Oman is making crew change possible at its ports for seafarers whose contracts are up and have failed to get an extension granted by their flag state. Crew change can also happen at Omani ports on compassionate grounds or if crew are no longer medically fit.
The large caveat however is that vessel owners need to provide flights for the departing seafarers.
“As normal flights are not available out of Oman, special flights should be arranged by the vessel owner,” ship agent GAC stated in a note to clients.
In cases where crew do not fly out immediately, they will be kept under quarantine until they fly out of the country. All relevant expenses shall be borne by the company or ship agent.
Travel restrictions brought in across the world thanks to the spread of coronavirus have left tens of thousands of seafarers working at sea for far longer than their normal contracts stipulate. New data compiled by the International Chamber of Shipping and the International Maritime Employers’ Council has found that 150,000 seafarers will need crew changes by May 15. This number is up by 50% from 100,000 when ICS first highlighted the problem with national governments and the G20.