A common sense, best practice approach to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in seafarers joining the ship.
In the current pandemic situation, it has proved incredibly difficult to facilitate crew changes on ships. COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the globe, notably in many of the so called ‘crewing countries’. Therefore, it is imperative that governments, ship owners, seafarers and the international agencies agree on a standard protocol to mitigate the risk of seafarers introducing COVID-19 onto a ship when crew is changed and to reassure countries where crew change is to take place that seafarers are a low risk group for the transmission of COVID-19.
The International Maritime Health Association (IMHA) has reviewed the current evidence and is in the process of obtaining additional information on practice around the world, in collaboration with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS). However, exact science in this field is currently lacking so IMHA has produced this interim paper to offer a common sense, best practice approach to mitigate the risk of transmission of COVID-19 in seafarers joining the ship.