Coronavirus and crew restrictions; what to keep in mind


Crew unable to disembark, service engineers unable to maintain essential equipment and classification societies unable to do scheduled ship surveys. This is the new reality for many, as several port authorities and port state authorities are imposing restrictions on mobility due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). 

Since January, BIMCO has been tracking these restriction and is offering an updated overview of how this is  impacting scheduled operations.

Initially, restrictions targeted Chinese citizens without considering whether they had spent several months on board prior to the outbreak. When the Coronavirus started local circulation outside China, restrictions gradually changed to include new clusters.

In general, restrictions are either depending on

  • Travel history
  • Nationalities

If the restrictions are depending on travel history, it is important to take the following into account

  • Where has the crew been recently and at which ports has the ship called?
  • What is the travel history for supernumeraries such as:
    • Cargo superintendents
    • Passengers
    • Accompanying spouses and children
    • Guards – if employed on other ships recently, these itineraries should also be considered

If restrictions are depending on nationalities, it is important to take the following into account

  • What are the nationalities of the crew on board?
  • What is the ship’s country of registry?

It is important to keep in mind that even though the incubation period for COVID-19 is generally believed to be within two weeks, several countries are imposing longer restrictions. Please go to the BIMCO website for the latest update on restrictions to crew mobility.

To view all BIMCO’s advice and updated information about COVID-19, please go to the COVID-19 section on Members are also welcome to reach out to Maritime Information.

In addition to practical advice, BIMCO has published “Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses” for time and voyage charter parties that are freely available to the industry and can be downloaded from the BIMCO website:


Johan Conrad
in Copenhagen, DK


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