// The Seafarers' Health Information Programme

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Taking some simple precautions can reduce our chances of being infected or spreading COVID-19

COVID-19 is the disease caused by a new coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. The World Health Organization (WHO) first learned of this new virus on 31 December 2019, following a report of a cluster of cases of ‘viral pneumonia’ in Wuhan, People’s Republic of China.

The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, dry cough and fatigue but symptoms of severe COVID‐19 disease include shortness of breath, loss of appetite, confusion, persistent pain or pressure in the chest and high temperature (above 38 °C). More information on the disease and its symptoms can be found on the WHO website here.

We have collated some useful resources for seafarers, ship owners and ship management companies, and other members of the maritime industry*. Please find a list of links and some useful documents below:


World Health Organization:

International Maritime Organization:

International Chamber of Shipping:

Coronavirus (COVID19) Port/Country Implications:

COVID-19 Information Dashboard (country- and port-specific advice on COVID-19 measures):

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Global Port Restrictions Map (updated daily):

Maritime Human Rights Risks and the COVID-19 Crew Change Crisis: A Tool to Support Human Rights Due Diligence (May 2021): Download here

Management of Suspected COVID-19 on Board (information for officers responsible for medical treatment on board ships and mobile offshore units):

Seafarers' access to long-term medications (International Transport Workers' Federation):

Coronavirus - How to Beat it (free-of-charge awareness video by Seagull and Videotel):

Coronavirus - Stay Safe on Board (video produced by Marine Media Enterprises with the support of Columbia Ship Management, ISWAN and Steamship Mutual):

CHIRP Maritime (April 2020):

ISWAN articles:

*Please note: The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing so please refer to the WHO website for the latest guidance and updates.

If you have any questions or concerns, our free, confidential, multilingual helplines SeafarerHelp (for all seafarers and their families) and Yacht Crew Help (for professional yacht crew) are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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