Quarantine & Testing Guidelines for Seafarers
As a proud supplier of 24/7/365 chandling services to a wide variety of shipping clientele in Cape Town and other major South African ports, the Link Ship Chandlers team has been keeping a close eye on the development of best practice guidelines pertaining to COVID-19 quarantine and testing for the hardworking seafarers who man these vessels.
Here is a breakdown of the latest guidelines, as set out by the International Maritime Health Association (IMHA):
1. All seafarers leaving their home country to journey aboard a ship for work have to be tested before they travel to the port where they will join up with the crew. If they test positive, they are to stay at home. If they test negative and display no symptoms, they may be cleared for duty.
2. Once prospective crew members arrive at port, they should ideally be quarantined for between 10-14 days in suitable accommodation that has to be provided and paid for by the shipping company for which they work.
3. Upon arrival in a new country, crew members should be tested again between day 3 and 5 and kept in quarantine in suitable accommodation before they are free to move about. It has to be noted that each country has different rules and regulations in place regarding port protocol for visiting shipping crews, so make sure to check with each port of call when a journey is planned.
Standard hygiene procedures, as stated by the World Health Organisation, should also be observed between crew members at all times. This includes maintaining a safe social distance between crewmates in all common areas, diligent use of PPE (personal protective equipment) such as facial masks and gloves (where appropriate), and washing hands on a regular basis to prevent the spread of the virus.
These guidelines have been put in place to safeguard the personal health and wellbeing of the seafarers themselves, as well as the citizens of the countries in which their ships come to port. There are likely to be more developments as findings of the COVID-19 virus comes to light, and pandemic-related safety measures are adapted accordingly. Keep an eye on the IMHA website for emerging details.
In the meantime, feel free to get in touch with the Link Ship Chandlers team if you require any information about the chandling services we offer at South African ports in Cape Town, Saldanha, Port Elizabeth, Coega, Durban and Richards Bay.