Denmark has worked out a way to carry out crew changes. The government, together with Danish Shipping, the maritime section of the Danish Metalworkers’ Union and the Danish Engineers’ Association, has found a solution whereby stranded seafarers onboard Danish ships can come home.
The solution is to apply the visa rules in such a way that seafarers who need to do so can obtain a visa to enter or travel through Denmark, so that they can sign on or off duty in Denmark or neighbouring countries.
Now it is a matter of relieving as many seafarers as quickly as possible
Anne Steffensen, CEO of Danish Shipping, commented: “We have been fighting for a long time to get our seafarers home to their families, so I am very pleased that the government has listened and found a temporary model that allows crew changes. Now it is a matter of relieving as many seafarers as quickly as possible.”
Upon entry into Denmark, the industry itself must take a number of precautions for seafarers, in order to minimise the risk of the spread of infection.
Special departments will be set up for them at airports so that they do not come into contact with others, and it will be possible for foreign seafarers to be tested for Covid-19 in Denmark.
In addition, shipping companies must ensure that seafarers are isolated in hotels, for example.
According to the global crew change tracker compiled by port agent Inchcape Shipping Services there are just 17 countries – including Denmark – who have opened up for crew changes.