January 14th, 2021

Ph Tightens Crew Change protocols amid threat of new Covid-19 variant

The Philippines, the world’s leading crewing provider and a top destination for crew changes, has decided to halt crew changes for seafarers who have been in countries affected by a new Covid-19 variant two weeks prior to visiting the country.

However, the memo still allows returning Filipinos entry into the country from affected countries provided they undergo a 14-day quarantine. In effect, this means there’s minimal disruption in the deployment and changes of Filipino seafarers in Manila.

The affected nationalities include Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK and the US.

Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, and China have been recently added to the list.

The changes are being imposed by the country as a precaution to contain the possible entry of the new strain of the SARS-CoV-2 variant in the country through crew change,” said a government post on social media.

New strains of Covid-19 detected in the UK and South Africa have been found to be far more contagious than the original Covid-19, and have quickly spread around the globe over the past month.