Foreign crew or seafarers going to the Philippines who have been to the below-mentioned countries within 14 days, immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines, are temporarily restricted from entering the country effective 0001 Hrs of 30 December 2020 to 15 January 2021.
- Hong Kong
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Kingdom
- United States
For crew change of seafarers other than the ones who have visited the above countries, they will have to follow the health protocols of the Philippines that include COVID testing and restricted movements.
Not only foreigner seafarers but also Filipino crew if have visited the above countries have to stay in quarantine for 14 Days. Many countries are suspending shipping activities to contain the virus. Following Philippines, it is very likely that other port authorities will also tighten the crew change protocols. These crew change regulations in Philippines came into action after the new strain of Coronavirus was confirmed. It is found that the new variant is far more transmissible than its existing predecessor. It is to be noted that Philippines is one of the largest supplier of seafarers and this move will affect the already overdue contracts of seafarers. Overdued contracts are the biggest cause of mental illness among seafarers. Many crew management companies have initiated COVID bonus to the seafarers to relieve the stress a bit.
Easier said than done but seafarers should not lose their calm and be assured that the authorities are trying the best to contain the virus and all the restrictions are levied for the welfare of people. Senior officers onboard should maintain a healthy working atmosphere onboard and support everyone emotionally keeping the dirty politics aside.
Seafarers and crewing executives are advised to check the latest sign-on regulations of the country at the official site to avoid any inconvenience.