The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is easing its crew change restrictions, much to the relief of thousands of seafarers across the world.
In a circular, the UAE’s Federal Transport Authority said the first stage of the lifting of restrictions would be aimed at seafarers with a resident visa, crew on laid up passenger ships, crew with medical issues and for those who need to leave on compassionate grounds.
The FTA will allow crew to leave so long as the signing off crew must be well for the last 14 days before leaving the ship and has not been in contact with a known or suspect case of Covid-19 in those 14 days. An airline ticket must also be shown.
The FTA said it was looking to get crew change operations back to normal as quick as possible.
On average, around 100,000 seafarers change ship every month, something that has ground to a halt over the last six weeks as the spread of coronavirus around the world has created unprecedented travel restrictions.
Maersk, the world’s largest containerline, told its seagoing staff over the weekend that all crew changes – which had been on hold through to mid-April – will now be postponed to May 12 at the earliest.
The stop for crew change in Maersk has been prolonged to 12 May for the safety of the seafarers. Again, the seafarers will have to endure while keeping up the vital supply chains of the World. Safe, but stuck.#thankyouseafarers #covid19 #maersk pic.twitter.com/5JJgp10gWi
— Thomas Lindegaard Madsen (@ThomasLindegard) April 4, 2020