrictions, and/or the logistical or practical considerations that may prevail locally, shipping companies should consider the feasibility of making arrangements for seafarers to travel directly from the airport of arrival to the seaport in order to minimize contact with other persons and so reduce the risk of infection or infecting other people.

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies should arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the
hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, that minimizes contact with other persons
after leaving the airport.

NOTE: Shipping companies may have less or no control or choice over the safety or means of the transport to be used, especially if crew are required to transfer to
accommodation or facilities designated by local or national authorities.

If it is necessary for seafarers to stay at a hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, the Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  • Depending on the duration of the transfer, continue to check their temperature and
    keep records in a standard format until they join their ship (see appendix).
  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Maintain a WHO-recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.).
  •  Carry and handle their own luggage to the extent possible.
  • Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the ship in a bag or
    compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

Period: Time (potentially) spent at any hotel, temporary accommodation or similar

Objective: To manage the safety of seafarers while staying at any hotel, temporary
accommodation or similar and to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with
the coronavirus (COVID-19) while staying at any such places

Requirements of shipping companies

For practical and logistical reasons, a hotel stay may be necessary before travelling
to the port. Provided, however, this is consistent with any national requirements or
restrictions, and/or the logistical or practical considerations that may prevail locally,
shipping companies will consider the feasibility of making arrangements for seafarers
to travel directly from the airport of arrival to the seaport in order to minimize contact
with other persons and so reduce the risk of infection or infecting other people.

If a hotel stay, temporary accommodation or similar is necessary, the Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  • Comply with any instructions from the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, and
    national or local authorities, paying special attention to any social distancing, hygiene
    and PPE requirements.
  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the stay when appropriate (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.).
  • Handle their own luggage at the hotel, temporary accommodation or similar, to the
    extent possible.
  • Inform the Company (local representative or agent) if they show any COVID-19
    symptoms during their stay.

Period: Travel to port

Objective: To facilitate safe crew travel to the seaport from the airport of arrival and to
control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), while
travelling to the port

Requirements of shipping companies

Shipping companies will arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the
seaport, such as a private transfer, to minimize contact with other persons after
leaving the airport and during the transfer to the port.

In large towns or cities, shipping companies should avoid, as far as possible,
instructing seafarers to travel by means of public transport, although this may be
necessary for longer journeys and will depend on the prevailing circumstances.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with any instructions and procedures from relevant local or national
    authorities, which might potentially include the need to comply with instructions
    regarding self-isolation or quarantine in a hotel, or another place of accommodation
    that might be determined by the local or national authorities.
  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible.
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Wear PPE as instructed for the duration of the travel as far as practicable (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.).
  • Carry and handle their own luggage to the extent possible.
  • Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the ship in a bag or
    compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

The Company will:

  1. Arrange to provide appropriate means of travel to the port that, as far as possible,
    minimizes contact with other persons after leaving the airport of arrival (e.g. private
    transfer). If a private bus is used, appropriate sanitization and social distancing
    measures should be required and applied to the extent possible.
  2. Arrange for the seaport to be notified of the impending arrival of the seafarer at the
    port.
  3. Arrange for the ship to be notified of the impending arrival of the seafarer joining the
    ship.

LOCATION: SEAPORT

Period: Movement in port to ship

Objective: To manage the interaction between seafarers and port personnel and
infrastructure, to control the risk of seafarers becoming infected with the coronavirus
(COVID-19), or infecting others, while moving through the port to join their ship, and to
manage the embarkation of seafarers in order to control the risk of bringing the
coronavirus (COVID-19) onto the ship

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will ensure that:

  • The ship has arrived alongside the quay in the port (or, for example, at an anchorage
    if the transfer is to be made by water) before the crew joining the ship arrive at the
    port facility, to minimize time spent within the port area, opportunities for contact with
    other personnel, and the risk of being infected or infecting other persons.
  • The ship has provided details of both on-signers and off-signers as part of its
    Pre-Arrival Notification – with an ‘Arrival’ crew list and a ‘Departure’ crew list.
  • Transportation to the ship has been arranged by its agent or representative.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Comply with standard infection protection and control precautions related to hygiene
    (e.g. hand-washing, use of hand-sanitizer, avoid touching face, etc.).
  • Avoid contact with persons who appear unwell or show any COVID-19 symptoms
    (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).
  • Avoid close contact and non-essential interaction with other personnel in port,
    including other seafarers.
  • Wear PPE as instructed in the port area as far as practicable (e.g. mask, gloves, etc.).
  • Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the ship in a bag or compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

The Company will:

  1. Arrange for the disposal of any PPE used during travel (only that which cannot be
    washed/disinfected), and any other items not required on board ship.
  2. Arrange for seafarers to be provided with any new or specific PPE or materials
    required by the seafarer to comply with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans
    and procedures

Period: Embarkation on to ship

Objective: To manage the embarkation of seafarers and to control the risk of seafarers
bringing the coronavirus (COVID-19) on to the ship

Requirements of shipping companies

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

  • Avoid close contact and non-essential interaction with other personnel on the
    quayside, on the gangway or in the launch, including other seafarers.
  • Maintain a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre from other persons
    to the extent possible during embarkation.
  • Wear PPE as instructed for embarkation.
  • Carry and handle their own luggage.
  • Keep all relevant documents required for the travel to the ship in a bag or
    compartment that can be easily accessed and disinfected later.

Ensure that the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures are fully complied with during the management of the embarkation of seafarers, which should include:

  1. disposal of any single-use PPE worn by seafarers during travel;
  2. seafarers at the point of embarkation wearing appropriate PPE (e.g. mask,
    gloves, etc.);
  3. seafarers having their temperature taken at the time of embarkation, or as may
    be appropriate, being tested for COVID-19 if suitable test kits are available;
  4. seafarers completing a questionnaire as an updated self-declaration of health
    at the time of embarkation;
  5. disinfection of seafarers’ luggage in a designated area outside the accommodation;
  6. disinfection and/or laundering of seafarers’ clothes worn during travel immediately after embarkation; and
  7. seafarers receiving documents from the joining seafarer disinfecting them, and
    washing their hands after touching any of the documents.

LOCATION: SHIP

Period: Time spent on board ship after embarkation

Objective: To monitor the health of seafarers following embarkation, and to manage and
control the risk of infecting other seafarers on board should the seafarer have become
infected while travelling to join the ship and this was not detected prior to or at the time
of embarkation

NOTE: The existence or duration of this period will be determined by any requirements of the Company in accordance with its coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and procedures.

Requirements of shipping companies

  • Shipping companies will endeavour to ensure, as far as reasonably practicable, that
    seafarers are healthy and free of infection following embarkation to mitigate the risk
    of infecting seafarers if they were infected prior to embarkation.
  • Shipping companies will determine the duration of the period in which any special measures or requirements will be applied to seafarers that have recently joined the ship, taking account of any relevant requirements of the flag State.

The Company will instruct and require seafarers to:

Practise shipboard self-distancing (SSD), as far as possible, for an initial period of
time once on board which, inter alia, might include seafarers:

  1. maintaining a WHO recommended social distance of at least 1 metre when
    working alongside other seafarers to the extent possible;
  2. avoiding all non-essential contact or close proximity with other seafarers and
    any other persons;
  3. using external stairways/escape routes and walkways to move around the
    ship when possible, but only if conditions and circumstances permit and it is
    safe to do so;
  4. disinfecting their own work areas, equipment and tools as appropriate after
    use;
  5. refraining from using any common areas on board, such as the mess/day
    room, laundry area or recreational areas when being used by others, unless
    special arrangements or measures are in place;
  6. returning to their cabin immediately after completing work hours or duties;
  7. remaining in their cabin during rest hours, except when arrangements or
    measures are in place to permit them to spend some rest time on deck;
  8. receiving and eating all meals in their cabin, provided it is safe to do so;
  9. wearing PPE as instructed when outside their cabin.

Comply with all standard infection protection and control precautions related to social
distancing, self-isolation, hygiene (e.g. hand-washing, avoid touching face, etc.) and
safe food handling practices, in accordance with Company procedures and WHO
guidance.

Avoid close contact with any persons who are or appear unwell or show any
COVID-19 symptoms (e.g. cough, fever, etc.).

Check their temperature twice daily and keep records as may be required for a
number of days after embarkation (see appendix for a suggested template for
keeping the records).

Inform the Master (or designated responsible officer) if they show any COVID-19
symptoms in accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and
procedures.

The Company will:

  • Ensure it has established coronavirus (COVID) plans and procedures for its ships.
    6.1.9 Ensure that recently joined seafarers are supported in practising shipboard
    self-distancing (SSD) in accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19)
    plans and procedures (e.g. PPE).
  • Ensure daily work and tasks assigned to recently joined seafarers are arranged to
    minimize contact and close proximity with other seafarers.
  • Ensure seafarers are provided with cleaning materials, equipment and substances to
    clean and disinfect their own cabin and toilet on at least a daily basis if practising
    shipboard self-distancing (SSD).
  • Ensure there is appropriate and sufficient equipment on board for temperature
    registration to permit seafarers to comply with any requirements for temperature
    checks.
  • Ensure recently joined seafarers are assigned a designated space for changing and
    safekeeping work wear (if not possible in their cabin).
  • Ensure there is sufficient availability of PPE and other materials and substances
    required to maintain hygiene, cleanliness and disinfect surfaces as appropriate
    on board ship in accordance with the Company’s coronavirus (COVID-19) plans and
    procedures.

How To Implement This Framework?

Implementation of these protocols should be supported by documentation in order to
facilitate  recognition of adherence to these recommendations throughout the crew change and travel process.

Whilst many of the documents referenced in these protocols may have already been developed by various stakeholders, some suggested possible templates are provided.

Where possible, documents should be issued, prepared or made available in electronic form to reduce the risk hard copies pose for contamination. Where the original of the document is not in English, a translation should be made available.

The recommended documentation to be carried by seafarers, and as necessary
prepared by seafarers for the purposes of their travel, are:

  1. Evidence of Seafarer Status Document(s)
  2. Crew Health Self-Declaration Form & Daily Temperature Records
  3. Employer Letter and Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet

 In addition, it is suggested that Governments encourage seaports, airports and
airlines to prepare information on their measures and requirements related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) for use by shipping companies and seafarers, and potentially other stakeholders concerned, in order to facilitate safe ship crew changes and travel during the pandemic.

This information could be prepared using the possible suggested templates:

  1. Port – Crew Change Information Sheet
  2. Airport – Crew Travel Information Sheet
  3. Airline – Crew Travel Information Sheet

Governments and their relevant national authorities are encouraged to provide information on their national approaches and requirements to facilitating safe ship crew
changes and travel.

This may include Governments of States where seafarers are ordinarily resident, States having seaports where crew changes take place, and flag States of ships that are seeking to conduct crew changes.

If helpful, this information could be prepared using the suggested template

  1. National – Crew Change & Travel Information Sheet

For the templates furnishing information check our previous article

[Answer] How To Screen the Crew Leaving the Ship for COVID19?

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Source: IMO

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