- Cyprus adopted a formal process to facilitate crew changes in the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Seafarers arriving by plane to Cyprus will be subject to 14 days of self-isolation.
- They have to undergo a PCR-based coronavirus test before departure or on arrival.
- The agent arranging the crew change is responsible for arranging the transfer.
- The formal process will ensure the continuity of trade and the well-being of seafarers.
According to an article published in Seatrade-Maritime news and authored by Marcus Hund, the government of Cyprus has adopted a formal process to facilitate crew changes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rules for crew changes
Under the new processes, crew changes will be permitted in Cyprus if certain conditions are met.
The main conditions are that seafarers arriving by plane to Cyprus have been subject to 14 days self-isolation; they have been subject to a PCR-based coronavirus test in the country they came from, or if not possible, in Cyprus on arrival; and 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.
Respite to seafarers
Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, said: “Seafarers are suffering under the current circumstances, impacted by extended contracts and unable to return home due to closed borders and canceled flights. As an industry, we have a duty to support our seafarers, while always maintaining the safety of the vessels they work on.“
Formal process for a smooth transition
She added, “In coordination with the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry and the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health has introduced a formal process to ensure continuity of trade and the well-being of our key workers. 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.”
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