Coronavirus (COVID-19) implementation measures for sea transport

Providing members with the latest information on measures taken by various countries to combat this Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak that could impact sea transport. The page might be updated several times per day, so please check back for the most recent information.

BIMCO is closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation on a global basis and will attempt to keep members updated on measures implemented by various countries to combat this outbreak which could impact sea transport.

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29 April - *The country is undergoing a gradual opening, although restriction measures continue, but with partial reductions from before.  The time frame of people movement for essential purchases and other immediate needs is now from 05:00 to 17:30, while the lock-down continues from 17:30 – 05:00 and during the weekends. Trucks transporting goods and other services are allowed circulation 24 hours in all country, but the private cars can move only if issued a special authorization.  The public transport has stopped.

Land borders of the country are closed for people, but not for the trucks and other cargo movement, which is allowed. The international airport “Mother Theresa” in Tirana is closed.  Only repatriation flights of people in/out of Albania as well as cargo flights are allowed.

All seaports are open.  There are no restrictions in handling of cargo vessels, ro-ro vessels, tankers and gas-carriers.  Ferryboats to/from Italian ports continue, but there is assumed that all vessels are ro-ro (transport of trucks only) while passengers are not allowed.

The yachts and other touristic boats are allowed in port only for supplies (bunker, water, provisions) but the crew and passengers who may be onboard are not allowed ashore.  After the supplies are received, the boat should leave the port.  For the moment the crew changes are not allowed.

The rest of ground handling of the vessels continues normally, however under additional safety measures and protocols during the commercial operations.  The surveys can be undertaken and Samer & Misa remains available and active for any assistance needed from the maritime and business community. Crew medical treatment for non-COVID-19 injuries and illness is permitted but only for emergency cases*

7 May - The Albanian Government has extended the State of Emergency until 23 June 2020.

27 May - *Crew change permitted but only of own nationals with the condition that the ship agent complies with the necessary notifications to health authorities, border police and any local authorities as required under the jurisdiction governing the local harbour. Once cleared, the disembarking crew member has to stay in quarantine for 14 days in one of the hotels confirmed from the state, after that he can leave towards home. The expenses for the staying in the hotel have to be afforded from the person himself. Crew changes of foreign nationals are not permitted. Crew medical treatment for non-COVID injuries and illness is permitted, but only emergency issues – The ship agent should communicate and report the problem calling at the national emergency number 127 and the situation will be dealt as on a case-by-case basis, by sending an ambulance to the vessel.*

12 August - Crew change is allowed but subject to fulfilling the following conditions:** 

  • For nationality that needs a visa to enter - 72 hours notice is required
  • For nationality that needs no visa to enter - 24 hours notice is required
  • COVID-19 test required to be done prior arrival at Rinas-Triana Airport from the country of origin
  • Passport copy 
  • Seaman's book copy 
  • Flight details
  • Arrival and departure crew list 
  • Hotel sign is allowed for ON/OFF signers
  • ON/OFF signers -  no need to be quarantined. **

Tirana International Airport was allowed to start broad operations of regular international flights as of 22 June. Maritime transport was allowed to resume for all international passenger transport lines. Land borders are open but certain countries have placed restrictions e.g. the EU continues to have closed borders with Albania.  

Source: North P&I Club*, Inchcape Shipping Services**



Restrictions apply to all the ships coming from the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Kuwait
  • Lebanon
  • Nepal
  • Nigeria
  • Oman
  • Philippines
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sweden
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • USA
  • Vietnam

Restrictions are as follows:

  • Systematic health inspection at anchor by border health services in case of doubt quarantine of the ship
  • Limit as much as possible the shore access of the crew
  • Limit as much as possible the boarding of authorities and personnel
  • Systematic temperature checks of each person on board
  • Formally prohibit access on board by anyone with a temperature above 38 ° C
  • Below documents to be sent to the concerned authorities 24 hrs before arrival:
    • Pre arrival documents
    • Medical certificate of health of all members on board
    • Crew list with date & port of embarkation
    • Vaccination proof
    • List of the last ten ports
    • The last updated body temperature measurement taken during the last 24 hrs of all the members on board
  • The agent must be wearing gloves and face mask before boarding the vessel.

Coast guard has issued an instruction that all vessel must be inspected first by sanitary authorities at port and the Maritime health declaration must be sent before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.  On-signers must be carrying medical certificate that proves their health and all off-signers must be inspected by port sanitary services and receive medical certificate before disembarking.

Port Restrictions


As per original notice (26 February) received, any ship that has been the subject of a stopover at any Italian port will be quarantined until 'free services' are obtained.


For vessels coming from Asia:

  1. Maritime declaration according to the WHO (World health organization) international health regulations (R.S.I) article 37.
  2. In case of declaration of fever or even mild respiratory problems, it would be preferable for the sanitary inspection to be carried out on road.
  3. Plan a ship disinfection company to compensate for any eventuality.

For other provenance of ships:

  1. Maritime declaration according to international health regulations (R.S.I)


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs.

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.

Ships is to email the 10 last ports and crew list to be provided to port authority prior to the ships arrival


Coast guard issued an instruction that all vessels must be inspected first by sanitary services at ports and agents must send the Maritime health declaration before vessel berthing as this shall be received from master with prearrival docs

If there are any declarations, the vessel will be kept on the road first. If there are no special declarations, the vessel will be berthed and inspected alongside.

Sanitary doctor for vessels with Chinese crews have requested for crews list with date of sign on, in order to do inspection on road or alongside

** Temporary suspension of flights and maritime transport between Algeria and France, from Thursday 19th March as order coming from Algiers Prime Minister to the Minister of Public Works and Transport. 

6 April - Partial lockdown took effect from Sunday, 5 April applying to all provinces of the country, expect the province of Blida which remains on total lockdown. The partial lockdown measures take effect from 07:00 p.m. to 07:00 a.m and will remain in force until Sunday, 19 April 2020. **

***All Ports Authorities have prohibited the loading and the discharging operations between 01:00 hours and 07:00 hours in some ports and  from 19:00 hours to 07:00 hours in other ports and the Algerian government has imposed the following precautionary measures:

  • The Sanitary Authorities and the Coast Guards, board all the vessels at roads to check whether the vessel and the crew came from or transited through a contaminated country for at least the last 14 days.
  • Always at roads, the Health Authorities medically examine all crew members to ensure that they show no symptoms or suffer from the corona virus, whether the ship came or not from a contaminated area.
  • In the event, the crew presents no risk of contamination, the Authorities impose to all members to wear masks and gloves as soon as the vessel berths.
  • Crew cannot go ashore, unless requested by his service.
  • No one can board or leave the vessel if his temperature is above 38 °C or shows signs of breathing difficulties.

5 April -  a curfew implemented has amended from 15:00 to 07:00 for Bejaia, Oran and Algiers.

4 May - all crew changes are prohibited except for own nationals 

14 May - Curfew continues in force in all the country from 07:00 hrs to 19:00 hours, which limits the port operations to take place between these hours. In Algiers, Oran, Blida curfew is applied from 07h00 to 17h00. In some ports, the discharging operations of one (1) hold / shift per vessel is implemented. Crew and cargo are inspected at their arrival to ports.***

11 August - Partial lockdown from 11.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. as from Sunday 9 August until 31 August in 29 provinces. The concerned provinces are Boumerdes, Souk Ahras, Tissemsilt, Djelfa, Mascara, Oum El Bouaghi, Batna, Bouira, Relizane, Biskra, Khenchela, M’sila, Chlef, Sidi Bel Abbes, Medea, Blida, Bordj Bou Arreridj, Tipaza, Ouargla, Bechar, Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Setif, Annaba, Bejaia, Adrar, Laghouat and El Oued, See also government measures implemented and travel information.

Crew changes still not permitted as borders remain closed but for nationals returning allowed and subject to quarantine. According to Inchcape, there are still port restrictions imposed for all vessels arriving at Algerian ports and all crew members are screened on roads before authorising the berthing/commencement of operations. No specific restrictions based on previous ports called. No precautionary testing in place and all masks and gloves to be worn at all times when in contact with shore personnel. Medical assistance is available but only for emergencies. 

Useful links

*Source: Wilhelmsen, **  Algeria Press Service, *** North P&I Club


On 18th March 2020, the Angolan Government by Presidential decree established provisions to close sea borders, starting on 20 March 00:00 Hours.

This regulation is to be imposed for 15 days extended to additional similar periods if considered necessary. Under this new regulation, all crew change and foreigner technical personal assistance is suspended. Nevertheless, the Angolan Government will safeguard the assistance to ship’s crew in case of medical emergency. 

30 March - The Angolian Government declared a state of emergency on 27th March. According to North P&I Club, the ports are closed only for passenger ships. Cargo vessels can still enter the port and continue working but the crew will not be allowed to come down the gangway and go ashore. Stevedores are advised to wear protective gloves and masks and restrict their contact with the crew to the strict minimum. All maritime agencies and government offices are working. Please note that during the state of emergency it is prohibited to export fuel from Angola.

6 April -*  Budd Group advises that all ports remain open to cargo vessels only. All crew or stowaway disembarkations are prohibited but medical evacuations are authorized. 

10 April - The Government of Angola has further extended the State of Emergency until 25 April.  All government institutions including ports and offshore terminals continue to function with minimum staff to attend essential services.Following operations continue to be suspended until the State of Emergency is lifted: 

1. Crew changes and transportation of personnel offshore (except critical medical emergencies)
2. Immigration and visa services
3. Domestic flights

Offshore crude liftings continue to operate with only customs police onboard.  Agent and other authorities are restricted from to travel offshore facilities.

Update on port operational status from GAC:


Terminal: Greater Plutonio
Status: Operational
Remarks: Movement of all personnel from shore to terminal have been suspended. Vessels are cleared remotely and clearance documents sent to the vessel by email. Loading operations continue with only Fiscal Police onboard. No husbandry services allowed except for critical medical emergencies. No mandatory quarantine of vessel and crew announced.


Terminals: Dalia, Girassol, Pazflor, Clov, Kaombo, PSVM, Kizomba, Gimboa, Palanca, Olombendo, N’Goma
Status: Operational
Remarks: Movement of all personnel from shore to terminal have been suspended. Vessels are cleared remotely and clearance documents sent to the vessel by email. Loading operations continue with only Fiscal police onboard. No husbandry services allowed except for critical medical emergencies. No mandatory quarantine of vessel and crew announced.


Terminal: Angola LNG
Status: Operational
Remarks: Terminal under lockdown. Vessel operations continue as usual. Vessels are cleared remotely and clearance documents sent to the vessel by email. Loading operations continue with only Fiscal Police onboard. No husbandry services allowed except for critical medical emergencies. No mandatory quarantine of vessel and crew announced.


Terminals: Malongo / Sanha LPG
Status: Operational
Remarks: Terminal under lockdown. Vessel operations continue as usual. Vessels are cleared remotely and clearance documents sent to the vessel by email. Loading operations continue with only Fiscal Police onboard. No husbandry services allowed except for critical medical emergencies. No mandatory quarantine of vessel and crew announced.

11 May - Crew changes for locals are permitted only in Luanda for the time being. This is under special permissions obtained by the project operators. Regarding foreign crew, it is not allowed to embark/disembark for the time being.  There appear to be no restrictions for medical assistance for crew. They can disembark and seek medical attention and return to the vessel.*

12 May: According to information provided in local journals, the State of Emergency has been extended until May 26. This effectively prevents crew change of foreign nationals with the following exceptions:

  • Entry and exit of essential goods and services
  • Humanitarian aid
  • Entry and exit of patients

At the time of writing, the legal text is not available on the Government website, but apparently the complete text is quoted at the link in the start of this entry

11 August - the State of Emergency has been further extended for another 30 days from 10th August as per new Presidential Decree, with borders closed and strict quarantines imposed. Exceptions eg. entry and exit of cargo, entries to perform specific tasks by foreign specialists merchandise and postal parcels (see Article 8 of Presidential Decree); however this is dependent on carrying out a pre-shipment RT-PCR test with a negative result, carried out 72 hours before the trip. 

Please refer to the Angolian Government's news section for updates. 

*Source: North P&I Club

Antigua and Barbuda

15 Sept - The department of Marine Services and Merchant Shipping ( ADOMS) has issued in August 2020, circular 2020-03 advising of the maximum period of shipboard service for seafarers during this COVID-19 pandemic. The maximum period is 14 months for seafarers notwithstanding the maximum of 11 months prescribed under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006. 

Circular 2020-001 (Rev.1) refers to seafarers' certificates, ship's surveys, audits and how extension can be applied for the various matters. 

State of Emergency has been extended to 31 October 2020. According to the country's latest travel advisory ( as at 15 September 2020),  the V.C Bird International Airport is opened for international and regional travel. The Antigua Port Authority is opened to all cargo vassels, pleasure crafts and ferry services and will be required to follow all protocols issued by the Port Health Authority.

All arriving passengers must : 

  • complete a health declaration form
  • subject to medical screening
  • temperature checks
  • monitored for COVID-19 for periods of up to 14 days in accordance with the Quarantine Authority's direction and guidelines
  • must have a negative COVID-19 test RT-PCR taken within 7 days of their flight for those arriving by air
  • arriving by sea will be subject to quarantine according to guidelines issued by their Port Health Authority 

Relevant links: 


*With the declaration of Provision 1644/2020 the Argentine government is effectively processing restrictions of all visa applications from the following political entities:

  • Mainland China
  • Republic of Korea
  • Islamic Republic of Iran
  • Japan
  • United States of America
  • United Kingdom
  • European Union
  • Schengen Area* 

** 15 March - Argentina will close its borders for 15 days to non-residents in order to contain the spread of this disease as announced by the President of Argentina on Sunday, 15th March. A day earlier, the Argentinian government published a decree establishing a 30-day ban on entry of non-residents who have travelled to a country highly affected by COVID-19 in the last 14 days.

***23 March - Migration authorities has cancelled all temporary and working VISA for all citizens coming from affected area, i.e. China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Europe, USA, Brazil and Chile  (these two countries just recently added).

Sanitary requirements applicable to all ships coming from abroad - these are in addition to usual pre-arrival requirements and must be sent prior to ships arrival holding yellow flag, otherwise free pratique will not be granted: 

In case any crew member or passengers present any sickness symptoms, free pratique will not be granted and vessel must comply the quarantine. Even though non-residents are not allowed to enter country for the next 15 days so far, exceptions to the following as long as they do not show any signs of being affected with the virus and comply with further recommendations/instructions of the National Sanitary authorities: 

  • people affected to the transportation of goods/commodities through Air, ground and Sea.
  • Crew members
  • people related to flight operations and sanitary transfers
Therefore, ships coming from ports abroad would be authorized to proceed alongside as long as they comply with special Sanitary requirements in force as above. 

The Argentine Pilotage Chamber has advised that, from 0000 hours on 24 March, all ships proceeding from Brazil and Chile must comply with a 14-day corresponding quarantine period as established by the National Government along with Sanitary Authorities.

7 April - A summary of the current situation at this date: 

  • Argentina is under a mandatory social isolation / quarantine which will be in place, in principle, until 13th April 2020 (after being extended from its original ending date). However, it is expected that after 13 April restrictions will continue in place and would be lifted gradually, depending on the developments of the spread.
  • The Government has considered that those activities which are urgent to enable international trade are exempted, therefore, ports and ships are operating. In principle, all ships calling Argentine ports must present specific pre-arrival information (72 hours before arriving) including the last 10 ports called, crew changes, ship’s medical book, crew/passenger temperature records among others.
  • Those ships which have called one of the areas considered specially affected by the outbreak (EU Members, Schengen Members, UK and North Ireland, USA, Korea, Japan, Iran, Chile and Brazil) would be subject to physical health inspection at Recalada Pilot Station (outer River Plate) by Coast Guards on behalf of health authorities. If the pre-arrival documentation on any ship, and the physical inspection for those calling from the “affected areas” do not reveal any COVID-19 case, or suspected case, the ship would in principle authorize to receive Pilots and proceed to port, where additional health inspections may take place.  Otherwise the ship will be quarantined at the disposal of Health Authorities.
  • Some ports have been affected by different players, such as unions, professional associations or locally-based authorities which request for any ship calling an “affected area” to have at least 14 days transit time since they departed from the last port. This would normally affect ships calling from Brazil – and Chile at some extent (due to short transit time). These ports are Necochea, Bahia Blanca, San Nicolas, Campana, Zarate, Rosario and San Lorenzo and other nearby ports may have the same tendency.
  • Borders remain closed and there are virtually no commercial flights. Therefore, crew changes or repatriations are not normally possible.
  • Surveyors’ attendance on board would be subject to the particular circumstances of the case, and the possibility for them to attend at port or on board may be limited. Not only due to the risk of contracting the virus, but also because the isolation is mandatory and its breach is being prosecuted criminally by our authorities.
  • Courts and Administrative entities have entered into an extraordinary recess during the mandatory isolation. No activity is taking place thereon unless urgent and unavoidable.

8 April -  The port of Bahia Blanca is currently operating with no restrictions on LPG vessels or on vessels which have been at sea longer than 14 days and haven’t called at affected areas.

13 April - Mandatory quarantine imposed in all Argentina territory. Extended for a third period until 27th April. Urgent services concerning international trade exempted. Port/ships operations: open
Restrictions: apply depending on ship’s previous ports, pre-arrival health information, transit time, etc. Despite the National Protocol which does not provide for quarantine of those vessels calling from any port with less than 14 days with no symptoms on board (and medical/port/crew records to the satisfaction of Health Authorities), various parties in different ports are taking a different approach, as far as we know as follows: Necochea & Bahia Blanca ports: Health Authorities request ships calling from “affected areas” a 14-day transit form last port of call. Stevedores,  however, refuse to provide services to any ship calling with less than 14 days transit time. Due to conflict with stevedores some terminals may operate with restrictions (working hours). San Nicolas port (public berths): port authorities request ships calling a 14-day transit time from any previous port. Surveyor attendance: Still attending but every day becoming more restricted the availability of surveyors to go on board. “Affected areas”: EU members, Schengen members, UK and North Ireland, United States of America, Korea, Japan, China, Iran, Chile and Brazil.

29 April - Quarantine further extended and will now remain until 10 May. However, as from 24 April, it is permitted to commence mediations or continue already ongoing mediations by way of electronic means, always provided that the identity of the parties involved and the principles governing the mediation are properly guaranteed (Resolution No. 121/2020 of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights). Provincial governors may allow for exceptions to the quarantine provisions except for the following cases:

  • Public and private events: social, cultural, recreational, sports, religious and of any other nature that involves the attendance of people.
  • Shopping centers, cinemas, theaters, cultural centers, libraries, museums, restaurants, bars, gyms, clubs and any public or private space that involves the attendance of people.
  • Intercity, inter-jurisdictional and international public passenger transport.

30 April - All crew changes are suspended except in case of “extreme necessity” which theoretically applies to nationals and foreigners. In practice the borders are closed and commercial flights suspended. Therefore no crew changes on foreign vessels are practically possible. Medical treatment for non-COVID19 injuries and illnesses are allowed in all Argentine ports. In principle, medical assistance should take place on board but crew would be allowed to disembark because of humanitarian or safety reasons

23 May -  The NATIONAL PROTOCOL FOR THE PREVENTION OF COVID19 has been amended. The AMENDED PROTOCOL provides for additional requirements for ships’ arriving to Argentina.

The requirements will vary  depending on transit time, last port of call and crew changes. This includes additional/enhanced pre-arrival information and documentation; clarification as to mandatory quarantine applicable; and requirements applicable to Pilots. It provides express provisions applicable to ships:

  • in general (ships arriving to first roads or where the first pilot is picked up with more than 14 days transit time from last port of call, or with less than 14 days transit time if the last port of call is not considered a “high risk” country [so far EU members, Schengen members, UK and North Ireland, United States of America, Korea, Japan, China, Iran, Chile and Brazil];
  • calling from risk zones with no crew changes (less than 14 days transit time of the last port within “high risk” country without changing crew for more than 14 days prior to arrival);
  • crew changes (calling from any country there was any change on the crew, or any crewmember had to be disembarked for urgent reasons, with less than 14 days transit time since last port of call).

Mandatory quarantine would be applicable if there are confirmed COVID19 cases on board; or suspected cases and the quarantine ordered by the Sanitary Authorities. In addition, if any vessel whatsoever fails to comply with the requirements and pre-arrival information requested according to the protocol, the vessel will be placed in quarantine for 14 days (counting as from the date of departure from the last port of call).

In addition, if a COVID19 is confirmed on board of any vessel that has called Argentinean ports within 30 days of its departure, the ship agents must be provided with certain documentation / information to be submitted to the Argentinian Authorities (understood to track possible contagion in the country during ship’s call).***

25 May- Extensions provided by the Argentinian Maritime Authority for Argentina-flagged ships' surveys, inspections, audits as well as certificates of seafarers.

27 May - Mandatory quarantine extended till 7 June.  All arrivals from Covid-19 ‘hot spots’ (including China, Iran, South Korea, Italy and the US) have to be quarantined for 14 days regardless of nationality. All direct flights between Argentina and the US as well as Europe were suspended for 30 days from 17 March, now extended indefinitely.

17 August - The Argentinian Maritime Authority has authorised extension for national and international accreditations and certificates that expire between 1 Jan 2021 and June 2021 for another 3 months from their expiration date ( ref: IMO circular letter no. 4287/Add.2

18 August - Argentina’s borders are closed to foreign nationals and non-residents entering the country. The borders remain open for departures. While the Argentine government is permitting a limited number of exceptional international flights, all scheduled international flights have been suspended until 1 September. Nationwide quarantine and social distancing measures are still in place until 16 August. See decree here.  May be extended till 30 August but yet to be confirmed. No crew change possible or is suspended due to closure of borders and limited flights. 

Read Restrictions on Air and Sea Transport due to COVID-19 dated 22nd July 2020

Useful links

* Source: *Vega & Co., ** Thomson Reuters, *** North P&I Club


7 April - Since March 21, 2020 the government of Aruba implemented limited transportation from 21:00 to 06:00 hrs. some exceptions may apply with authorization. Sanctions were imposed for citizens who violate this provision.

Suspension of incoming international flights. No person may enter the country, this restriction also counts for the residents of Aruba. Empty flights can only arrive to pick up passengers leaving Aruba to take them to their destination.

A standard pre-arrival documents will be followed, an additional Marine Health Declaration form has to be submitted.

Passengers ships calls are temporarily suspended. Cargo, repair, bunker, load/discharge calls remain possible as normal. Offshore attendance continues as normal (exception: crew changes). All ports in Aruba are open as normal.

15 April - According to Ministerial regulation of 19 March the borders are closed, with the following notably exceptions:

  • Air crew
  • Maritime Crew

19 April - Lockdown measures declared pursuant to ministerial regulations. A free English text is available. Crew members are exempted.

23 April - Lockdown, curfew between 22:00 - 05:00 am in force, border restrictions and inbound flight restrictions continued til 31 May 2020

11 May: According to Ministerial regulation of 27 april  foreigners' entry by sea and air are prohibited. Cargo ships can continue to berth, however the crew are prohibited from leaving the port facilities.

27 May - Arubian border will open tentatively between 15 June and 1 July 2020. Curfew from 12 am to 5 am will start from 25 May 2020. For now curfew is still 22:00 to 05:00. 

18 August - The Government of Aruba has reopened with re-opening protocols and procedures in place on 10 June 2020, including gradual travel between various countries and as well as inland phasing of ease-up restrictions.  Click here for updates.  All visitors will be required to comply with arrival, screening and health procedures as mandated by the Aruba Airport Authority and the Government of Aruba, including the completing of an online "Embarkation / Disembarkation (ED) Card".  For full details on Aruba's requirements, click here

As for seafarers, see Aruba COVID-19 exemption list. It appears that seafarers will be required to fill the online health questionaire, testing and obtaining the COVID-19 insurance. 

Useful links:



For more details on Australian measures, please see the following links:

AMSA and other public bodies:

Other industry bodies:

Australian travel restrictions

  • From 20 March 2020, only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia meaning Australia will deny entry to foreign nationals. 
  • From 28 March 2020, all travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival. 

The facilities will be determined by each state and territory and may be hotels. There are some exemptions to the above. One is marine pilots and crews. They are considered persons with critical skills or providing critical medical services including delivery of supplies that regularly arrive into Australia from international ports. This means that maritime crew entering Australia to undertake their next work voyage are exempt from this requirement. Instead, they are required to self-isolate at their home or accommodation until their next work voyage. More information is available on "Information Sheet to the Marine Industry" issued by the Australian Government's Department of Health. 

Travel restrictions are subject to change. Please check Australian Dept of Home AffairsCOVID-19 and the Border regularly

Cruise ships

  • The Australian Government has restricted all cruise ships from entering Australia until 15 June 2020, including direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises.
    All travellers arriving in Australia will be required to undertake a mandatory 14-day quarantine at designated facilities (for example, a hotel), in their port of arrival.
  • As of 15 March 2020 there is a full restriction on arrivals of any cruise ship that has left a foreign port. The restrictions are inclusive of direct arrivals and Round Trip Cruises (RTC). This measure will be reviewed after 30 days.
  • From 16 March 2020, Australia will deny entry to any cruise ship that has left a foreign port, with the exception of:
  • Australian-flagged vessels.
  • International cruise ships en route having departed their last overseas port and destined for Australia.
  • Australian cruise vessels (domestic cruise ships) operating within the Australian Exclusive Economic Zone can continue to operate without restriction.
  • Round Trip Cruises that are already in progress and currently returning to Australia.
  • Cruise ships that do not meet the above exemptions, may be approved through the Maritime Traveller Processing Committee (MTPC). These approved cruise ships will be required to go to Brisbane or Sydney.
  • Crew must self-isolate for 14 days or for the duration of their stay whichever is shorter.

For updates, please refer to the main COVID-19 and the border page.

Australia Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA)

Ships entering Australian ports are impacted by state border restrictions. Ships must comply with all local directions meaning all federal, state or territory safety directions, including crew movements, isolation and social distancing requirements.

Extension of Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping Certificates  - AMSA issued Marine Notice 02/2020 taking a pragmatic approach allowing for an extension of up to 6 months.

Australia Biosecurity Reporting 

Details on travel and COVID-19 in relation to biosecurity requirements

See also their General Coronavirus Advice page  where you can find travel and freight requirements for the various states in Australia.

Measures by some Australian states

Tasmania - After declaring a state of emergency, the Tasmanian Government issued a notice on 19th March regarding Tasmanian border restrictions. Exemptions apply which include flight Crew and ship crew, for the limited period of delivery of persons, freight or logistics into, within and out of Tasmania, and for no other purpose.

Western Australia - On 24th March 2020, the Government of Western Australia declared a State of Emergency and a Public Health Emergency in response to COVID-19 coronavirus, restricting Western Australian borders to all travellers by road, sea, air and rail.  See declaration made under the Emergency Management Act for Western Australia. 


  • Unless exempted, arrivals from interstate will be ordered to self-isolate for 14 days.
  • Exemptions will apply to essential services and essential workers, including health and emergency services, defence and policing, mining industry workforces, flight crews and freight of essential goods, via ports and trucks – with strict guidelines in place to monitor and manage this.
  • There will also be exemptions granted on compassionate grounds and where people live near border communities.
  • Arrivals will have to show they meet the essential arrival criteria to be granted an exemption.

Non-Australians who arrive at WA ports are not allowed to disembark from the ship. Those people will be required to stay on the ship until arrangements have been made for them to be privately transported to the airport to fly to their home country. These orders will be made under the Emergency Management Act. 

6 April - According to North P&I Club, the following will apply to Western Australia: 

  • When a ship (commercial or passenger) arrives at a Western Australia Port from an overseas location where they have transited international waters they are required to enter quarantine for 14 days if they disembark the ship.
  • Disembarkation occurs when the person leaves the area under control of the Australian Border Force (ABF). They may remain on the dock to facilitate the preparation of the ship for further sea operations.
  • When they leave the area of the dock surrounding the ship they are deemed to have disembarked and come within the State Emergency Declaration at which point they are required to quarantine for 14 days.
  • If they have not been at sea for 14 days since their last port of departure they are not allowed to disembark the ship without entering into quarantine for 14 days.


If the voyage has been of a duration of 14 days or more since the last port of departure from an international destination and there is a crew change:

  • An Authorised Person (Police /ABF) can provide a direction to the crew member to proceed to the nearest airport and depart immediately. (crew change / return to home)
  • The crew member must have a ticket and travel directly to the airport.
  • They are not to stop at any other locations and must follow all directions provided thereafter.

There are difficulties in procuring an international flight.  Wherever possible, try to secure a direct international flight for departing crew rather than transiting through other Australian Airports.  Restrictions on travel across State and Territory boundaries are currently in place and anyone crossing the border is required to enter into mandatory isolation at an approved facility / Hotel.  It is unclear who is responsible for the costs of isolation.

17 April -  Australia approves crew changes - the Australian Prime Minister made an explicit announcement on 9 April that the Australian Government and all states and territories will implement a consistent and immediate exemption for non-cruise maritime crew to provide for the transiting to and from their places of work, within and across jurisdictions with agreed documentation.

For full details on the above, please refer to the Western Australia Government COVID-19 updates, their COVID-19 response page and WA Government Border Fact Sheet

26 June - AMSA reissued Marine Notice 17/2016 reminding shipowners, operators and seafarers of the maximum continuous period of shipboard service that a seafarer can serve without taking leave, which is 11 months under the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 and how AMSA will enforce this requirement for non-compliance (served more than 11 months or more than 13 months) and in cases of systemic breaches, this may involve the retention of  the ship until such non-conformities have been rectified and satisfactory to the inspector.

Due to COVID-19, AMSA has issued Marine Notice 04/2020 giving some flexibility to the aforesaid but only for a period from 1 July 2020 to 1 October 2020. In essence, a period of maximum 14 months is allowed as long as the seafarer has a valid SEA and an approved flag-state repatriation plan. A seafarer without a valid SEA will be required to repatriate and may affect the ship from departing if this affects the ship’s minimum safe manning requirements. Seafarer service beyond 14 months will only be accepted by AMSA if the master or owner or both demonstrate satisfactorily to AMSA that all possible efforts have been expended to repatriate the seafarer without success and the seafarer has provided written confirmation accepting the extension.

21 Sept - Exemptions given for seafarers' certificates of competency and first aid that expire between 26 March 2020 and 31 January 2021 whereby an extension for a period of 12 months from expiry date of certificate is granted. The same expiring between 1 August 2020 and 31 January 2021 can continue to perform their duties until 31 July 2021. AMSA has issued MN 9/20 regarding this as well as extensions given to other seafarers' certificates. No requirement for a vessel owner, operator or seafarer to make application to AMSA for these extensions to apply. 


30 June - The State Maritime Agency advising IMO via IMO circular letter no. 4223/Add.1 of grant of extensions to seafarers' certificates in order to facilitate international trade and the mobility of seafarers.

3 September -  All land and air traffic in and out of Azerbaijan will remain closed at least through September 30, 2020.   Special, private, and charter flights continue to operate, and can be booked by individual travellers through the airline. “Special commercial flights” and charter flights routinely fly in and out of Baku. This “special flight regime” is expected to last through October, 2020.  
A negative COVID-19 test result is required for passengers flying to or from Azerbaijan in order to check-in for their flight. The negative COVID-19 test must be administered and negative results issued within 48 hours of departure (ref: US embassy in Azerbaijan at 3 September).

According to the website of the Republic of Azerbaijan Cabinet of Ministers, the countrywide special quarantine regime’s duration is extended until 30 September 2020 as per announcement made on 29 August. More details are available on the said website.

14 Sept -  The State Maritime Agency advising IMO via IMO circular letter no. 4223/Add. 2 of further grant of extensions to seafarers' STCW certificates to 31 December 2020 in order to facilitate international trade and the mobility of seafarers.


*Despite the COVID-19 outbreak, ports of the Azores Islands remain open for the following purpose of calls, to be authorised on a case-by-case basis:

  • Bunker calls
  • Receiving spare parts
  • Medical disembarkations (duly proven)
  • Repairs
  • Load/discharge operations

12 May - Crew changes are allowed but subject to the following conditions, and approved by the Health Authority, case by case. – All embarking crew will have to remain in isolation at their hotel for 14 days, before being allowed to embark. – Disembarking crew is obliged to go directly to the airport, with the flight ticket issued, without unnecessary delays.  Crew not allowed to come ashore, unless for urgent medical attendance. *

11 August - According to information kindly provided by Albano de Oliveira Sucessor (AZORES),  crew changes are now allowed subject to coordination and permit from the Health Authority and on a case-by-case basis. Presently, the requirements are as follows: 

- Arriving Azores with a Coronavirus Covid19 test made in the 72 hrs previous arrival, with a negative test result and in a recognised laboratory; or 
- Upon arrival at Azores, to make a biologic sample collection and wait in a hotel for the respective result (expected within 24 – 48 hrs agw) prior to be released to join the vessel.
- When waiting for the laboratory test result, crew cannot leave accommodation.

- Coordination and supply information to Health Authority to obtain the disembarkation permit;
- Make biologic sample collection and wait in a hotel for the respective tests results (expected within 24 – 48 hrs agw) prior to be released for repatriation;
- Collection of biologic sample to be coordinated/scheduled with Technical Staff from Health Authority (Availability under consult/ Not available 24/7)
- When waiting for the laboratory test result, the crew cannot leave accommodation.

The above requirements are based on the present coronavirus covid19 pandemic situation and may be revised accordingly depending on the developments. Crew changes have already been performed and are proceeding smoothly as advised by Albano de Oliveira Sucessor (AZORES).

'Source: North P&I Club and Albano de Oliveira Sucessor (AZORES)


24 March - The Bahamas Maritime Authority issued Technical Alert 20-03 taking a pragmatic and practical approach for extensions, postponements etc relating to SEAs, certificates, seaman's record books, inspections etc.  Technical Alert 20-04 refers to BMA change of office hours due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Restrictions to apply via "Emergency Powers (COVID 19) (NO. 2) Order, 2020" effective 9 a.m., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. With recent information coming from the Prime Minister's office, the state of emergency have been extended until 8 April. Preventative restrictions include:

  • No visitor shall be permitted to enter and disembark for any reason including transiting through The Bahamas.
  • All airports including private airports and fixed-base operations (FBOs) shall be closed to incoming international flights carrying any visitor unless written permission of the Competent Authority has been granted.
  • All sea ports shall be closed to regional and international seafaring and private boating.
  • Air and sea restrictions do not apply to: outgoing flights or ships, cargo flights or cargo ships, commercial courier flights, emergency medical flights or emergency flights approved by the Civil Aviation Authority.
  • All international visitors currently in The Bahamas are urged to immediately work with their airline to make travel arrangements to safely return home. Those who choose to remain in The Bahamas should prepare to do so for an indefinite period of time.
  • No person shall offer for hire or seek to travel on any mail boat, sailing inter island, except for transport of freight; or inter island private commercial sea transport.
  • All residents will be placed on a 24-hour curfew and are to remain at home to avoid contact outside of their family, except for those who have been deemed essential workers, or have special permission from the Commissioner of Police. Residents can leave their homes for essential travel to the doctor, grocery store, bank, pharmacy or to refuel; as well as for outside exercise, not exceeding an hour and a half per day between the hours of 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. Proper social distancing guidelines of at least six feet (6ft.) must be followed at all times while outside the home.
  • All public beaches, markets and docks will be closed, and no vehicles are permitted on any public or private roads for any purpose other than stated above

7 April Announcement by the Prime Minister yesterday to have the complete lockdown extended from 8th April to 14th April 2020. After that, it will be a 24-hour curfew. A shutdown will occur each weekend beginning 9pm on Fridays and ending 5am on Mondays. Some services are exempted and that includes " strictly limited number of exempted undertakings, such as domestic and international import/export trade ".

23 April-  Announcement by the Prime Minister on 19 April  to put curfew back into place effective 20 April until 24th April  9pm and thereafter a nationwide lockdown till 27 April ( weekend lockdown). Only essential services will remain open and all non-exempt persons are to remain in doors

11 May  - Announcement by the Prime Minister on 10 May to continue with the above-mentioned curfew.  Restrictions on international travel do not seem to apply to outgoing ships or cargo ships (see point 13 of the curfew order

17 June - Announcement by the Prime Minister on 5 June removing weekend lockdown effective 13 June but still with curfew 9pm.5am in place from Monday to Sunday, whilst opening up all professional and commercial activities excluding certain establishments. 

26 June: As refered to by GAC Hot Port News will all travel restrictions to Bahamas be eased. travellers will be requested to present a negative COVID-19 test result as advised in the original press release from the Ministry of Tourism and Aviation

14 July: as refered to by GAC Hot Port News are entry into the Bahamas allowed subject to a negative COVID-19 test

To keep updated, please refer to the Government of Bahamas: news and press releasesOffice of the Prime Minister and Bahama Weekly news


According to information released by the Ministry of Interior on 5 March, Bahrain will deny the entry to any individual with a travel history - including transit - within 14 days to any the following:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Korea, Republic of

Additionally, as declared on 16 Marchon-arrival visas are no longer possible effective from 18 March 2020. 

May 12: According to information provided by the Bahrain Ministry of the Interior foreigners entry are prohibited with the following exceptions:

  • Bahraini citizens and residents
  • Diplomats
  • Passengers with Prior Permission Granted letter (PPG)
  • Military personnel
  • Airline crew
  • Holders of official, service, or UN passports

19 May - Marine Notice 1 and 2 of 2020 allowing for extension of seafarers' certificates and ship's certification, inspections, audits etc respectively ( issued via IMO circular letter no. 4285 dated 30 April 2020).

Useful links:
Bahrain - Ports and Maritime Affairs/marine notices
For the most recent restriction, please refer to the Ministry of Interior, Nationality, passport and residence affairs


Vessels calling Chittagong must be declared free of Coronavirus, please see the original release as well the form required.

According to circular dated 23 March issued by the Ministry of Shipping all disembarkation from ships are prohibited.

According to Office Order issued by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority - all types of ship operations under the Protocol on Inland Water Transit & Trade (PIWT&T) between Bangladesh and India are suspended up to 31 March 2020. 

27 March - *The Department of Shipping, issued detailed guidance for ships calling at Chittagong, Payra and Mongla ports. It includes requirements and the Maritime Declaration of Health form which must be forwarded at least 72 hours prior arrival of the vessel at the port. If the maritime declaration of health given by the master is found to be incorrect and not reflecting the factual conditions of health of persons on board the vessel, the master is liable to be prosecuted as per applicable laws.

6 April - The Ministry of Industries of the Government of Bangladesh has banned the import of scrap ships In order to prevent the transmission of Coronavirus (Covid-19) – all activities of imported vessels for the purpose of recycling are to be stopped.

26 April - Chittagong and Mongla Port:

  • Ports are operational and functioning  on 24/7 basis.
  • The Port Authorities are operating with minimum staff members on a shift basis.
  • Stevedores and dock workers are available and continue to work onboard vessels.
  • The lock down has been extended until 5 May 2020.
  • 14 days quarantine for vessels arriving from Chinese Port or Corona infected countries continue to remain in force
  • Container Feeder vessels arriving from Colombo, Singapore and Tanjung Pelepas Port, hub ports for Bangladesh Containerised trade are exempt from 14 days quarantine.

Screening of the crew on board by the Port Health officer and the Port Authority Medical Team is compulsory for all vessels.

30 April - Crew of own nationality - allowed signing on and off but in strict compliance with the health-related guidelines. Also allowed to be repatriated by air and entry into country subject to 14 days quarantine upon arrival.  For foreign national crew - crew change not permitted until further notice. However such crew allowed to be repatriated from demolition ships after beaching and crew has undergone 14 days quarantine on board which means a demolition ship will have to stay for 14 days at achorage before beaching and certification issued by port health official on arrival of ship that it is coronvirus free. Crew members requiring medical assistance  are allowed to visit a Doctor ashore (taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions) or the Doctor is allowed to visit the crew member onboard the vessel. This is only permitted when the crew members have undergone COVID-19  screening by the Port Health Officer and Medical Team of the Port Authority on arrival of the vessel.  Chittagong Port Authority has acquired a Sea ambulance for transportation of non-COVID sick or injured crew member from vessels at the anchorages to Chittagong Port Authority Hospital.*

4 May - The general holiday starting 25 March has been extended until 16 May

5 May -  *the Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh, suspended all passenger  flights to and from Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and UK.

21 May - Crew changes for foreign and own nationals are now permitted subject to the crew members being tested for COVID-19 prior to embarking. 

Crew disembarking the vessels will initially be placed in quarantine, on testing negative for COVID-19 they will be permitted to travel home.

Travel restrictions may make internal travel or leaving Bangladesh difficult. The Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh has suspended all passenger  flights to and from Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, UAE and UK

As for medical assistance, crew members requiring medical assistance are allowed to visit a Doctor ashore (taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions) or the Doctor is allowed to visit the crew member onboard the vessel. This is only permitted when the crew members have undergone COVID-19  screening by the Port Health Officer and Medical Team of the Port Authority on arrival of the vessel.

Chittagong Port Authority has acquired a Sea ambulance for transportation of non-COVID sick or injured crew member from vessels at the anchorages to Chittagong Port Authority Hospital.

Shipyards have resumed operations. Withdrawal of the temporary stay on issuance of No Objection Certificate (NOC) for import of ships for recycling. Lockdown extended till 31 May 2020.

The Department of Shipping have issued Circular No 09/2020 GUIDELINES FOR ENSURING A SAFE SHIPBOARD INTERFACE BETWEEN SHIP AND SHORE-BASED PERSONNEL DURING CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) PANDEMIC for vessels discharging cargo at  the anchorages of the Ports Chittagong, Mongla and Payra in Bangladesh, during COVID-19 Pandemic. The Guidelines include:

As vessels are discharging cargo at Kutubdia and Chattogram anchorage by Ship-to-Ship /lighterage operation as customary practice, to continue the supply chain and not to impede ship operation during the COVID-19 pandemic, Ship Masters are requested to comply with the following additional measure while working by shore labour (stevedoring gang) remaining onboard during the operation:

  • The Master to hose down/ disinfect the deck prior to boarding by stevedore gang;
  • The crew to wear PPE when going on deck during cargo operation until the stevedores disembark;
  • Master to make arrangements so that the stevedore gangs can disinfect their shoes on boarding the vessel;
  • The stevedore gang members to wear face mask and gloves at all times during their work
  • All the stevedore gang members to be provided with safe space on deck outside the accommodation for them to stay on board till completion of discharge;
  • The Master should make arrangements for fresh drinking water for them to drink and prepare their food during their stay;
  • The Master should make arrangements for toilet facilities for the stevedores during their stay on board;
  • Master should hose down/ disinfect the deck upon disembarkation of stevedores.

4 September status - On arrival in Bangladesh, all foreign nationals are required to produce a medical certificate issued within 72 hours of travel indicating the passenger is COVID-19 negative.
You will need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival if travelling from a coronavirus affected country. Health officials at the point of entry to Bangladesh will assess whether passengers are able to self-quarantine or need to be taken to a government facility. From 26 July, all foreign nationals departing from Bangladesh are required to provide a COVID-19 test certificate issued within 72 hours of travel indicating the passenger is COVID-19 negative. This test certificate must be issued by one of the hospitals listed on the official Civil Aviation Authority of Bangladesh website. You are exempt from this requirement if you have spent less than 14 days in Bangladesh or you are under the age of 10.

Commercial passenger flights from the UK, Malaysia, Turkey, the UAE, Qatar, Sri Lanka, China and the Maldives are now permitted to land in Bangladesh. Note that flight schedules are subject to change at short notice and you should monitor travel arrangements closely.

The temporary suspension of international passenger flights from: Bahrain, Bhutan, Hong Kong, India, Kuwait, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Thailand remains in force.

(Above is based on UK Travel Advisory dated 4 September 2020) 

According to North P&I club as at 4th August, crew changes for foreign and own nationals are permitted subject to the crew members being tested for COVID-19 prior to embarking. Crew disembarking the vessels will initially be placed in quarantine, on testing negative for COVID-19 they will be permitted to travel home.  Foreign crew embarking on vessels in Bangladesh are required to have a COVID-19 Free Health Certificate issued within 72 hours of travel. The certificate must be submitted to the immigration counter at the entry port. Crew embarking or disembarking cannot stay of move anywhere in the country except between the vessel and  hotels or airports.

Travel restrictions may make internal travel or leaving Bangladesh difficult.

Crew members requiring medical assistance are allowed to visit a Doctor ashore (taking appropriate COVID-19 precautions) or the Doctor is allowed to visit the crew member onboard the vessel. This is only permitted when the crew members have undergone COVID-19  screening by the Port Health Officer and Medical Team of the Port Authority on arrival of the vessel.

Chittagong Port Authority has acquired a Sea ambulance for transportation of non-COVID sick or injured crew member from vessels at the anchorages to Chittagong Port Authority Hospital.

*Source: North P&I Club 


General: Since 18 March,  Belgium has banned non-essential travel abroad. Goods and services can still be transported across the border. Please refer her for more information about what constitutes essential and non-essential travels. 

*Antwerp: All incoming ships must present a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDH), which the master must submit 24 hours before entering the port, stating whether there are any actual or suspected cases of illness on board together with a list of the last ten ports. The ship is checked for this by Saniport. If there are any suspicions, the ship may be obliged to remain off the coast and a doctor may go on board. The ship will not get a pilot and will not be permitted to enter port.

The Port of Antwerp Covid-19 Taskforce [has] confirmed on 23 March that the port remains 100% operational thanks to the daily efforts and commitment of all employees.

Handling on the terminals is going ahead normally, there is sufficient manpower available to deal with cargo, and drivers are arriving and departing without too much delay.

However, several points for attention are being monitored, including:

  • The different approaches of Belgium and the Netherlands. Port of Antwerp is served by Flemish and Dutch pilots. The Dutch position starts from a controlled contamination, while the Flemish standard is much stricter.
  • Manpower: at the moment everything is under control. The availability and allocation of employees is essential for correct functioning of all port services. In addition, fall-back scenarios are being drawn up to assure continuity of service.*

20 March - Directorate-General for Shipping Policy support issued instructions for crew leaving ships and crew change in Belgian ports. In short, they are as follows: 

  • Crew Change: due to travel restrictions in Belgium and other European countries, change of crew in Belgian ports is difficult at this time. Recommended: no crew change in Belgian ports. If the maximum time of crew members on board is about to exceed, please contact the flag State administration for further instructions
  • Shore Leave: crew members are still allowed to leave the ship during their stay in a Belgian port. However they have to be compliant with the current Belgian measures. This means that they are not allowed to leave the vessel in group, maximum two persons at the time and always keep a distance of 1,5 meter.
  • General Recommendations: all crew members to stay on board us much as possible and to avoid any contact with local inhabitants as much as possible. 

On a similar note was issued guidelines for behaviour and work at the Port of Antwerp. Of notable interest were the following points:

  • Documents are to be shared digitally or at gangway level.
  • Port personnel to avoid accommodation including the ships office

The Belgian Maritime Inspectorate issued circular 2020/002 offering extensions in terms of certifications required by Belgian-flagged ships as well as seafarers required under the various IMO and ILO (MLC) Conventions. 

6 May - Easing of restrictions started on 11 May and more restrictions are expected to be lifted on 8th June but borders remain closed.

29 May - According to GAC Hot Port News, Belgian immigration authorities are issuing Schengen visa for third-country crew members.

17 August - The Belgian Director-General for Mobility and Transport informed IMO ( via IMO circular letter no. 4255/Add.1)  on 7 July that crew changes are allowed as they have designated seafarers as key workers. Also available is an updated version dated 6 August of BMI circular 2020/002 on certification as well as the Belgian authorities' take on extension of seafarers' SEA agreement on board via circular 2020-005

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club 


27 March - *Nаtіоnаlѕ аnd реrѕоnѕ whо hаvе trаvеllеd wіthіn thе lаѕt 30 dауѕ frоm Сhіnа, Ноng Коng, Іrаn, Јараn, Republic of Коrеа, аnd Еurоре wіll bе рrоhіbіtеd еntrу іntо Веlіzе.

7 April - All borders were closed on 21 March for a period of 30 days. Since 23 March, Philip Goldson International Airport has been closed to international passenger flights. A curfew is in effect from 20:00 to 05:00.

21 April - The 20:00 to 05:00 curfew will remain in force until 30 April*

24 April - According to information from the Department of Immigration all visa application are suspended except for emergency cases.

4 May - Country is in lockdown and  state of emergency until 30th June. The curfew from 20:00 to 05:00 remains in effect. Borders remain closed.

30 June - The Administration of the International Merchant Marine Registry of Belize (IMMARBE) informing IMO (circular letter no. 4306 dated 25 June)  of the COVID-19 measures taken to-date.

30 July -IMMARBE informing IMO ( circular letter no. 4306/Add.1 dated 22 July 2020) of the updated measures taken for COVID-19 situation, in particular for ship's mandatory surveys, audits and dry-docking extension. 

5 Oct - IMMARBE issued a revised MMN-20-003r3 (version 3) on 23 September 2020 (via IMO circular letter no. 4306/Add.2), granting 3 months extension from the date of the dry-docking extension authorisation and issue of electronic certificates. 

All land borders are still closed. The Philip Goldson International Airport ( Belize City) is open effective 1 October but with restricted entry and strict protocols in place. Entry to Belize is restricted with different requirements for the following groups:

  • Belize nationals, permanent residents and foreign diplomats accredited to Belize
  • Persons with business concerns in Belize (non-work permits)
  • Foreign second home owners, Qualified Retired Persons and long term stay non-nationals
    Foreign Tourists

For the latest available news on visas, please go to the Department of Immigration and Travel Belize

*Source: North P&I Club


*20 March -  The Benin government has decided to restrict entry and exit at its land borders, effective from 19 March. Only crossing judged necessary will be allowed. Quarantine will be automatically applied to any person attempting to not follow the restrictions.

Visas will be restricted. Government reserve their rights to deny visa to any applicants as from now until further notice. All travelers arriving in Benin by flight will be conveyed automatically and compulsorily to quarantine zones for 14 days.

Quarantine zones are hotels requisitioned by government. Quarantine costs are on foreign travellers’ account.

26 March: Cotonou port is still working 24/24 for the moment, vessels still enter the port and continue working but crew changes are not allowed for any vessels alongside or at the anchorage. Stevedores are advised by the Port Authorities to wear protective gloves and masks and restrict their contact with the crew to the strict minimum – also hands washing from time to time is recommended. All maritime agencies, banks and government offices are working.

28 March: All Masters of vessels calling Cotonou port must transmit to the following documents to Harbour Master through their appointed ship agent, 48 hours prior to vessel arrival at Cotonou Roads:

  • 10 last port of call list
  • Memorandum stating the whole crew health status
  • Crew list (Crew list must show place and date of embarkation)

No vessel is allowed to berth without transmission of the listed documents above during the period stated above.

After vessel berthing, sanitary officials will board for health and sanitary inspection.  No person allowed to board the vessel or disembark from the vessel prior to completion of the sanitary inspection and delivery of free pratique by sanitary officials.  Cargo operations will commence only after free pratique duly is delivered to vessel.

During a call at Cotonou port:

  • Crew members are no longer allowed to go ashore; the delivery of shore passes is suspended.
  • All crew or passengers who embarked a vessel less than 14 days prior vessel arrival/berthing at Cotonou port should be self-isolated, quarantined and remain on board until the vessel leaves Cotonou port.
  • Crew change (crew embarkation & disembarkation) at berth or anchorage is suspended until further notice.
  • Cruise and passenger vessels port calls are no longer allowed until further notice.

31 March: The port is open and operates 24/7 and there is no lack of stevedores.

12 May - Crew change (crew embarkation & disembarkation) at berth or anchorage is suspended until further notice. No information is available for medical assistance to be offered. *

1 July: GAC Hot Port News reports that crew change is allowed under the following conditions:

  • The vessel must have commercial operations at Cotonou port and must be alongside in the port
  • Joiners must prove a negative COVID-19 test result – copies of the test result to be provided to the port authorities before embarkation is allowed
  • Off-signers have two options:
  1. if booked on a direct flight to leave Benin the same day as disembarkation, they will be transported direct from the port to the airport
  2. if the flight is a different day, a COVID-19 must be done and the off-signers will be isolated in a hotel at their own cost awaiting the result before being allowed to leave

*Source: North P&I Club 


15 April - Travel ban to non-residents from 20 March unless the person is

  • is a resident of Bermuda or a dependent who has permission to reside in Bermuda,
  • is a crew member of a cargo or commercial aircraft,
  • cargo ship, or
  • has written permission of the Quarantine Authority of Bermuda to enter.

Anyone entering Bermuda shall comply with the requirements under the Quarantine Act 2017 and the Public Health Act 1949; namely either quarantine (14 days) or self quarantine ( only minors or for medical reasons) with public health supervision.

All persons entering Bermuda, residents, visitors, and crew, will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days from arrival. Visitors and crew may depart Bermuda based on their travel itinerary if shorter than 14 days if they remain asymptomatic.

23 April - State of emergency extended to 30th June 2020 as per announcement made by the Bermuda government. 

5 May - Border closed. Non-essential ships are not allowed to enter the seaport. Travel ban still in place. A phased re-opening was initiated 2 May, however crew change will probably not be possible until phase 4 of the planned reopening.

4 September - Bermuda entered into phase 4 re-opening on 1 July 2020 where LF Wade International Airport is open for commercial flights. To enter the country, one must apply for a Bermuda Travel Authorisation 1-3 days before departure. Travellers must follow the requirements set-out in the Quarantine (COVID-19) (No.3) Order 2020.  See quick guide to the traveller's quarantine requirements as at 6 August 2020 and also COVID-19 information page. However, crew member of a cargo ship is exempted from the requirements of the Quarantine Order ( ref: paragraph 4.1(b)(ii)) if crew member is staying in Bermuda for less than 24 hours and quarantined in the room throughout the whole period ( ref: paragraph 4. 3 of the Quarantine Order). A ship and its crew members on transit are also exempted from the requirements of the said Order (ref: paragraph 21) and if needed to do crew transfer, is required to notify the Bermuda Maritime Authority.  

Paragraph 21 - Ship in transit ( relevant extract)
"A conveyance operator of a ship and the crew who, for purposes of regulation 8 of the Quarantine (Maritime and Air) Regulations 2017, have entered Bermuda on transit

  • anchor or berth the ship at a location approved by the Quarantine
  • remain confined to the ship for the duration of the transit stop, except in the case of crew transfer; and
  • clearly display on the ship a yellow quarantine flag.


The conveyance operator who, for purposes of the ship and crew, needs to perform crew transfer or take on fuel, food or water shall notify Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre of the need. "

 Please refer to Government of Bermuda for updates.

Source: * North P&I Club 


23 April - A  lockdown announced and entered into force on 27 March and will apply until 30 April.  Saba Island will be closed for visitors and non-essential travel when it went into mandatory lockdown on 12 April. This goes for both the harbor and the airport. Cargo boats will however be allowed to operate.  Passengers ships calls are temporarily suspended. Cargo-, repair-, bunker-, load/discharge calls remain possible as normal. Off port attendance to remain as normal (exception: crew changes). All ports in Bonaire are open as normal.

An additional Marine Health Declaration form has to be submitted in addition to standard pre-arrival docs.

The flight bans for travellers from high-risk areas will be extended until April 28, 2020 18:00 hours. 

28 May -  Update status : state of emergency ordinance declared for 15 May till 31 May 2020. Closure of their airspace till 15th June for all passenger flights from Europe, US and any other countries having a high risk of the Coronavirus spread. Docking ban also applies to cruise ships. Cargo vessels can still moor in Bonaire. No disembarking of crew though.

Useful links



According to an announcement from ANVISA (Brazilian Health Regulatory Agency), all foreign flagged ships are required to go through a medical evaluation prior to issuing the mandatory certificate of free pratique. See the original release.

Local restrictions for the ports of Paranagua and Antonina: Port Service Order 012/20

Latest news from Brazilian health authorities

20 March - referring to port operations, the Ministry of Infrastructure classified logistics services as essential for the country, reporting that measures will be adopted to safeguard the stevedores and workers on site, guaranteeing the vessels operations.  The health authorities’ procedures remain the same, with the master reporting medical conditions on board upon arrival at anchorage, aiming to obtain the free pratique. Vessel’s with possible cases of Coronavirus, will be submitted to quarantine and the infected crew member moved to a hospital for treatment.

23 March  - The Port of Acu issued an official notification  informing that their port remains operational. Please refer to Port of Acu's website/press releases for updates. Please also view the port's best practices,  providing amongst others the following: 

  • Domestic and international travel, institutional visits and face-to-face meetings are prohibited by nearly all ports, with some specific exceptions. This standard was also adopted by the Port of Açu.
  • For cargo operations, the port is implementing measures so that there is still maritime access, docking and cargo operations with contingency action plan. 
  • The port will follow protocols set by ANVISA with regard to treatment of ships with suspected or actual contamination cases

24 March: all major ports, airports and land corridors are open and functioning normally, amid government guarantees to protect the workers and ensure the continuity of cargo operations and logistics services during the pandemic. There are no reports of port congestion or delays in bunker supply and cargo delivery. The transit of seafarers (for shore leave and crew change) is restricted or is not permitted in some ports and terminals.

30 March - ANVISA issued Technical Note 34 ( original) and in English, advising, amongst others, the measures for ships - Please see new Technical note on 16th April below.

31 March - Interministerial Ordinance n° 152, issued on 27 March 2020, provides for the 30-day travel ban to commence on 30 March 2020 and applies to individuals of all nationalities, except those falling into one of the following categories:

  • Brazilian citizens and residents
  • Foreign professionals employed by a non-governmental aid organisation recognised by the Brazilian government
  • Foreign officials accredited by the Brazilian government
  • Spouse, partner or immediate family member of a Brazilian citizen
  • Foreign nationals whose entrance into Brazil is deemed by the government to be in the public interest
  • Bearers of the National Migration Registry (RMN)
  • Foreign travellers in transit (providing they do not leave the transit area and the country of destination admits their entry)
  • Flight crews

The travel ban does not apply to air cargo transport or technical landings for refuelling when there is no need to disembark foreign passengers.

A foreigner who is in one of the land border countries and needs to cross the border to Brazil to catch a flight back home may exceptionally be authorised by the Federal Police (immigration authority) to enter the country as long as directly to the airport to board the flight.

There is no bar for passengers to depart on commercial flights from Brazil; however, given the restriction on the entry of foreigners in many countries, the availability of international flights will probably decline substantially.

Crew change and shore leave

  • On 26 March 2020, the government placed an 30-day ban, with immediate effect, on the disembark of all foreign crew members arriving at Brazilian ports and points of entry, except those seeking medical assistance or in an air connection to their country of origin. No shore leave will be issued.
  • In view of the temporary prohibition of entry by air of non-resident foreign nationals imposed on 27 March and beginning on 30 March 2020, embarking of crew members in Brazil will also not be possible for at least the next 30 days.
  • Note however that local restrictions on the movement of crew members remain in force across all Brazilian ports where disembark is currently only allowed for emergency medical assistance.

16 April -ANVISA issued Technical Note 47 ( original) and in English (free translation), replacing Technical Note advising, amongst others, the measures for ships:

  • Provide a copy of the medical logbook when applying for the free pratique certificate
  • Carefully fill out the WHO Maritime Declaration of Health as it will be strictly reviewed by the authority before health clearance
  • Cargo vessels arriving from overseas may only berth and operate provided no crew member disembarks for 14 days from vessel’s departure from the last foreign port of call, except where the landing of a crew member is essential to the operation
  • Vessel crews must maintain minimum contact and keep a distance from shore workers
  • Persons working on or visiting foreign vessels, including shore workers and pilots, should wear PPE as directed by ANVISA
  • Supply of water and stores and removal of solid residues and effluents requires ANVISA’s prior approval
  • No symptomatic crew member will be allowed to embark on the vessel

In case of a COVID-19 event during the voyage or during the port stay:

  • No crew member will not be allowed ashore, not even for vessel or cargo operation, for 14 (fourteen) days from the onset of symptoms of the latter case, except for medical evacuation
  • Symptomatic Brazilian crew members may be allowed to disembark for home quarantine upon conditions
  • Vessels with a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 may not be allowed to leave the port. The continuity of the vessel’s operation will be assessed by ANVISA
  • The suspected crew member should be isolated, ideally in a cabin, and wear a mask until ANVISA determine whether the infected person will be quarantined onboard or moved to a referral hospital. In case of quarantine on board, the recommendations laid out in ANVISA’s “Protocol for Quarantine of ships with confirmed case of COVID-19″ should be followed.

Ship Sanitation certificates - Renewals and extensions of ship sanitation certificates (SSC) must be booked in advance due to disruptions in public services, mainly in ANVISA offices covering ports in remote locations. Currently, SSC renewals are suspended, and ANVISA is only granting 30-day extensions. Vessels with an expired SSC will not be granted free pratique

22 April - Travel ban still in effect, borders still closed unless it is a foreigner who is in one of the land border countries and needs to cross the border to Brazil to catch a flight back home may exceptionally be authorised by the Federal Police (immigration authority) to enter the country as long as directly to the airport to board the flight. Note however that travel ban and border shutdown do not affect sea freights hence access to ports and cargo operations are continuing as normal with proper health measures in place and only essential workers available. Crew change and shore leave as above still in force. 

29 April  - According to North P&I Club, Admiralty Court has extended the suspension of procedural deadlines until 15 May 2020. Presential judgement sessions and hearings are also suspended till 15 May 2020. A judgement session via video conference was held by the Admiralty Court for the first time. 

1 May - According to Interministerial ordinance no. 201/2020 , crew disembarkation will be allowed in the following circumstances:

  • Crew is Brazilian residents or citizens; and 
  • the crew will be repatriated the same day

5 May - According to North P&I Club, even though crew changes for Brazilian nationals are permitted, restrictions on international travel make this difficult. Crew changes for foreign nationals not permitted only in exceptional cases and the crew is required to board a flight on the same day as disembarking from the vessel. 

15 May - Anvisa's Technical Note 86, Portuguese and English (free translation)  providing information on how repatriation of foreigners who have disembarked from ships or remain in quarantine should be effected. The Secretariat for National Sovereignty and Citizenship affairs (MRE) is the authority issuing the approval which will then spearhead the repatriation process. 

The Port Health authorities have just published Resolution (RDC no. 384), Portuguese and English (free translation)  on 12 May providing a temporary document analysis procedure for the issuance of the ship sanitation certificates ( SSCEC)  for ships during this COVID-19 outbreak. 

Anvisa has also established some procedures, also in English free text on embarkation and disembarkation of crew members. 

There has been been further lockdowns imposed on certain cities for a limited period. eg, State of Ceara declaring it up to 20 May for the city of Fortaleza and terminals located within this area are Mucruipe and Pecern where non-essential services are to be suspended except relating to transportation of cargo. 

28 May- A new Interministerial Ordinance no 255 of 22 May 2020 ( original and free English text)  was issued extending 30 days the ban on the entry of non-resident foreign nationals in Brazil. In essence, it is still not possible to change or repatriate crew in Brazil except for medical evacuation or for air connection to return to country of origin relating to operational issues or termination of employment contract.  Also, the crew is  required to board a flight on the same day as disembarking the vessel. Crew changes for Brazilian nationals are permitted but according to North P&I club, restrictions on internal travel make this difficult. 

5 June-  The Brazilian Navy, Directorate of Ports and Coasts providing temporary measures (via IMO circular letter no. 2466) relating to the extension of validity of seafarers' certificates and ships. 

17 June - According to information from Promare provided by Westshore shipbrokers, seafarers are exempted from the entry restrictions in Brazil.

4 August -  Brazil has officially re-opened its borders effective immediately, July 29, 2020 to foreigners with certain restrictions in accordance with the Brazilian ordinance (in Portuguese and unofficial English translation) published on 29 July 2020.  

Westshore Shipbrokers has provided the following summary / interpretation with regard to this new regulation: 

  • The Federal Government authorized the reopening of air borders for foreigners to enter Brazil. 
  • Foreign passengers will be able to visit Brazil for up to 90 days providing present proof of purchase of health insurance valid for the entire period of the trip. 
  • The decree opens the airspace, but maintains restrictions for land transit at the borders or in waterway transportation for another 30 days. 
  • It also maintains a ban on international flights to some airports: in the states of Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraíba, Rondônia, Rio Grande do Sul and Tocantins. 
  • The entry of foreigners into Brazil was banned in late March due to the pandemic of the new coronavirus. Initially, the ban was for 30 days, but ended up being extended several times. 
  • The restriction does not apply to Brazilians, to immigrants with permanent residence in Brazilian territory, foreign professionals on a mission serving an international organization, foreign employees accredited to the Brazilian government, spouse, partner, son, father or curator of a Brazilian, foreigners whose entry is specifically authorized by the Brazilian government in view of the public interest or for humanitarian reasons, and holder of a National Migration registry.
  • Maritime crew members who perform specific functions on board a vessel or platform operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters will also be exempted from restrictions either by air or waterway.
  • Disembarkation of maritime crew however is only allowed for medical assistance or for repatriation, amid operational issues or end of employment contract and must be authorized by the Federal Police.

31 August - Information received from Westshore Shipbrokers as follows: 

  1. Any crew member found tested COVID-19 positive may find the ship entering into a 14-day quarantine imposed by the local authorities. As experience shows,  the local health authorities tend to impose immediate restrictions on ships, causing operational delays and until PCR results are available which can take up to 48 hours. 
  2. Airlines are demanding for the submission of COVID-19 tests at the time of signing-off crew that are checking in and if not available, the crew will not be allowed to travel. 
  3. Important to note that each port authority in Brazil has their own rules and demands which can change at short notice depending on the number of COVID-19 cases received at that point in time which requires urgent measures to be taken to deal with the situation. 

29 September - According to information received from Westshore Shipbrokers is the following precautions imposed by ANVISA for 30 days counting from 24 September:

  •  Foreigners entry into Brazil is restricted with some exceptions:
    •  Brazilian citizens
    • Immigrants with permanent residency
    • Shipping crew on domestic vessels and offshore platforms
    • Disembarking crew for repatriation

30 September - With gratitude to Westshore Shipbrokers, have the list of useful links been updated with information on international flights

For more information please refer to the following sources:


18 May - The Maritime and Port Authority of Brunei (MPABD) has declared via an IMO letter No. 4291 issued on 12 May 2020, that they have adopted the IMO guidelines to implement the necessary measures to ensure flow of essential services as well as safeguarding the welfare of seafarers. 

For details on sign-on of crew, please refer to MPABD BC/02/2020

Via MPABD BC/03/2020, ships registered under the Brunei flag are allowed to enter the country after travelling from other countries as long as there are no crew changes or shore leave taken prior to entering. Crews will have to undergo self-monitoring at own residence for 14 days. 

For ships registered outside of Brunei or ships which have new crews from international ports, the crews will be subjected to 14 days self-isolation in ships before entering Brunei. 

Documentation required from ships at least 48 hours prior to arrival is as follows: 

  • Latest Maritime Declaration of Health
  • Valid Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate ( SCCEC)
  • Crew list and/or passenger list
  • List of port of calls within the last 14 days prior to arrival. 


Mandatory requirement to provide information of any crew boarding the ship from international waters for the past 14 days prior to ship arrival. The required information is the crew name, date, and port of boarding, etc., which is part of the health declaration.

The agent must monitor the local electronic clearance system for comments published and in case the ship is not approved by the health inspectorate due to potential threat etc., the representative(s) of heath and border police authorities will board the ship first for health inspection. They should wear protective equipment and perform thermo-scanning of the crew by a contact-free thermometer to avoid any clearance delays.

Ship agents shall receive instructions prohibiting the crew to disembark the ship and/ or limit any human contacts with crew and passengers on board minimum 14 days from the last voyage originating from any of high risk considered territories (see below). The instructions /prescriptions must be duly relayed to Captain/ crew and all authorities concerned. The instructions shall bear prescriptions of how the loading-discharging operations should be done, under minimal human contact and with mandatory PPE protection 

Measures should be inserted in field “Remarks” in the Government vessel electronic clearance system

Health inspectors are first to board the ship for a detailed inspection and temperature measure of crew and passengers.

For crew arriving via domestic airports, there are thermo-cameras installed which do the necessary screening

During the ship’s stay, in case any of the crew is showing symptoms corresponding to these of coronavirus, the agent must be immediately informed to alarm and act as per the instructions received from health inspectorate. 

Territories considered as a primary source for COVID-19 transmission: China, Italy, Iran and Korea. 

15 April - **State of Emergency declared by the Bulgarian government extended to 13 May 2020. Travel ban imposed through all borders crossings by air, sea, rail and road: 

  • on third-country (non-EU) nationals.
  • US citizens
  • all travelers arriving from the following EU Member States and Schengen countries: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom including Northern Ireland.

Exceptions to the travel ban includes transits made and " transport personnel engaged in the carriage of goods, crews of aircraft engaged in commercial air transport and other transport personnel as necessary"** 

27 May - According to information provided by the European Commission, the travel restrictions are still in place. Maritime crew is excepted from these provisions. Ships arriving from countries with confirmed COVID-19 cases must be isolated 14 days before berthing.

28 May- According to North P&I Club, no crew changes are permitted. Information regarding medical assistance is not available presently. The Bulgarian National Operational Headquarters is proposing  to abolish the 14-day quarantine for those arriving in Bulgaria from 1 June, together with easing of restrictions already taking place on 27 May. 

Useful links:
Bulgaria official COVID-19 page



30 April - *Government has made no restrictions to carry out crew changes either a country’s own national or foreign nationals. The issue is the non-availability of flights in / out of the country. Local ports are allowing crew medical treatment for non-covid19 injuries and illness*

25 August - According to UK Government travel advice page today,  commercial flights are operating to and from Cambodia. All foreigners entering the country will be subject to a COVID-19 test upon arrival as well as requiring a COVID-negative test before flying.

In addition, the following is required:  

  1. Get a visa - visa exemption policy visa on arrival arrangements suspended indefinitely. The Interior Ministry’s General Department of Immigration has recently announced that it will deny visa extensions for foreigners who are not registered on the Foreigners Present in Cambodia System (FPCS) by 1 July 2020. 
  2. Possess a medical certificate, no longer than 72 hours prior to date of arrival stating that you do not have COVID-19
  3. Proof of insurance that includes a minimum of US $50,000 for medical cover 

The government is now imposing charges on foreign arrivals for lab testing, medical treatment and accommodation under health measures to prevent a second wave of COVID-19 transmission in Cambodia. All passengers are required to deposit US$3000 for COVID-19 service charges at the airport and remainder of deposit returned  after the relevant services have been performed. 

The service fees are listed as below:

  • US$5 for transport from the airport to waiting centre, US$100 for one COVID-19 test, US$30 for overnight stay at hotel or waiting centre and US$30 for 3 meals a day while waiting for test result.
  • If one passenger tests positive for COVID-19, all those on the same flight will be quarantined for 14 days. Each passenger will have to pay US$100 for a COVID-19 test and US$84 a day to pay for the stay in a hotel or quarantine facility, (the charge includes meals, laundry, sanitary services, doctors and security services).
  • For a COVID-19 positive patient, they will be charged US$100 per COVID-19 test (maximum four tests), and US$225 a day for hospital room, medical treatment service, meals, laundry and sanitary services. In addition, in case of death the cremation service charge is US$1,500.
  • If issuance of a COVID-19 health certificate is required, for example for future travel, foreign nationals will need to pay US$100 for a lab test and US$30 for the certificate.

The Cambodia-Laos, Cambodia-Thailand and Cambodia-Vietnam land borders remain closed.

*Source: North P&I Club


According to a circular issued by the Port Authorities of Cameroon, all ships calling from countries at risk (not otherwise specified) must wait at outside port limits for a minimum of 14 days, before medical evaluation. A positive evaluation is required before berthing is permitted. Please see the  original release.

24 March - *Cameroon closed its borders to all passengers from 18 March 2020. Announcing the measures, Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute said: “All passenger flights from abroad will be suspended except for cargo flights and ships carrying daily consumer goods as well as essential goods and materials, whose stopover times will be limited and supervised.”

28 May - Crew change is not possible in Douala as airports in Cameroon are closed.  However, crew change of a country’s own national is not prohibited. Douala port allows crew medical treatment for non-COVID 19 injuries and illnesses.*

*Source:North P&I Club





Transport Canada issued Marine Security Notice #2020-003 giving temporary measures to all foreign flagged ships, in particular pre-arrival information 96 and 24 hours requirements on health conditions of crew members and passengers.  The said notice has also similar measures, though less stringent for domestic ships.  

25 March- The Canadian government has announced that all borders are closed to all foreign nationals except US citizens until 30 June 2020. According to information provided at the Canadian Governments website, airline or marine crew members are exempted.   

20 April - Canada Transport issued ship safety bulletin 09/2020 advising on the mobility of asymptomatic workers in the marine sector during COVID-19. In summary as follows: 

  • Exemptions granted to marine sector workers who have to travel to Canada to perform duties and to board international flights destined to Canada except if they are symptomatic with COVID-19 signs. This information has been disseminated to all airline carriers. 
  • Similarly, crews on foreign vessels in Canada, who must disembark to return home, must be asymptomatic and are permitted to transit to the nearest airport for the purpose of crew change-over.
  • Operators should arrange local transport for crew members that avoids large groups, crowded areas, and public transit.
  • Shore leave that is essential and is not optional or for a discretionary purpose ( such as tourism, recreation or entertainment) may be granted to an asymptomatic seafarer of a ship. This shore leave is not to exceed four hours in duration. Therefore, shore leave will not be granted for optional or discretionary purposes.
  • A complete ban on shore leave in the Canadian Arctic until 31 December 2020 except crews that are resident of Arctic and northern communities. 
  • Though there is a mandatory requirement for anyone entering Canada from a foreign country to self-isolate for 14 days upon entry ( entered into force on 25 March 2020), crews on marine vessels amongst others are exempted. However, it is highly recommended that the exempted groups still take preventive measures and closely self-monitor.

5 May - For Asian Gypsy Moth ( AGM) inspections, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is to conduct non-compliant inspections (at anchorage) and import inspections at a particular rate based on risk. Other measures may include requesting additional information prior to inspections to reduce the amount of time spent on a vessel and interacting with crew.

4 June -Following measures in place: 

  • News release on 3 June and of relevance to marine sector is "Issue guidance recommending that all workers in the marine transportation sector have in their possession a face covering, and recommend that face coverings be worn using a risk-based approach specific to the unique circumstances of the workplace, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, and/or when local authorities require it". Transport Canada will be issuing a ship safety bulletin on this.
  • Cruise ships with overnight accommodations allowed to carry more than 100 persons are prohibited from operating in Canadian waters until October 31, 2020.
  • As of July 1, 2020, all other passenger vessels must follow provincial, territorial, local and regional health authority requirements for timelines and processes to resume operations.  For more details, read press release dated 29 May 2020 

6 July - Transport Canada has issued on 30 June, Ship Safety Bulletin (SSB) No. : 18/2020 giving guidance on how crew change can be facilitated including controlled shore leave bearing in mind that these workers have to be asymptomatic as no traveller can board a flight/enter Canada if otherwise.  Asymptomatic seafarers are also exempted from the mandatory requirement to self-isolate for 14 days. This bulletin replaces SSB No.09/2020.

Useful links



30 March update: According to information provided by Chilean authorities, the Chilean borders are closed from 18th March but will not affect the entry and exit of cargo and associated personnel, in order to guarantee the normal supply of goods and services in our country. For those who come from high risk places, they will be able to enter our country undergoing Sanitary Customs and a mandatory quarantine of 14 days. No cruise ships will be allowed to call at Chilean ports.  According to S5 Agency World, crew change in/out are not allowed and some ports have established security measures and own protocols to protect their workers. Some ports also do not allow shore leave. 

Information on any suspected cases should be forwarded to the relevant authority. Please see the original release (in Spanish)

25 May- Via IMO circular letter no. 4273, the Government of Chile informed that measures have been implemented to protect crew and stevedores and, at the same time, efficiently carry out loading and unloading, arrival and departure manoeuvrings, logistic supply, among others. Extensions are granted for certificates of maritime personnel as well as inspection, certification and survey of ships from flag States and also port States. 

18 August - Crew change is allowed subject to these requirements, kindly provided by IMEC (The International Maritime Employers' Council) as at 29 July 2020.

20 August - Chile is under a daily nationwide curfew from 10:00 pm to 5:00 am beginning Friday, August 21, curfew will start at 11:00 pm. The use of face coverings is mandatory in all urban areas, nation-wide. The Chilean government extended the existing state of emergency on June 16 for an additional 90 days ( Decree 269 Spanish and unofficial English translation). Note however that there are additional regulations, e.g., quarantines, imposed on communes level. 

Useful links:
Chilean Maritime Directorate
Government of Chile
Ministry of Health, Chile
US Embassy in Chile



For certain regions in China:

According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, China is temporarily suspending entry of all foreign nationals effective from 00.00 28 March with the following visa exceptions:

  • Diplomatic
  • Service
  • Courtesy
  • C (maritime and airline crew)

15 April -* China Maritime Safety Administration (MSA) has issued new guidance for crew changes and a summary has been provided courtesy of HuaTai Insurance Agency. *

22 April -  The Ministry of transport taking into account the IMO recommendation to governments to allow for crew change, has issued a notice ( in Mandarin) which in accordance with Hua Tai reporting, requires shipping companies and seafarers' manning agencies to carry out risk assessment on crew change, providing amongst others, a crew disembarkation plan and providing the relevant health information of the crew members. Shipping companies or manning agents shall be responsible for reporting the relevant information to the local health department and shall be responsible for cooperating with the health management for the sign-off seafarers. In addition, there may be local restrictions placed in some ports, e.g., some ports may require that the crew change must be carried out in daytime, or the crew change could only be carried out at the first Chinese port of call. In Zhoushan, the local authority announced that only crew of Zhoushan citizenship could disembark at the port. Further reported that Zhoushan, Shanghai, Haimen have effected some successful crew change cases. 

23 April - The Ministry of Transport together with the other relevant national authorities, has jointly issued a Notice on the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Situation of Ships on International Sailing Ships. The "Notice" requires that ships on international voyages should refer to the "Guidelines for the Prevention and Control of Epidemic Situation of Ship Crew"  (see guidelines in Mandarin and free English text) to carry out epidemic prevention and control, and implement on-board closure management. According to our BIMCO Shanghai office, this notice notably suggests all Chinese ports to facilitate Chinese crew disembarking if their health records on board are sound within the past 14 consecutive days and the ship has left the last port of calling over 14 days. As expected, the port in question will conduct their routine COVID-19 related check ups, including the nucleic acid testing. Besides, the Chinese crew shall be allowed to embark at the Chinese ports as long as the crew arrives at the designated ports coupled with sound customs quarantine check- ups. The said notice also requests Chinese overseas embassies to provide necessary consulate protection assistance with the Chinese crew, in particular, when it comes to invalid  visas, expiry of employment contracts and alike.

24 April -  *According to North P&I Club, crew changes involving Chinese nationals are now a simple matter. The Chinese government still however strictly controls non-Chinese crew’s landing and repatriation. If not for emergency situation, non-Chinese crew's landing and repatriation would be hard at present. In some Chinese ports, the surveyors’ attendance formalities are very strict and boarding pass shall be arranged in advance due to COVID regulation locally

7 May: The Chinese Maritime Safety Administration has issued guidelines for changing Chinese crew, highlighting that restrictions may apply if the seafarers are tested positive for COVID-19 or have spent less than 14 days since last departure before arriving at Chinese ports. The guidelines also contain provisions for cabotage voyages for foreign flagged ships.

20 May - The Chinese Ministry of Transport has issued the following guidance for shipping companies, ships and seafarers when berthing at Chinese ports ( received via IMO circular letter no. 4221): 

2 July -  The Chinese Ministry of Transport has issued Version 3 - Guidance on prevention and control of COVID-19 on board (via IMO circular letter no. 4221/Add.5).

17 Sept - Version 4 - Guidance on prevention and control of COVID-19 on board (via IMO circular letter no. 4221/Add. 6) has been just released by the Chinese Ministry of Transport.

8 October - GAC reported an opening for crew change in Shanghai. The local authorities permits crew change of foreign crew for humanitarian reasons. Details can be found in the GAC piece on the topic and in the official circular section 4.2 (In Chinese)

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club 

Hong Kong, SAR

According to Notice to all shipping agents in Hong Kong, dated 18 March, effective from 19 March and for a duration of three months, the local government is imposing 14 days quarantine to people arriving at Hong Kong from foreign places. Crew members are exempted from these quarantine regulations.

6 April- The Hong Kong Marine Department issues special arrangements with regard to accepting exemption documents or other relevant circular letters issued by the respective flag States during  port State control inspections, as well as allowing for extensions of SEAs and seafarers' certificates.

1 May - Crew changes are only permitted on vessels that have a scheduled trip to Hong Kong for cargo operations. Foreign nationals are required to leave Hong Kong as soon as possible after disembarkation. Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available. 

9 June - According to information provided by the Hong Kong Shipowners Association, seafarers from ships without scheduled cargo operations in Hong Kong will be exempted from quarantine restrictions. Crew change in Hong Kong can be facilitated under the following conditions:

  • Out-going crew members who have completed their service on board would be required to stay onboard the vessel during their stay in Hong Kong and travel directly to the airport for repatriation to their home countries so as to minimise contact with the local community.
  • In-coming crew members should only arrive Hong Kong when their vessels are berthed in Hong Kong and should get onboard immediately upon arrival. If there is a genuine need for them to stay in Hong Kong whilst awaiting to board, the shipping companies/agents should arrange for them an accommodation for self-isolation until getting onboard.
  • Point-to-point transfers should be arranged by the shipping companies/agents for crew members to and from the vessel.

See guidelines issued by the MARDEP, Hong Kong.

10 July - According to information provided by the local government, seafarers are exempted from the quarantine restrictions. 

GAC Hot Port News reports that inbound seafarers must present a negative test result taken not older than 48 hours prior to boarding the plane in the home country.

30 July -  With effect from 29th July until further notice, only goods vessels with cargo operation are allowed to enter the Hong Kong waters for crew change and exempted from compulsory quarantine. They should however comply with the following conditions: 

  1. Shipping companies/agents shall submit the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) and Estimated Time of Departure (ETD) of vessel together with the details of the sign-on and sign-off crew to be changed (including their names and flight schedules) 72 hours prior arrival of the vessel for the Marine Department (MarDep)’s approval;
  2. All crew members should remain on-board the vessels during the stay of the vessels in Hong Kong waters and should not get ashore;
  3. Out-going crew members who have completed their service on-board should stay onboard the vessel during their stay in Hong Kong andtravel directly to the airport for repatriation to their home countries so as to minimise contact with the local community;
  4. In-coming crew members should only arrive Hong Kong when their vessels are berthed in Hong Kong and should get onboard immediately upon arrival;
  5. Point-to -point transfers should be arranged by the shipping companies/agents for crew members to and from the vessel. Use of public transport including MTR, airport shuttle train and taxi for crew transfer is prohibited. Crew members should wear masks during the entire journey to and from the vessel;
  6. Crew members arriving Hong Kong at the Hong Kong International Airport to sign-on goods vessels must have a negative result of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid test at an ISO 15189-accredited laboratory or a laboratory recognised by the Government where the laboratory is located with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong;
  7. Shipping companies/agents should declare on a letter of certification that the crew member concerned has been tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid with the specimen collected within 48 hours prior to boarding the flight to Hong Kong. The letter should include an emergency local contact phone number for prompt contact with the concerned crew under emergency situation;
  8. The crew is required to present MarDep’s approval letter (as mentioned in (1)), the negative test report (as mentioned in (6)) and letter of certification (as mentioned in (7)) to staff of Department of Health (DH) when he/she enters Hong Kong. The shipping companies/agents should prepare at least one copy of the certification letter to be carried by each crew when arriving Hong Kong for submission to DH staff. Crew members who fail to present and submit the abovementioned documents to DH staff will be denied entry, and the shipping companies/agents concerned are required to arrange these crew members to fly back to their originating country(ies) forthwith;
  9. Shipping companies/agents should keep and if requested provide information on the transportation and logistics arrangement of the crew members (such as details of the flights taken by the crew concerned, licence plate number and driver details of the vehicles used to transfer the crew members, exact time and location of the picking up/setting down of the transfers, etc.) for ease of contact tracing;
  10. Shipping companies/agents must report to the MarDep immediately upon receipt of information of any COVID-19 positive cases of their seafarers; and
  11. Shipping companies/agents failing to comply with the above conditions and/or provide the required information will be denied future crew change for one month.

Since 8 July 2020, crew members of vessels entering Hong Kong via the Hong Kong International Airport were subject to a mandatory COVID-19 testing at the DH’s Temporary Specimen Collection Centre (TSCC). Starting from 29 July 2020, crew members of good vessels are also required to stay at the TSCC to wait for the test result

See Updated Summary Table of Quarantine Arrangement for Visiting Vessels (updated as at 28 July 2020) .

Latest press releases from the Hong Kong Center for health Protection.


21 April - The Ministry of Foreign Affairs ( MOFA) and the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced  on 17 April18 April and 14 April respectively the following:

  • all travellers who entered Taiwan on or before March 21, 2020, on a visitor visa, a landing visa, or through a visa-waiver program and who have not overstayed their legal stay period will now be granted a second automatic 30-day extension. No application is required. The total period of stay cannot exceed 180 days (The day after entry date will be counted as the first day of stay). These conditions are subject to change and may be adjusted as circumstances require.
  • beginning 00:00 Taipei Standard Time on April 21, inbound travelers who have visited Southeast Asia in the last 14 days (starting 00:00 Taipei Standard Time on April 7) should complete the COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice and confirm if their residence satisfies the home quarantine requirements before boarding. The new measure aims to help protect the health of the entire nation.  The CECC also announced that such inbound travelers should stay at a quarantine hotel after entering Taiwan if they live with people who are 65 years old or older, children 6 years old or under, persons with chronic diseases (such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes or lung diseases), or persons who don’t have a separate room (including a separate bathroom). Those who make a false health declaration will be fined up to NT$150,000.
  • beginning 00:00 Taipei Standard Time on April 18, inbound travelers who have visited Europe and the Americas in the last 14 days (starting 00:00 Taipei Standard Time on April 4) should voluntarily present documents for home quarantine requirements before boarding and stay at hotels for quarantine /self isolation as mentioned above.

From 19 March onwards, all foreign nationals are forbidden to enter Taiwan, except for those holding a residence permit, diplomatic official certifications, business performance certifications or other authorised persons.

All personnel accepted for entry must follow a 14 day period of home quarantine after entering Taiwan.

Foreign seafarers are not permitted to enter the country. However, Taiwanese seafarers are permitted and are required to undergo a 14 day home quarantine once they have entered the country. See news released from the Maritime and Port Bureau.

*A summary of present measures in force in Taiwan are:

  • Ports are open and operational with necessary restrictions
  • Crew changes are not permitted
  • Crew are  only permitted to leave the vessel in exceptional circumstances
  • For vessels that have called at a high risk area and have crew showing symptoms of COVID 19, the Master is to report this to Taiwan Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) via the local Agent immediately.*

7 May - On April 23, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced that it will extend restrictions on direct cross-strait flights and the ban on airline traveler transits through Taiwan.  This measure was originally scheduled to remain effective until April 29 while the transit ban was originally scheduled to be lifted on April 30. The CECC stated that when to lift the restrictions remains to be decided depending on the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic. CECC also announced that beginning 00:00 Taipei Standard Time on May 4, inbound travelers returning from overseas should complete the COVID-19 Health Declaration and Home Quarantine Notice and confirm if their residence satisfies the home quarantine requirements before boarding.

*According to North P&I Club, the following are measures in place with regards to crew change: 

  •  Taiwan seamen’s entry is allowed, subject to 14 days self- quarantine.
  •  Foreign seaman (PRC seaman is excluded) whose condition falls within one of the following can apply for permit on the ground of performing business contracts at port:
  •  Work on a Taiwan flagged vessel, or
  •  Work on a foreign flagged vessel  (PRC flagged vessel is excluded) owned by a Taiwan owner, or. Work on a vessel (PRC flagged vessel is excluded) that is being delivered or redelivered in Taiwan.
  • Foreign seaman who applies for permit for crew change at airport shall also fit for one of the above condition. Once the application is approved, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will issue temporary visa for 21 days.  Seamen shall undergo 14 days self-quarantine after entering into Taiwan. Exception: Seaman (Taiwan or foreign national) disembarks from a vessel only sailing Taiwan domestic route, or does not call at foreign ports for the past 30 days, only needs to carry out sell-health management during the stay in Taiwan.*

6 July -Taiwan relaxed entry rules for foreign nationals, Hong Kong and Macao residents starting 29 June : those who are eligible to enter and for reasons other than tourism or social visits, must present negative COVID-19 test result at check-in (taken within 3 days of boarding) and undergo 14-day home quarantine upon entry. However, crew members arriving on ships are exempted from taking test and/or presenting negative COVID-19 certificate. 

*For the crew injury or illness not connected to COVID-19, the owners’ agent shall report the issue to authorities including Immigration Agency and Center of Disease Control Taiwan for approval. Subject to the discretion of authorities, the crew can receive the medical treatment in hospital. Generally, the review of such applications will be on the points if the ill crew is in the fatal risk, whether the injury/symptoms of illness is serious and may lead to imminent danger and any concerns of deterioration onboard.

After treatment, the crew member must isolate for 14 days in a ‘quarantine hotel’. After 14 days, the crew member must be repatriated as soon as possible.* 

*Source: North P&I Club 

Useful links: 



Colombian Maritime Authority's measures: undertake an exhaustive verification by port health authority of health conditions of seafarers that have been recently to Asian ports.* If voyage has been less than 15 days, ships coming from China will be automatically quarantined by port health authority  to complete the 15 days incubation time as required. All crew changes must be reported in advance to the Colombian port authorities. Chinese crew must carry a medical report ( recent) and informed to State Health Authority in advance by agents and will be observed during their transfer. 

All seafarers while at port must wear mask, gloves inside forecastle and on deck.*

19 March - Close the maritime, land and river crossings of the borders with the Republic of Panama, Republic of Ecuador, Republic of Peru and the Federative Republic of Brazil from 00:00 on 17 March 2020 until 30 May 2020.

Exceptions to the closing of borders: 

1. Transits that must be carried out for reasons of fortuitous events or force majeure.
2. Carriage of cargo.

16 April - Free Pratique will be subject to Sanitation officer’s approval . Health declaration is requested and must be sent on daily basis and three (3) hours before ship’s arrival. No cruise vessels are allowed. No shore leave. The local agent at some ports are only allowed to board during clearing of vessel and carry out the key meeting, further assistance by agent will continue in a remote way.

30 April -  **A total national lockdown restricting movement to nationals and foreigners remains in place.

  • Exception to the lockdown order is the loading and unloading operations of ships. Force majeure situations and Humanitarian emergencies are also exempted.
  • No foreigners are allowed into the country (including crew members, so they cannot go off board the ship), and in principle no injured or dead crew members are being allowed to disembark.
  • Airports are closed for passenger flights but cargo flights are still operating.
  • Courts and Harbour Master Offices stopped working and so the procedural terms have been suspended.
  • No Harbour Master hearings are currently taking place.
  • A health declaration of the crew members is mandatory to all ships, and must be submitted 3 hours  before the arrival to any Colombian Port. This includes a record of the temperatures taken to the crew members.
  • If some crew member appears to have fever, the Harbour Master may request to test for COVID19 to all the other crew members.
  • If the Harbour Master believes that there is a suspicious case of COVID 19 on board a determined vessel, the HM may order the vessel to proceed to the anchorage/quarantine area and to quarantine for 14 days before berthing.
  • At the present time there are no reports of problems with coal loading/supply in Colombia´s coal Terminals, and loading/unloading operations of general cargo has been working relatively normal.
    Sometimes third parties like divers, doctors and some surveyors are finding difficulties in entering terminals and/or going on board ships.

5 May -  No crew change allowed.  Disembarkation of crew members only allowed for medical emergencies with strict procedures to be complied with. To note also that internal and international flights passenger flights are restricted as well as land transport and the land and maritime borders are closed

18 June-  Borders are closed for all travel until at least till 31st August. A nationwide quarantine remains in force until 1st July with all residents being requested to stay at home except to leave for essential purposes.**

Source:  * Wilhelmsen, **North P&I Club,

Comoros, Union of

5 May  - *There is no lock down but containment measures reinforced consequently: 

  • Curfew in force from 2000 hours until 0500 hours every day
  • There is no international flights allowed  in the country except aircraft transporting cargo or medical shipment.
  • However domestic flights is still open to passengers traveling through the islands
  • Ports are operative day and night but cruise vessel not allowed and no disembarking international crew from visiting vessels.

No crew change allowed. No embarkation or disembarkation of armed guard personnel. Medical Assistance is offered on a case-by-case basis *

*Source: North P&I Club 


  • *All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and maritime health declaration.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health before boarding team will be allowed on board.
  • Vessel will only be quarantined if coming from infected countries, and stay anchorage or if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 15 Days. Still not officially confirmed as a method by authorities.
  • All boarders closed and flights suspended unless cargo flights.*

23 April update - **Country under lockdown and health emergency extended to 11 May. Borders are still closed. A curfew has been established from 2000  to 0500 with exceptions for essential services. Port of Pointe Noire - open to the containers and general cargo ships. Commercial operations carry on as usual but conditions of access are regulated by systematic control by health officials of the sanitary condition of the crew on the harbour before berthing, in particular doing this by sending out agents prior to pilot arrival using thermoflash. Any sign of crew member being contaminated, vessel would not be allowed to operate at Port Pointe Noire. List of last port call to be sent to the Port authority 48 hours before arrival is required. No lack of stevedores.

6 May -  Crew changes are allowed. However prevented by suspension of international flights from 20th March until further notice. No shore passes issued either. Medical treatment is available for crew with non-COVID19 injuries and illnesses.**

Source: *OBT Shipping, ** North P&I Club 

Congo, Democratic Republic of

6 May - *While the country is under partial lockdown, the town of Kinshasa, centre of the pandemic, is always under total lockdown. As consequence, all the flights from and to Kinshasa are cancelled, except for the airplanes carrying cargo. All borders are closed, except for trucks and vessels carrying cargo.

Ports are opened to the containers and general cargo ships but are closed to passenger’s vessel. Ports (Matadi, Boma and Banana) are operational as usual with precaution against contamination of the COVID-19.

There is currently no lack of stevedores which are working 24 hours a day including weekends.

Crew changes are currently prevented by the closure of the borders. Shore leave is prohibited. Medical assistance to be offered is unknown at the moment*

*Source: North P&I Club

Cook Island

5 June - Cook Island informing IMO ( via IMO circular letter no. 4263) of the COVID-19 measures taken in particular circulars issued in respect of mandatory surveys, audits, inspections and validity of ship's statutory certificates as well as seafarers' certificates

Useful links:
Maritime Cook Islands/circulars


21 April - *Summary of present containment measures in force in Croatia:

Vessels on international voyages which are in self-isolation or quarantine is imposed are prohibited from calling at Croatian ports with the exception of:

  • all ships registered in the Croatian Registry;
  • all ships calling the Croatian ports due to transport of goods;
  • passenger ships without passengers, calling the Croatian ports due to lay-up in Croatian port;
  • all ships arriving to the shipyards for maintenance or repairs.
  • All persons onboard ships that are permitted to call at Croatian ports are subject to measures imposed by local authorities. Ships may  be subjected to a sanitary health inspection and disinfection (including cargo).
  • On entry into Croatian territorial waters ships will be contacted by the national VTS by radio. The VTS will then advised the national authorities on the ship’s arrival. In addition to this, the Master is required to provide the local agent with a crew list which includes the port and date of embarkation. This will then be passed to the relevant authorities.

For vessels that have a case of suspected COVID-19 infection:

  • the ship will be denied entry to respective port until health condition of persons on board the ship is assessed by sanitary inspectors.
  • if a case is confirmed prior to departure from a Croatian port, infected person(s) will be disembarked and provided required medical assistance under applicable safety protocols.
  • if the vessel departs prior to receiving test results, the Master and the next port of call will be informed of the laboratory result, when available, as well as on potential confirmation of infection for the respective person(s).

Port State Control inspections are suspended with exceptions while flag State inspections will be carried out if there are no infected persons onboard and subject to a strict risk assessment.

5 May - According to North P&I, crew changes for foreign nationals are not permitted. This is however not in line with information provided by the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, according to which "Suspension of receipt of the visa application does not apply to the following categories of persons: Goods carriers and other transport personnel, to the extent necessary". Croatian nationals are permitted to disembark the vessel and will be subjected to a 14 day self-isolation at home. 

Medical assistance for emergency non-COVID19 cases remains available and approved on a case by case basis. For non-emergency cases a Doctor will carry out an assessment of the patient via telephone an determine if it is necessary to disembark the patient for treatment.*

2 June - Croatia informing IMO of additional extensions to be provided to seafarers certificates and documents. 

Croatia has lifted mandatory self-isolation and quarantine restrictions for individuals entering Croatia. Instead, individuals are given a Pamphlet with Recommendations and Instructions from the Croatian Institute of Public Health that they must follow for 14 days after entering the country.  Travelers still may be ordered to self-isolate or spend 14 days in official government quarantine facilities if deemed necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19; placement in quarantine is at the expense of the traveler.Movement within the country is no longer restricted.

Public transportation has resumed including air, land and rail travel as well as boat connections for islands ( ref: US Embassy in Croatia

For the latest information related to crew change restrictions, please confer the Croatian Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs

*Source: North P&I Club 


7 April -  On 20 March 2020, the Cuban Authorities established the “National Plan for Prevention and Confrontation of COVID-19” which involved the measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), among others, the prohibition of entry of any alien citizen; only  week quarantine. Tourists who still remain on the island are advised to leave.

31 March 2020, the government announced the suspension of international charter and commercial flights for a period of 30 days. Only international connecting flights passing to the island are permitted for the departure of foreigners.

Mandatory quarantine has not been announced or decreed, but it did decide to close schools and banned inter-province transportation and public events. Some neighbourhoods are isolated due to the quantity of confirmed cases.

The measures adopted do not affect the arrival of cargo ships but preventive actions indicated in the National Plan will be taken, the protocol starts prior the arrival of the vessel which consists on verifying the last port of call, an interview with the Master with the support of the local bodies of the International Health Control following the provisions of the World Health Organization (WHO). Authorities must be notified previously in case of any crew member found contagious on board. Extra measures with the corresponding protective equipment for pilots, customs and immigration officer and other visitors are applied.

The permanence or entry into Cuban territorial waters of sport, pleasure or passenger ships are not allowed.

19 June -  All borders remain closed until further notice. No crew changes are permitted. Medical assistance remains available for non-COVID19 injuries or illness and will be approved by the health authorities on a case- by-case basis.

* Source: North P&I Club


15 April-  *All commercial flights are cancelled with the exception of inflights carrying local residents.

Authorized specialists, freight and medical services between Aruba, Bonaire, St Maarten, St Eustatius and Saba are exceptions to the rules.

Curacao Port Authority (CPA) has confirmed on 9 April 2020 the continuity of the following measures:

  • Vessel traffic has been restricted to only cargo, repairs and bunkering supply.
  • A protocol regarding the COVID-19 has to be accomplished 72hrs prior to vessel's arrival. The Master has to send the Health Declaration during this period. Vessels calling the container or breakbulk terminals should follow measures from Curacao Port Authority. No disembarking is allowed of any crewmember from vessel at berth, unless there is a medical emergency in that case the communication will be at first instance through the emergency numbers.
  • Spares parts or shipments sent to vessels and landed for export can still be delivered in port and off port taking in consideration the altered scheduled of the transportation by air and sea cargo.

5 April:No crew changes allowed except for emergencies such as serious injuries or death (and even then departure of injured crew rather than arrival of new crew). Willemstad Terminal allows crew medical treatment for non-COVID-19 injuries & illnesses if urgent and sufficient guarantees can be given that patient is non-infected.*

27 May - According to message from the government of Curacao, the curfew has been extended to midnight, meaning it is now expected that from 12AM-6AM no one is allowed to be on the streets.

Effective Friday May 8, 2020 until further notice, the Government of Curaçao has decided to maintain the Curaçao International Airport closed for all inbound passengers from all countries. Exemptions granted to certain categories of people as follows:

  • Curaçao residents approved by the Government of Curaçao.
  • Medical specialists and other medical personnel who are authorized by the Government of Curaçao.
  • Other persons specifically approved by the Government of Curaçao. For example: Persons from Curaçao who are studying abroad and who are in dire circumstances. Persons who wish to settle permanently in Curaçao and who have deregistered from the civil registry of their place of residence before March 16, 2020.

For maritime traffic, the following are the measures in place: 

  • All embarked ships that want to lay-up, must stay in quarantine for 2 weeks under strict supervision.
  • Quarantine for cabin crew of yachts is possible; nonetheless it must be in accordance with the established protocol of 14 days quarantine in a local hotel, indicated by the authorities.
  • Change of cabin crew or repatriation is possible, following the protocols established by the local authorities

Notice to Shipping 10 regarding Maritime Authority of Curacao's guidelines and procedures in relation to extension/postponement of inspections, validity of mandatory certification as well as seafarers' certificates.

15 June- As per Notice to Shipping 11 circulated via IMO circular letter no.4228/Add.2, there is an ease of restrictions from a total lockdown. A 14-day quarantine for all coming into the country. Shore pass will only be given upon passing the quarantine period and crew COVID-19 tested. Exceptions: medical emergencies and controlled repatriation departures. To re-open commercial ports now for activities like MARPOL waste reception, lay-ups, crew changes and repatriations. Cargo/bunkering and vessel repairs were already open during lockdown but will now include other repair and maintenance facilities. 

Crew changes and repatriations using approved scheduled and/or charter flights are allowed under guidance by the relevant port and aviation authorities and protocols in place. A valid "through ticket" to the final destination is required for outgoing crew.

In case outbound/inbound crew need to remain on-board together for a limited period, on-board procedures must be in place to avoid cross-contamination. These procedures must be known to and approved by the local port and health authorities. If this is not possible on-board, designated hotels appointed by the Ministry of Health must be used for crew changes. 

30 June - As per Notice to Shipping 12 dated 12 June, circulated via IMO circular letter no. 4228/Add.3, revised procedures revoking Notice to Shipping 11 are provided effective on same date of issue. Crew changes and repatriations using approved scheduled and/or charter flights are allowed under guidance by the relevant port and aviation authorities and protocols in place. A valid "through ticket" to the final destination is required for outgoing crew. Incoming crew must provide all required visa and other documentation well in advance. Please check with local agent. Incoming crew need to apply for entrance in Curacao via email

In case outbound/inbound crew need to remain on-board together for a limited period, on-board procedures must be in place to avoid cross-contamination. 

Useful links

Source: *North P&I Club



*15 April - All borders with the Turkish occupied territory of Cyprus have closed until further notice.

Since 15 March, there has been a ban entry of any citizen regardless of nationality to enter Cyprus. The travel ban has been extended until 18 April 2020.

Courts are permitting entry to their premises for urgent matters only and most hearings have been postponed.

All surveyors and agents have been advised by the Cyprus Ports Authority that they are not permitted to go onboard vessels if they can carry out their work electronically (e.g. dealing with forms).  Those who must attend onboard (e.g. for loading/discharge operations, taking samples etc) must do so only once the Master confirms in writing to the relevant port authority that the crew will be isolated and kept away from those going onboard.

No crew changes are permitted (embarkation / disembarkation) within the territorial waters of the Republic of Cyprus.

On 24th March 2020 from 18.00 hours, Cyprus imposed the prohibition of all unnecessary travel within the Republic of Cyprus unless it is to attend work or to source vital supplies. This has now been extended until 30 April 2020.  There is also a full night curfew between the hours of 9pm to 6am.

DP World Limassol Port: All trade enabling activities at the terminal are being carried out as normal, while assuring that all steps are being taken to protect the port community.

 23 April - The following measures are currently applied strictly at New Limassol Port until further notice:

  • Disembarkation of passengers from cruise vessels is prohibited.
  • Any crew change or crew disembarkation either in or out of port irrespective of type of vessel is prohibited.
    In case that vessel crew needs to conduct inspections that require its members to disembark, this is only allowed given that:
    • Only one member of vessel crew will disembark;
    • Inspection will be short in time; and
    • Corresponding agent has already notified accordingly DP World Limassol in order to remove staff operating at the vicinity and Ports & Marine Police in order its members to monitor the process until its completion.
  • Vessel maintenance works (i.e. painting, washing, etc.) that needs to be conducted from quay are prohibited
  • No one is allowed to embark on any vessel for any reason apart of conducting activities related to cargo operations and by not having any interaction with crew members while vessel Master is obliged to retreat/isolate crew under his command Specifically, entities allowed to embark vessels are the following:
    • Stevedores / United Stevedoring Company’s staff
    • Lashers / Un-lashers
    • Surveyors (embarkation allowed only for conducting operations monitoring activities – administrational tasks must take place remotely)
    • In these cases, embarkation is only allowed following isolation of crew at the accommodation of the vessel declared in writing to DP World Limassol by corresponding agent.
  • Provisions/Supplies: As per Medical & Public Health Services guidelines, crew must remain isolated in accommodation. Vessel Master carries the responsibility to verify to DP World Limassol via the corresponding agent that there won’t be any interaction between the crew members and shore staff. It’s taken for granted that the providers/vendors/ staff must place provisions along quay near the receipt point to be indicated and following their departure the crew will be allowed to receive provisions. This to be confirmed by the on-duty officer of Marine & Ports Police who will be supervising the area.

5 May - In general no crew change allowed in Cyprus. *

7 May - According to information from GAC Hot Port News , crew change is now permitted within the framework of a newly released protocol. This information is not confirmed by any authorities otherwise quoted. The latest available circulars from The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works have the following provisions:

The latter also contains provisions prohibiting maintenance from shore, isolation and similar precautions to avoid contact with shoreside personnel.

11 May - The information provided by GAC Hot Port News is supported by information provided by the Deputy Ministry of Shipping in Cyrpus which announced " a new process to facilitate crew changes during the Covid-19 pandemic". 

The main conditions under which crew changes are permitted include the following:

  1. Isolation: People arriving in Cyprus by aeroplane are subject to self-isolation conditions for 14 days before their arrival.
  2. Negative coronavirus test: People arriving in Cyprus by aeroplane are subject to a PCR-based coronavirus test either in the country they are in or, if not possible, in Cyprus upon their arrival.
  3. Logistics management: The company or agent arranging the crew change is entirely responsible for arranging the transfer of all seafarers from the vessel to the airport and from the airport to the vessel

In order to facilitate the necessary precautions required by the Cypriot Authorities, we encourage members to utilise the recommended framework of protocols made by BIMCO, IAPH, ICS and other industry partners and circulated by IMO

27 May - According to information from GAC Hot Port News , the Cyprus government will ease restrictions on flights in two phases:

  1. Phase A – 9 to 19 June 2020
  2. Phase B – 20 June 2020

"The team of special scientists has classified countries on the basis of their epidemiological image in two categories, with which the connection of Cyprus by air is resumed.

Category A: Greece, Malta, Bulgaria, Norway, Austria, Finland, Slovenia, Hungary, Israel, Denmark, Germany, Slovakia, Lithuania.

Category B: Switzerland, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Estonia, Czech Republic."

In Phase A, travellers from both categories will have to present laboratory test certificates showing a negative result upon arrival. In Phase B this provision will not apply to Category A countries. For more details, please see the above link.

29 May - According to North P&I Club, crew changes are permitted for the following type of vessels: commercial ship crews, crew members on platforms conducting exploratory drillings within Exclusive Economic Zones of States with which the Republic of Cyprus established diplomatic relations. crew members of cruise ships which are in decommissioning state, members of yachts. And the following procedures must be followed: 

1. Crew must be put in isolation for 14 days before their arrival to the Republic
2. Crew must be subjected to a COVID-19 test before their arrival and the test should be negative.
3. Crew must be transferred directly from ship to airport and vice versa under strict protective measures
4. If the results of the COVID-19 test are pending, the company and/or the agent must make arrangements with the authorities for the crew to stay in the designated enclosure until the results of the test have been obtained
5. Off-signing crew shall remain on board until the date of the flight when it is possible
6. Crew members on vessels berthed in Cyprus ports must be isolated until the flight if the vessel departure date and the flight departure date is not the same
7. Crew changes will be made by specially chartered flights either by the agent or ship owner and/or those organised by the Republic for the repatriation of Cypriot citizens if there is available space.
8. All safety instructions should be complied with within the airport area.
9. The use of a mask is mandatory and all measures should be taken for hand hygiene. Distances of 2 metres must be maintained.
10. Transfer to the Airport should be made within a reasonable time, such as the airline’s instructions before boarding at the airport.
11. Crew members entering a port or port facility for boarding/disembarkation to/from a ship must follow strict protective measures.
12. Transport to port must be done without delays
13. Disembarkation should take place only when the transport means is present to transport the crew to the airport or designated accommodation, as appropriate.
14. The new crew members should only board after the previous crew has disembarked, unless it is unsafe to do so
15. Transport to and from the destination (port, airport, hotel) is direct and no intermediate stops are permitted. It is prohibited to disembark from the transport means, except in an emergency.
16. The cost of a ticket, a means of transport, the use of protective measures, molecular examination and accommodation by crew members shall be covered by the company and/or the agent

As for medical assistance offered - will not allow crew with COVID-19 to land. For other medical emergency like incidents regarding passenger or crew member on board vessel, either at anchorage area or in the port, shipping agents exceptionally and only due to the medical incident will be eligible to proceed to the appropriate arrangements only following consultation with Medical Services that will take over the transportation and treatment of patient.

26 June - The Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry of Transport (SDM) has issued circular No. 13/2020 (via IMO circular letter no. 4251/add.1) providing revised procedures for conducting crew changes. In short, they are as follows: 

  • No approval required from SDM for crew changes if crew members in the 14 days before their arrival were in countries belonging to categories A or B or were onboard ships  which did not dock at any port or were onboard ships that docked at ports of countries belonging to categories A or B. Crew changes would be executed with existing measures and procedures applicable to people from the two categories
  • Crew members who meet the above criteria but unable to perform a PCR-based COVID-19 test within 72 hours of the country of departure showing a negative result, SDM's approval to be sought. 
  • No approval required for crew changes between vessels ( which do not involve the embarkation/disembarkation of any crew members). 
  • All requests should include the following information:
  1. Vessel Name and/ or IMO number
  2. Vessel location in the Republic of Cyprus (name of port/ marina)
  3. Crew members' names (on-signers and off-signers)
  4. Crew members' flight details and original country of departure
  5. Accommodation arrangements in Cyprus (if applicable)
  • In cases where charter flights are organised for the transfer of crew members and/ or passengers, additional permission is required from the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works for the execution of such flights.
  • Crew members entering Cyprus through airports to apply for "CyprusflightPass". 

Countries in categories A and B as at 19 June2020.  Please go to Ministry of Foreign Affairs for latest list issued. 

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club, GAC

Czech Republic

19 May - The Maritime Administration of the Czech Republic has published a circular (via IMO circular letter no. 4290 issued 11 May) implementing temporary measures allowing for extension of certificates of seafarers, seamen's books, medical certificates including documentation to support out-crossing Czech border to join ship.

State of emergency has ended on 17 May. New conditions  effective 18 May 2020 for foreign nationals newly coming into the territory of the Czech Republic, thus for those who previously did not reside in the Czech territory, including for seafarers. There is however no limitation of entry applied to international transport workers which include ship captains and cargo vessel crews,

Useful links



The Danish Government announced effective Saturday 14 March 2020 at 12:00 noon, the existing temporary border control will be expanded to include control of all of Denmark’s borders as part of the effort to curb the spread of COVID-19. This measure is expected to include a complete or partial closure of a significant number of train, air, and ferry routes for passenger traffic. Furthermore, this will also include a complete stop of all cruise ship traffic to Denmark. These border control measures will remain in effect at least until 13 April 2020. The Government will decide before 13 April 2020 whether to extend the Danish border control measures, taking into account any EU decision to extend the EU/Schengen entry ban.

Persons wishing to enter Denmark must expect to be rejected entry at the Danish borders, including in Danish airports, unless they have a worthy purpose for entering, e.g. if the person lives or works in Denmark or has been commissioned to provide goods or services in Denmark.

As regards the transport of goods, there is a strong emphasis on the importance of maintaining and not delaying the necessary supply chains, including food supply and Denmark’s imports and exports to and from other countries. Therefore, there will not be blanket border control inspections of goods transport.

The Danish authorities are in dialogue with the carrier industry to plan an expedient implementation of these efforts so that they do not cause greater obstacles than necessary for suppliers of goods.

15 April -  The Danish government has extended border control to 10 May 2020. Persons wishing to enter Denmark must expect to be rejected entry at the Danish borders, including in Danish airports, unless they have a worthy purpose for entering, The Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also advised  Danes against all non-essential travel worldwide, at least until 10 May 2020.

23 April - Crew change is allowed, but shore leave for foreigners is prohibited ( ref: The Danish Maritime Authority COVID-19 page).

5 May  - According to North P&I Club, even though crew changes are possible, in practice, it is difficult due to very few commercial flights departing from Copenhagen Airport. 

19 June - The Danish Maritime Authority issues guidelines to assist Danish ships in the best possible way on how to prevent or reduce the risk of COVID-19.

25 June: In response to a request from Danish Shipbrokers and Port operators, the Danish national police is allowing emergency visa for stranded seafarers. Please see the press release from the Danish Shipbrokers and Port operators for more details.

The current entry restrictions will be replaced by a new model on 27th June for opening up the EU and Schengen areas, as well as the UK. The new model is based on a number of objective criteria, including a low number of infected persons, which will determine the countries for which the borders will be opened. There will be a list of open and quarantine countries established.  

30 July - With effect from 14 days from 20 July, the Danish government is allowing for seafarers to come ashore and allowing crew change to be carried out safely based on a new scheme where seafarers can obtain a visa to enter or leave Denmark and hence getting on- or off-ships  at home or in neighbouring countries.

*Source: The Danish Police Authority , the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs


24 April - *Djibouti is currently under a total lockdown except for essential services. Borders are closed with the exception for planes and ships carrying cargoes.

Djibouti ports are open and operate as usual, however the activities within ports have reduced. Surveyors are also allowed to move to and from ports without any restrictions provided they have valid port access cards.

Once vessels arrive in Djibouti waters, they remain at Anchorage until all crew members on board are tested for COVID-19 by local health officers, and free pratique granted by same quarantine officers, after which the vessel is allowed to berth subject to berths availability.

Once the vessels berth alongside port piers/berths, shore people (stevedore, surveyors, agents etc.) are only allowed to board the vessels when they are in facial masks, medical gloves, and goggles.

Stevedore are available but not always adequate – as it was the case before outbreak of the pandemic.

Crews are not subjected to any discrimination and are treated with dignity and respect, although for now they are not allowed to be disembarked for treatment ashore. Crew change is also prevented at the moment as the government has suspended international flights (arrivals and departures) since March the 18th 2020 until further notice.

There are disinfectants / cleaning liquid soaps placed inside washrooms /toilets at designated normal locations within ports. Shore people do not wash /sanitize their hands during their entry to ports and such cleaning/sanitization are done by shore people within ports on a voluntary basis.

12 May - Crew changes are not permitted due to suspension of international fights. Medical assistance to be provided will be subject to evaluation by health authorities *

* Source: North P&I Club 


16 March: *all travel to and from China is banned. Arriving passengers must complete a health declaration form and be screened for elevated body temperature. Anyone showing flu-like symptoms or who has been to an affected area in the past 14 days may be placed in 14-day home quarantine.

7 April: All ports of entry are closed to passengers until further notice. No airlines or ferries are operating into Dominica with passengers. Only air and sea cargo are allowed, with exceptions for aircraft, ships or other vessels carrying (a) citizens of Dominica (b) resident diplomats (c) medical personnel or (d) any other authorised persons.

A nightly curfew is in effect from 18:00 to 06:00, and a weekend curfew from 18:00 on Friday to 06:00 on Monday.

21 April - The above measures remain in force and the curfew has been extended until 11 May.*

29 May - According to UK Govt Travel, a state of emergency is in place  but restrictions are being gradually eased. Curfew hours are from 8pm to 5am Monday to Friday and Saturday and Sunday 6pm to 5am.Businesses are allowed to open to 6.00pm on Monday to Friday and until 3.00pm on Saturday. Dominica has closed its airports (Douglas Charles and Canefield) and its seaports to arriving and departing passengers. No information available on crew change at the moment nor type of medical assistance offered.

*Source: North P&I Club

Dominican Republic

*17 March:

  1. Cruise ships are not being allowed to dock in Dominican ports for the period of 30 days as of today 16th March 2020.
  2. All flights inbound and outbound are suspended between the Dominican Republic and Europe, China, South Korea and Iran for the period of 30 days as of 16 March 2020.
  3. A quarantine requirement is being imposed for visitors who have been in any of the above listed countries during the previous two weeks.
  4. Health screenings have been placed at airports and all arriving passengers must complete a travel history form.
  5. Ship cargo operations are being carried out normally at all ports for now. We strongly recommend that all crew must stay on board.

The National Epidemiological Monitoring System (SINAVE) must be notified of any person presenting symptoms of the virus. Notification to the National Liaison Center for International Health Regulations (CNE-DIGEPI) could be performed by telephone, any day of the week, from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at 1-(809) 686-9140 or toll free at 1-(809) 200-4091, from 8:00 pm to 8:00 am, also via mobile phone (829)-542-7009.

7 April - A curfew is in effect from 17:00 to 06:00 until at least 18 April. Non-essential businesses have been closed, and residents are urged to remain in their homes except for essential purposes.

14 April - Masters and / or managers of the ships must send 48 hours before arrival the health declaration of all the crew, among other required research information, which must be validated by the Ministry of Public Health. Once the health authority validates that all safety requirements are met and after having carried out the respective health inspection of the crew, the ship will be authorized to enter the port.

As part of the preventive measures taken within port operations, it was indicated that all persons boarding ships should wear nitrile gloves and masks.

Port operations continue on a regular basis, but the personnel required to physically work at the port will be limited to critical personnel. Likewise, crew changes and temporary passes to access the terminals are suspended until further notice.

21 April - The closure of air, land and sea borders has been extended until 30 April. The 17:00 to 06:00 curfew has also been extended until at least 30 April.

25 May - Land, air and sea boarders will remain closed until at least 1 June 2020. No crew change is permitted. Availability of medical assistance unknown at the moment.

State of emergency extended for another 15 days, i.e till 1st June.  The curfew has been modified and the new hours go into effect today, Monday, May 18th and will remain in place through June 1st.  The new curfew hours are Monday through Saturday 7 p.m. to 5 a.m., and Sunday 5 p.m. to 5 a.m. Cruise arrivals have been suspended at all ports and coasts. The Government as at 28 May is still debating whether to extend the state of emergency for another 25 days. 

19 June The national curfew will be extended until June 27th between 8:00 pm and 5:00 am every day, except for medical, sanitary and security personnel, accredited journalists and people and vehicles related to production and distribution of food and medications; water, telecommunications, ports, airports and other essential industries.The country’s borders remain closed by land, sea and air, therefore all flights to and from Dominican Republic have been suspended along with the arrival and departure of all cruises in all ports in the country. All Dominican passengers coming from abroad will be quarantined for two weeks. Ferry flights will be authorized only to return foreign citizens to their countries of origin, as well as the departure and arrival of planes, cargo ships and fuels to assure supplies for the country’s population.

It is expected or projected that come 1st July, phase 4 of the de-escalation process will trigger activating opening of hotels, airports, gyms and restaurants. 

Useful links

*Source:  North P&I Club


6 April -  *The vessel must send the IAA format and Health Marine Declaration 5 days prior ETA, and then proceed to pier or anchor area. The Terminals are working 24/7 as usual although the response for vessel´s requests / operations are a bit delayed (if they took 24 hours to attend, now it could take 48 hours due to the restrictions imposed by government that affects mobilization of people, shortage in personnel (some are infected, others isolated), etc. There are strict measures in place at terminals to avoid spreading the virus: people on board should disembark only for essential things, using mask and gloves The authorities in charge of receiving the ships are not attending in person, but doing the diligence electronically or by phone, in order to minimize the amount of people that are obliged to go on board*

1 May - *Crew members cannot disembark the vessels. Not possible to carry out foreign crew changes for the time being because all international and domestic flights are cancelled.Pilot, terminal's foreman and stevedores can board vessels with all sanitary measures complied with ( mask and gloves). No authority will board the vessel if not needed. Free pratique will be granted by mail. Medical facilities in the country are short of medical staff and equipment, many of them attending only patients with COVID-19 emergency. if crewmembers requires medical attention, it is recommend to explore the idea of engaging local medical services via telemedicine. In case hospital admittance is mandatory, rely on physician´s advice as to which medical facility would be the best option at that point.*

29 May - According to the US Consulate and Embassy in Ecuador, the Government of Ecuador has restricted movement throughout the country with very limited exceptions and imposed a nationwide curfew.  A nationwide curfew is in place from 2 p.m. to 5 a.m. since 25 March 2020, as well as prohibiting all foreigners and most Ecuadorians from arriving via air, land, or sea. 

7 August - The Ecuadorian government issued a general protocol of biosecurity measures for the entry of commercial and non-commercial vessels to Galápagos (original via IMO circular letter no.4267/Add.1 and unofficial English translation), in the context of the health emergency due to covid-1. This protocol includes crew change requirements where the following should be noted for entry and departure of crew apart from compliance with their biosecurity measures in place: 

  • Sale and issuance of Traffic Control Cards (TCT) for entry to the province of Galapagos to all members of the crew
  • Generate the departure of the Galapagos province to the crew members through the residence control system. 
  • All crew and occupants must have a negative real-time PCR test nasopharyngeal swab for COVID-19 detection. Said test must be carried out in the last port 72 hours before departure and must be sent together with the request for inspection by the shipping agencies to the competent local authorities at least 24 hours before arrival in the province of Galapagos. The MSP will perform the verification of the PCR test result.
  • For those crew members and occupants who enter the province of Galapagos On board the vessels with less than 8 days, counted from the departure of the foreign port until the arrival in the Province of Galapagos, they must complete 8 days of Mandatory Preventive Isolation-APO in the same vessel.
  • In compliance with the provisions of the MSP regarding the APO of at least 8 days, it is suggested to enter the Province of Galapagos with at least 8 days of continuous navigation from the port of departure to the port of arrival in the Galapagos Islands, so that after complying with the pertinent medical assessment, they can immediately start with the approved itinerary.
Other general information ( reference: UK Foreign Travel Advice): 
  • All land borders with Colombia and Peru remain closed until further notice.
  • As of 1 June, international commercial flights resumed limited operations. The restriction on international arrivals has also been lifted.
  • Testing/screening upon arrival and quarantine requirements
  • From 1 July, tourist activities are allowed in the Galapagos Islands. Commercial flights connecting the Islands resume on 3 August. Foreigners wishing to enter the islands must present a negative Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for COVID-19, taken 96 hours prior to the date of departure to Ecuador. On arrival in Ecuador tourists may be requested to take another PCR test, at their own expense. Tourists must also present a return flight and a safe passage document (‘salvoconducto’) issued by the Ministry of Tourism to be exempt from doing 14 days of self-isolation on the islands. 

Please refer to the above UK link for full details. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


According to circular 10/2020 (Free translation in English) issued by the Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population and provided to BIMCO by local members, all travellers will be subject to medical screening upon arrival. Any person suffering from high temperature - above 38 degrees Celsius - and at least one symptom of acute respiratory illness will be subject to a secondary screening and potentially transfer to a local designated hospital. The circular doesn't explicitly mention any period of quarantine.

** Minimum contact and strict use of PPE. In practice, the working mechanism consists of Authorities checking all ships arriving from the listed countries at outer anchorage.

  • In cases of only 1 suspect case/sick person, crew is disembarked, ship disinfected, all returned on board and ship allowed to enter port.
  • In cases with 2 or more sick crew members, ship is to remain at roads in quarantine.

Risk areas widened to include:

  • Bahrain
  • Taiwan
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Kuwait
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Disinfection is carried out by the state Quarantine Department at the ports.**

**6 April: the Ministry Health has decided to implement the following preventative measures to all vessels calling at the port of Alexandria:

  • Once the vessel berths at quay or inner-anchorage area, a team of medical officers will board the vessel to sterilize the whole vessel including every container, all holds, and different types of cargo.
  • A team of specialized quarantine doctors will board the vessel to examine the crew and personnel on board. These examinations may include preliminary temperature measurements to identify any crew who may be sick. If a crew is found to be sick, more stringent measures may be implemented, including but not limited to immediate quarantine.

7 April: The Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety (Marine Inspectorate) has issued instructions that will help facilitate and speed  up the completion of the sailing formalities, by allowing to apply for the sailing formalities 72 hours before the actual departure of vessels.

Also, in its effort to remain the preferred waterway shortcut, The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) have released four new circulars and amendments, offering rebates to container vessels, LNG and LPG carriers:

  1. SCA have issued a Circular (4/2020) offering fixed rebates to LPG vessels between the US Gulf and West/East Coast India and Far East
  2. SCA have issued a Circular (3/2020) offering fixed rebate to container vessels from North West Europe going to Port Kelang or its eastern ports
  3. SCA have issued an amendment to their previous fixed LNG rebate, increasing same from 25% to 30%
  4. SCA have also issued a renewal/amendment to their Circular (7/2017) offering fixed rebates for LNG vessels between US Gulf and AG/WC India/EC India/Far East.
  5. SCA Periodical Concerning the granted rebates according to the following circulars: Circular 2/2016 (Containerships) – Circular 3/2016 (Crude oil tankers transiting integrated with SUMED) – Circular 7/2017 (LNG Carriers)

The above circulars can be found on SCA website. **

29 April: According to information provided by the presidential office, the State of Emergency is extended for an additional 3 months. Egypt has been in a State of Emergency since 2017.

30 April - **Crew changes are not permitted in Egypt until further noticeMedical assistance available - agents can accompany doctor onboard the vessel for non-COVID19 related cases. **

29 June: International flights will resume 1 July according to information provided by the Ministry of Civil Aviation

5 August - The Egyptian Authority for Maritime Safety advising IMO (via IMO circular letter no.4240/Add.1) that seafarers' certificates would be extended for another 3 months from 30th June and medical care and treatment available for disembarking seafarers suspected or confirmed COVID-19 positive.

18 August - With opening of international fights 1 July, see crew change requirements guidelines kindly provided by Wilhelmsen. 

7 Sept - With effect from 1 September, the following procedures will apply to crew change at Egyptian ports: 

  • All seafarers and crews of ships can only enter the country if in possession of a PCR certificate showing negative result taken 48 hours prior to arrival or a PCR test is performed before disembarking at the port of arrival. Seafarers are only allowed to disembark if result is negative. Those tested positive, will not be allowed to leave the ship. 
  • The submitted PCR certificate will only be accepted if it shows the date, hour that test is performed, type of sample and type of analysis done and is properly issued and sealed by an official laboratory.

Full details of the above can be found in IMO circular letter no.4240/Add.2 dated 2 September 2020 

19 Oct- To facilitate changing and repatriation of crew changes, the Egyptian Maritime Sector informed IMO that air traffic has been opened since 1st July as mentioned in our 18 August note above. 

From 1 September, all persons (including those who hold Egyptian nationality) arriving from overseas to any part of Egypt will be required to present a negative PCR test certificate on arrival. The Egyptian authorities have advised that PCR tests must be conducted no more than 72 hours prior to flight departure. In addition, the Egyptian authorities have advised that all arrivals into Egypt will be subject to health measures. Passengers from all countries will be required to complete a monitoring card with personal details, and will need to provide confirmation of valid health insurance policy to airport authorities (ref: UK travel advice)

Useful links

* Source: Fairtrans Marine, Trading & Forwarding S .A. E.Pan Marine Shipping ServicesKhedivial Marine Agency S.A.EInchcape Shipping Service and Kadmar Shipping

**Source: North P& I Club 

El Salvador

3 April -* Port operations in El Salvador are continuing around the clock, with restrictions, despite the country being under quarantine and the airport being closed due to COVID-19.*

27 August - El Salvador re-opened its economy on 24 August. The international airport however remains closed. No exit restrictions in place. The 11th March restriction prohibiting foreigners from entering the country remains in place ( ref: US Embassy in El Salvador as at 24 August 2020). According to Inchcape Shipping services at 26 August, no crew change is allowed. 

Useful links: 
ElSalvador-COVID 19 page

*Source: North P&I Club 

Equatorial Guinea

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list + other documents.
  • Vessels will be cleared at anchorage and screening will be done
  • Crew change not possible any longer and airport has been closed for passenger traffic.

14 April - In addition to the above, a *‘State of Alarm for Health Reasons’ has been declared in Equatorial Guinea.  
Vessels will not be put on quarantine unless required by the health authorities and will determine if cargo operations can be conducted.  Fumigation of vessels is mandatory.
Crew changes and shore leave not permitted.

12 August - ** Crew change is allowed but with restrictions as follows: 

  • Off-signers possible if they have booking flight update
  • On-signers possible if they have EG visa from country of origin and PCR COVID-19 negative test. 

All trade vessels calling local ports will still be required to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list and other documents. Vessels will be cleared at anchorage and screening will be done. To expect port delays especially for vessels coming from countries with confirmed cases. **

As of 4th August reporting, the government has moved in on their second phase of COVID-19 relaxed restrictions on 1 August 2020. All coming in from abroad must present upon arrival a certificate of negative diagnosis (PCR test), within 48 hours as well as proof of employment or business purpose. With no valid and negative PCR test upon arrival, most likely to be sent to mandatory government quarantine and undergo COVID-19 testing at your own cost. International flights have resumed on an intermittent basis, and passengers should call local airline offices to confirm flight availability before booking tickets online.

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club and Inchcape Shipping Services**


27 March - *Passenger traffic between Estonia and Finland is only allowed for returning citizens or in certain special cases. Due to the decline in demand related to the restrictions, passenger operators have made several adjustments to their schedules.

The ban on cruise ship calls until 1 May 2020 directly concerns the cancellation of four scheduled ship calls.  Reintroduction of border control and ban on the entry for foreign nationals from 17 March 2020

Ban on visiting Estonian islands for two weeks from 14 March 2020.

There are no national restrictions on freight transport. There are no significant changes in the schedules of regular freight lines vessels (containers and ro-ro) due to COVID-19 and voyages continue as before the crisis. Also, there has been no significant change in bulk cargo handling.

Port of Tallinn has made several changes to work processes to ensure the continuity of the service.  Personal protective equipment is provided to all frontline personnel.*

15 May - As supported by circular ( No.1-1-6/882 of 9 April) from the Estonian Maritime AdministrationGAC is reporting possible crew change in Estonia under the following conditions:

  • Only asymptomatic seafarers can enter Estonia
  • Seafarers are only allowed to enter Estonia for transit
  • Seafarers are prohibited from staying at Estonian hotels during transit

8 June - In accordance with Estonian Maritime Administration's circular of 29th May, the following measures are in place: 

  • Only asymptomatic crew members and persons performing repairs or warranty or maintenance work on ships are allowed to enter Estonia as transit passengers. The earlier restriction prohibiting accommodation of crew members as transit passengers in the territory of Estonia has been cancelled.
  • Crew change is possible in ports which are open for international traffic and have official border crossing points of the Police and Border Guard Board.  Ports which are regularly visited by vessels operating in international trade are the following:
    Sillamäe, Kunda, Muuga, Miiduranna, Vanasadam, Paljassaare, Lahesuu, Vene-Balti, Bekkeri, Meeruse, Paldiski North, Paldiski South, Heltermaa, Rohuküla, Kuivastu, Virtsu, Roomassaare, Saaremaa and Pärnu. See website of the Police and Border Guard Board for the total list of ports which have official border crossing points.
  • The restrictions on disembarkation that were imposed earlier have been lifted; regular disembarkation of crew members while their ship stays at an Estonian port is acceptable and following restrictions if any imposed.
  • Extensions of seafarers' certificates and endorsements given.
  • Extension of statutory certificates to ships flying the Estonian flag given.
  • Exemption of payment of fairway dues from 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021.
  • Circular No. 1-1-6/882 of 09.04. 2020 revoked. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


18 Sept-  Further grant of extension of six months to 1 March 2021 for seafarers' certificates by the Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority. More information is available in the IMO circular letter no. 4235/Add.4. 

Ethiopia has lifted stay at home orders and resumed some transportation options and business operations.Commercial flights are operating between Ethiopia and some European and international destinations including UK. To check with airline or travel company for latest information. Addis Ababa Bole International Airport (and other international ports of arrival) have put in place additional measures to screen passengers arriving, departing or transiting through Ethiopia. Screening may include temperature measurements , completing a health screening questionnaire and answering questions from health officials. You will also be tested again prior to leaving the airport. All passengers arriving into the country are subject to mandatory self-isolation or quarantine. More details are available on UK Travel Advice


5 May - *Borders are closed to vessels from China, South Korea, Italy, Iran and Spain, United States of America and the whole of Europe, including United Kingdom, within 14 days prior to arrival in Fiji.

All container vessels destined for Lautoka to be rediverted to Suva.

The Fiji Port Corporation Limited to provide container storage for the remaining 10 days as a consequence of the lockdown for Lautoka.

No crew change permitted. Medical assistance for non-COVID19 related issues remains available, subject to local health authorities conducting an onboard review. If the illness is found to be COVID19 the crew member will not be permitted to go ashore. The vessel will be sent to the ports quarantine anchorage for a period of 14 days.*

22 June  - The Fiji Prime Minister announcing yesterday a "Phase 2 plan"  to ease restrictions including border re-opening in particular regional travel with Australia and New Zealand subject to fulfilling certain requirements.  In Phase 2, the nationwide curfew will remain in effect, but will be enforced from 11pm and lifted at 4am to allow for more economic activity and freedom of movement effective today. Effective today, the 22nd of June, Fijian citizens and Fiji residents in Australia and New Zealand will be permitted to travel to Fiji only after passing through a net of new safety measures eg. like presenting a medical certificate certifying 14-day quarantine met with a negative COVID-19 test result obtained within 48 hours of their departure for Fiji.

Useful links

Source: * North P&I club


22 April - Measures implemented by the Government include that schools and educational institutions have been closed, restrictions have been applied to public meetings, travel and border crossing, and the capacity of social and health care services are being increased. These restrictions will be in force until 13 May.

Passenger traffic restricted in ports, airports and borders. Free movement of goods still applies and working as usual.

11 June - Crew changes are allowed. Medical assistance available.

12 June: According to information provided by the Finnish Border Guard, transport personnel are classified as essential travellers with transit permission through Finnish territory.

15 June - Extensions granted to pilots and seafarers relating to relevant certifications required, e.g., licences, certificates and endorsements. See also IMO circular letter no. 4260 in relation thereto.

The Finnish government announced on 11 June, restrictions on border traffic will continue at the current external border until 14 July, ie at the Russian border and for those arriving from other third countries . At the external borders, return traffic to Finland, transit traffic at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport and other necessary traffic are allowed. Admission of family members of a Finnish citizen is possible regardless of nationality.

With effect from 15 June, internal border control only lifted as follows: (1) the land border between Finland and Norway, (2) air services and scheduled ferry services between Finland and Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania;  and (3) pleasure boat traffic, ie private private boat travel. From 15 June, voluntary quarantine is recommended for all those entering Finland who come from countries that are still subject to internal or external border control. Examples of such countries are Sweden, Germany and Russia. Voluntary quarantine is not required if the person arrives from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Denmark or Iceland. 

18 June - Updated Information from the Finnish Transport and Communication Agency (Traficom) (via IMO circular letter no. 4260/Add.1) regarding renewal of competency and medical certificates of seafarers as well as ship security certificates during this COVID-19. 

10 Sept - Effective 24 August 2020, entry to Finland will depend on which restriction category one belongs to under the Finnish Border Guard's policy. To get a quick overview, see their coloured chart. See also Instructions for passengers and employees arriving in Finland in relation to no quarantine or volunatry quarantine recommended.  Freight transport and logistics personnel during assignments are regarded as essential travel to be accepted for entry notwithstanding the restrictions.

According to Inchcape Shipping services, crew exchanges are permitted in all ports. Transportation to/ from vessel and airport should be arranged directly without any stops or overnight

Useful links

For more information on travel restrictions, refer to the instructions from the Finnish Border Guard

*Source: North P&I Club 


Depending on the requirements of the French ports, certain documents are given to / required by ships and crew: Travellers’ Advice ( TA) issued by the French Ministry of Health, Déclaration Maritime de Santé (DMS – health maritime declaration form) and  Lorient questionaire.

*24 March - Information as follows:

Except for performing security & safety tasks related to their vessel, crew members are subject to confinement measures and are no longer permitted to disembark during calls.
As for crew changes, the European Union having now officially closed its borders, all crew changes are suspended for non-EU crew members as they are no longer allowed in or out of the country. As for EU crew members, situation will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the Authorities and under the strict provision that the repatriation can be proven “necessary/essential”. ( BIMCO advice: please see EU section for details)

French ports are still operating, most of them normally, some on a downgraded scale. Stevedoring companies are still working with limited personnel, and Agents around the country are now reduced to a bare-minimum staff and limiting their attendance onboard vessels to a strict minimum to avoid contact.

All the services of the Ports of Le Havre, Rouen and Paris are reported operational.

Surveyors across the country have confirmed to date that, while they are prepared to attend urgent and important matters onboard vessels with the necessary protective gear and measures in place, they will most probably have to reconsider more simple assignments (such as draft surveys, pre-loadings and so on) on a case-by-case basis as such might be considered as “non-essential” by the Authorities in case of control.

27 March -the French Government has enacted an Order providing that any time bar for cargo claims before the French Court which was due to expire as of 12 March 2020 is frozen until the end of a time limit of two months as of the end of the Health Emergency as declared in France.

17 April - Regular PSC inspections suspended; only to be conducted in the event of a serious risk to safety of the ship, crew, environment or security.

30 April - Operations in ports are being carried out as per normal but with possible occasional delays due to staff shortage at some terminals. European crew members and all French people need to complete certificate which indicate reason of travel and date of travel in order to be allowed to travel on the territory. Immigration at CDG will issue Schengen visas for on-signers and off-signers but with strict measures like on-signers must arrive the same day as vessel and off signer leaving ports must leave CDG on day of signing off. No hotel stay allowed for both scenarios. Repatriation can be arranged on commercial or chartered flights bu with approval from authorities and decided on a case-by-case basis. *

20 May - France extending the validity of various certificates essential to ships' operations due to COVID-19 situation based on IMO recommendations. See IMO circular no. 4234/Add.2 dated 30 April for details. 

*Crew changes are permitted if commercial flights are available to travel back home and crew member’s transit from hospital to airport by taxi is authorized by French authorities. All people circulating in France during quarantine period must carry a certificate for special dispensation  proving that their trip is imperative and cannot be postponed (fines for any infringement start at 135 €). This certificate will be prepared for the repatriated crew member by the people organizing the transport stating that the trip from hospital to airport is imperative for a foreign crewmember having disembarked for medical treatment and now returning home, and to be presented with crew member’s papers (seaman book and passport) as well as flight ticket and ‘fit to fly’ issued by the hospital in the event of any police control.

If repatriation cannot be organized on commercial flights as none landing in crew member’s home country , there is the possibility of chartering medical planes with medical escort companies which is a more expensive option and still also very much subject to approval from authorities at destination which has to be checked on a case-by-case basis.

Immigration at CDG will still issue Schengen visas upon arrival for on-signers who are arriving without any visa. On-signers must arrive the same day as the vessel which means they are not authorised to stay in hotel.

For off-signers, Schengen visas are available when leaving ports BUT they must also leave CDG on the day of signing-off. Hotel stay is not allowed. And they have to hold their plane tickets

As for medical assistance, crewmembers are being disembarked and taken to hospitals for treatment as required whenever medical assistance is called for. The problem is more when they are discharged from hospital… hotels are closed and very often flying back home is not possible due to closed borders.*

*Ports in France will also have local restrictions. Please refer to ship agents SEA INVEST for details. *

7 September - State of Health Emergency was lifted on 11 July 2020 except for territories of Guyana and Mayotte.  French vessel certificates and seafarers' certificates etc, expiring after 12 March 2020 to be extended up to 6 months after the end of the state of health emergency ( ref: IMO circular letter no. 4234/Add.5 dated 3 September 2020). See also the various boarding periods allowed for seafarers before repatriation takes place and the current provisions for maritime travel and sanitary measures on board ships.  

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club

French Guyana

7 April - French Guyana is under lockdown, all measures taken in France regarding the COVID 19 pandemic are applied in this area due to this is an overseas department and region of the French Republic. Any move from people which is non-essential journey must be declared by an attestation Letter and reasons of going out must be on the authorized list.

Borders with neighbouring countries are closed and flights from/to France are extremely restricted to medical/urgent work/family emergency.

No restrictions for merchant shipping operations but protocols and procedures regarding COVID19 has to be followed. Pre-arrival procedure must be accomplished.  A Health Declaration will be requested to Masters as part of the procedure. In case of any member of crew presents fever, then Harbor Master will contact specialized medical Centre who will instruct isolation measures to be taken. In case no case declared by Master, then vessel can berth normally.

Most ports, pilots/tugs/linemen decided to reduce their team at minimum, service is still in force but impossible to berth/sail/anchor from 2300hrs to 0500hrs. Terminals still working in reduced team.

The prohibition of the docking of passenger ships of more than 30 m in the main port of Dégrad-des-cannes.

12 June - No crew changes are permitted. Medical assistance remains available for non-COVID19 injuries or illness and will be approved by the health authorities on a case-by- case basis.

*Source: North P&I Club 


*Preventive measures at the following ports as per Information Note


Any ship must send to the Harbour Master's office of the port of call, three (03) days before its arrival:

  • The list of the ten (10) last ports called
  • The list of crews changed and the visas of the last ten countries called by these crews.


Any ship coming from or having called at least one of the ports of the countries in the grip of the epidemic (see list of countries below), whose duration of departure from these ports until arrival at the port is between fifteen (15) and twenty eight (28) days, the procedure for accessing the port is as follows:

  • Give the information on the on-board health certificate;
  • Give the list of crews, copies of passports and up-to-date seaman’s books.

If the ship calls in a country plagued by an epidemic in the 14 days preceding its arrival at the port :

  • Fourteen (14) day quarantine of the vessel;
  • Morning and evening temperature control by medical and / or paramedical staff;
  • During this entire emergency period, gloves, FFP2 masks and the application of hydro-alcoholic solutions will be required for health workers and all other stakeholders of the port platform who may be in contact with so-called suspect ships ;
  • The medical and / or paramedical staff followed by the Inspectors of the National Institute of Public Hygiene and Sanitation, will board the ships before berthing at the same time as the pilots, all with adequate PPE;
  • Access to these ships is prohibited for any person before the advice and disembarkation of medical and / or paramedical staff and that of INHPA,
  • No crew member is allowed to alight from the ship until further notice,
  • No crew change is authorized until further notice in the Ports of Libreville,

Any breach of these provisions exposes the offender (s) to the sanctions provided for this purpose. 

List of countries or cases of coronavirus have been detected: Apart of the Republic of China, the following countries are considered at risk:

Japan, Thailand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Taiwan, Usa, Macao, Vietnam, France, United Arab Emirates, Canada, Philippines, Russia, Italy, India, England, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Nepal, Finland, Spain, Sweden, Malaysia, Australia, Belgium*

31 March: The country is under lockdown and with curfew from 07:30 PM to 06:00AM. The borders and airports are closed until further notice.  Ports are opened  and there is no lack of stevedores for the time being. This is no change disembarkation and immigration rules despite circumstances. Disinfection and cleaning services are available at port.*

25 May - Crew changes appears to be allowed though not exactly clear : "The International Ship Registry of Gabon supports the careful facilitation’s of the world’s seafarers conducting safe crew changes...."  following IMO recommendations ( Reference: a merchant marine circular (MARCIR: 10/2020)  issued by the Gabonese Maritime Administration via IMO circular letter No. 4293 dated 20 May 2020). 

Useful links

*Source: North P&I  Club 


  • *All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • Vessels will be cleared at anchorage by health before receiving green light to proceed usual inward clearance and granted free practice is done alongside if vessel clear the health check at anchorage.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals will be quarantined.
  • All crew changes has been suspended, thus cargo transport still available.
  • Travelers from any affected countries will be sent in 14 days quarantine.
  • SN brussels (21.03 – 19.04) and Royal Air Maroc will suspend flights from Banjul.*

12 June- **Crew changes for nationals are authorized subject to the Health Service’s prior visit onboard at anchorage but not permitted for foreigners. Ports are allowing medical treatment for crew with non-COVID19 injuries and illnesses subject to a reinforced Health Service inspection and appreciation onboard at anchorage.

Source: *OBT Shipping, ** North P&I Club 


17 April: . *On 21 March the Georgian President declared a nationwide state of emergency effective until 21 April. The Government of Georgia have a dedicated webpage providing information on COVID 19, including preventative measures.      
A summary of the preventative measures that have been implemented are:

  • The country has imposed travel restrictions to foreign nationals with certain exceptions.
  • Prohibiting cruise vessels calling at any Georgian ports.
  • All ships calling at Georgian ports shall at least 24 hours before calling the port submit MARITIME HEALTH DECLARATION together with its Annexes. The Harbour Master and port authorities are to be advised if there are any changes to the health of persons onboard after the declaration has been submitted.
  • If a Ship, her Crew or Passengers entered the countries considered to be High Risk countries (i.e. Peoples Republic of China, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Korea, Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark or Austria) within last 21 days, they will be subject to Thermal Screening by the authorized officers of Customs Department of the Revenue Service of Georgia.
  • If a case of COVID 19 has been declared or is identified during the screening process, all possible contact will be restricted with the vessel according to the recommendations issued by the World Health Organisation.
  • Pilots acting in Georgian ports must use personal safety equipment while going on-board of all ships, including: Masks, Single Use Gloves and Safety Glasses.
  • Harbour Master office requests all crew to put on masks and PPE required for the prevention of spread of virus before meeting with pilot embarking on the weather deck.
  • The Bridge team are also required to put on masks during pilotage.

All vessels should follow the above guidelines closely.*

28 April: As announced by the Georgian government , the State of Emergency will be extended until 22 May

4 June - Georgia's Maritime Transport Agency via Order N5, April 6 2020 ( see IMO circular letter no. 4232), granting extensions to Georgian seafarers’ certification and training system. 

4 June - the Georgian government has on 23 May 2020 indicated that the State of Emergency and curfews have been lifted but certain restrictions still remain in place: 

  • Restrictions on international passenger transportation (air, land, and sea) remain in force (charter flights are reserved for the repatriation of Georgian citizens).
  • The restriction on public transportation, including travel by subway and cable car, as well as the transportation of passengers by rail, remains in force.
  • The restriction on the transportation of passengers on municipal and intercity routes by bus and fixed-route taxi remains in force.
  • The obligation to place drivers who are Georgian citizens and are carrying out international freight transportation via land routes in self-isolation in spaces designed for self-isolation (TIR parking lots) and quarantine spaces remains in force.
  • All persons are obligated to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces.
  • The operation of hotels and similar accommodation facilities is permitted exclusively for the purpose of arranging quarantine spaces.
  • It is expected that Georgia will open up for foreign visitors from 1 July 2020

17 June - With effect from 15 June 2020, crew changes are allowed in the ports of Georgia. The requirements to do so are laid out in Georgia's Order N1/211, 9 June 2020 (unofficial translation) attached to IMO circular letter no. 4232/Add.4. The designation is emphasised on the webpage for the maritime administration

*Source: North P&I Club 


28 April : According to an official release by Germany, the following applies:

  • Extension to certain certificates:
    • Ship certificates
    • Seafarer certificates

Foreign Ship certificates and seafarers' certificates still accepted till 30 June 2020. 

  • Regular Port State Control inspections have ceased since 16 March except for the following : 
    • Collision
    • Ground contact
    • Other emergencies
  • Suspension of ISPS compliance checks until 30th June.

Shore leave allowed unless prohibited by German health authorities or port State due to their  COVID-19 measures. Foreign seafarers can travel to Germany for change crew and no 14-day quarantine is required, i.e., they can travel directly from airport to their ship in the port. 

See FAQ for more information on above. 

27 May: According to information provided to BIMCO by the German Shipowner's Association and supported by information provided by the German Federal Foreign Office,  essential workers such as transport personnel are excepted from the temporary entry restrictions by third-country nationals.

12 June - German flag's FAQ page for all COVID-19 related questions for seafarers and shipping companies. Crew changes allowed. 

Further to the 27th May update, the travel warning will be lifted for the member states of the European Union and for Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, which are part of the Schengen Area without being EU members, as well as for the United Kingdom on 15th June. The Federal Foreign Office will replace the warnings with specific travel information for each country.

29 June - Regular port state control inspections of foreign-flagged ships return albeit in a restricted manner. Seafarers' certificates expiring in September 2020 extended for another 6 months and ship's inspections for German-flagged ships returning gradually to normal. Full details - see IMO circular letter no. 4235/Add.3

5 Oct - COVID-19 measures taken by the German flag as of 14 September 2020; in particular extension of seafarers' certificates that expired before 1 September to another 6 months and no application is required of the individual seafarer and statutory ship certificates. For full details - see IMO circular letter no. 4235/Add.5.

For travel to Germany, a list of areas are currently designated as presenting an increased risk of infection whereby travellers from these areas are required to enter into a 14-day quarantine and take a COVID-19 test. However, those who can present a negative test taken at at EU member state or state of comparable quality standard less than 48 hours prior to arrival may be exempted from quarantine rule. Note that in most federal states they are released from quarantine if they test negative (ref: UK travel advice). Seafarers are exempted.

For further updated information please see the following:


All the country’s land, sea and air borders will be closed from midnight 22 March.

The Ghana Port Harbours Authority (GPHA) has set up an interagency committee to initiate and apply standard operating procedures (SOPS) in the ports of Takoradi and Tema.

On 17 March, ships calling in Tema and Takoradi must now follow the following procedures:

  • 7 days before their expected arrival, vessels should complete and return by email the attached COVID-19 form;
  • When the vessel comes within the 25-mile VHF signal zone, it should start emailing daily updates on the crew’s health to the Harbour Master and the Incident Commander in his capacity as the Director of GPHA Health Services.  Full contact details are provided in the circular.
  • Before berthing, all vessels arriving in Tema and Takoradi must anchor at Quarantine Anchorage pending clearance by Port Health Inspectors.
  • Fully-gowned Port Health inspectors will use the GPHA launch to board the vessel where they will screen crew members by taking their temperatures and reviewing both their COVID-19 forms and their Maritime Health Declarations.

If a suspected case is found:

  • A sample for testing will be taken from the suspected case and any crew members who have been in contact with the suspected case will be confined to their cabins.  If necessary, the suspected case will receive first aid on board.
  • The vessel must fly the yellow flag and both national and port security forces will ensure that nobody enters a 100 m perimeter around the vessel.
  • The launch boat used to board the vessel will be fumigated.
  • GPHA expects test results to be available within 6-12 hours.

If there is a confirmed case of COVID-19 onboard:

  • The confirmed case will be evacuated taking strict precautions to avoid contagion.
  • The vessel will be quarantined at anchorage for 14 days.

If the result is negative but the sick crew member needs further medical attention, he will be disembarked for treatment at Tema General Hospital and the vessel will be allowed to berth in the usual manner. If no suspected case is found, the vessel will be authorized to berth.

27 March: Ghana will be in lock down as from Sunday 29/03/20 evening. 

1 April: The ports are open and currently operational with strict security measures in place (such as port’s health boarding vessels from affected areas for first-hand checks prior berthing). Stevedores are available for the time being.  Suspected vessel’s crewmembers are quarantined at anchorage for double checks. Embarkation and disembarkation of crew is prevented as Immigration refuse to issue transit visas. Disinfection and cleaning services at ports are currently operating.

2 April: Only vessels carrying fuels, foodstuffs, medicines are permitted at the port of Tema. At Takoradi, operations are continuing as normal

5 May - Some conflicting information received about crew changes. Some ( Wilhelmsen and S5 Agency World)  say it is not allowed and one ( Wiltex) says that it is allowed as long as there is no report of any COVID-19 related sickness adhering to strict protocol measures being enforced.

6 May: According to information from Ghana Immigration Service, the borders are closed.

For the latest available information on the Ghanese borders, kindly confer with the Ghana Immigration Service

*Source P&I Club


Port Circular 8/2020 5 April

Maintains preventive measures, most notably:

  • All commercial STS Operations have been suspended until further notice.
  • All cruise calls have been cancelled until further notice
Port Circular 9/2020 5 April

Superseded by Port Circular 12/2020

Port Circular 10 of 2020 15 April For all maritime related personnel to attend to ships at Gibraltar, the information mentioned in this circular must be supplied to the relevant authorities at 24 hours in advance.
Port Circular 11 of 2020 30 April All crew related transportation including Doctors and Dental visits must be arranged through the Civil Contingencies Office and crew is allowed to disembark and embark once these arrangements are approved.

Port Circular 12 of 2020

30 April

Superseded by Port Circular 17/2020

Port Circular 16/2020

Update to 16/2020

28 May

5 June

In regards to the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic, the Gibraltar Port Authority will allow for all maritime related personnel to attend vessels at Gibraltar subject to compliance with the following measures and the below mentioned parties being advised at least 24 hours in advance where possible:

  • Name of the vessel attending
  • Name of the Individual
  • Purpose of attendance onboard
  • Contracting-out Employer (Other Member State Registered Employer)
  • Contracting-in Gibraltar Registered Employer
  • Location of Vessel:
    • Anchor
    • Gibdock
    • Alongside
  • Expected time of duration on-board the vessel
  • Place of residency
  • Will the individual be returning home or sailing with the vessel
  • Has the individual attending been at sea or in any other jurisdiction in the past 14 days

The above information is to be sent to the following contact details for HMGOG's office for Civil Contingencies, BCA and GPA;

Any changes to vessels programme (day of arrival) needs to be communicated to the above addresses. The above process will also cover maritime related personnel crossing the Gibraltar / Spanish border.

For those wishing to travel to Gibraltar via the Gibraltar International Airport, Borders and Coastguard will issue the shipping agent with an Immigration Pre-clearance letter. The agent is then to forward the letter to the shipping company, ensuring that the individual travelling to Gibraltar has the document in their possession, before making their way to Gibraltar.

Travel Arrangements and Hotel Accommodation for Crew Members:

Please note that all seafarer transportation needs to be carried out in 'dirty vehicle' For the benefit of any doubt the use of dirty vehicles are those that adhere to the following conditions:

  • Capacity to transport 22 pax.
  • The driver is separated from the passengers by a compartment (no physical or airborne contact).
  • The vehicle is only used to transport seafarers.

Both the Office of Civil Contingencies and GPA are to be copied into any transport arrangements on the emails above provided.

Port Circular 17/2020

Update to 17/2020

28 May

5 June

Crew changes will be allowed by Gibraltar Port Authority subject to compliance with the following measures:


  • OPLs will now be allowed for disembarking crew.
  • Disembarking crew to confirm they are free of any symptoms for past 14 days - Vessel's master to provide official declaration
  • Agent to arrange special transport provisions - transportation from Port to Airport/Hotel needs to be carried out in the 'Dirty Vehicle', details of which can be found below
  • Agent's launch crew to avoid close contact with disembarking crew
  • Hotel stays are allowed for a maximum of 10 days. Details of hotels which can be used can be found in the circular

Embarking Crew:

  • OPLs will now be allowed for embarking crew.
  • Only designated hotels to be used where hotel stay is required. Details of hotels which can be used can be found in the circular
  • Agent to arrange special transport provisions - transportation from Airport/Hotel to Port needs to be carried out in the 'Dirty Vehicle', details of which can be found below.
  • Agent's launch crew to avoid close contact with embarking crew

Travel Arrangements and Hotel Accommodation for Crew Members:

  • Please note that all seafarer transportation needs to be carried out in 'dirty vehicle'. For benefit of any doubt the use of dirty vehicles are those that adhere to the following conditions:
    • Capacity to transport 22 pax.
    • The driver is separated from the passengers by a compartment (no physical or airborne contact).
    • The vehicle is only used to transport seafarers.
  • Please note that transportation of seafarers are third party arrangements between the agent and service provider.

For the latest circulars, kindly refer to the Gibraltar Port Authority


20 March - Extensions of Seafarers' Employment Agreements (SEAs) 
Circular issued by the Hellenic Republic Authorities on the above. 

*According to information from the Ministry of Shipping provided by local members, there are currently no operational restrictions to shipping as per 4 March. Suspected cases should be isolated and treated onboard. 

For the latest information, please refer to the Ministry of Shipping (In Greek)*

**For ships coming from countries where the virus is in a wide outbreak, all port personnel who visit on board and/or liaise with the ship’s crew must wear simple protective face masks and maintain a minimum distance of more than 1 metre from any other person. Same measures apply to all visitors, either seafarers, surveyors, technical or vessel representatives included.

For all ships docked in Piraeus Port Authority/ Piraeus Container Terminal premises, regardless of the country of origin, for crew disembarkation/return, a private car provided by the ship agent will be used for the crew transportation. Pick up and drop off point is the ship’s ladder and the crew will in no way mingle with the port employees. Same measure applies for the transportation of all visitors who wish to enter the port facility. It should be clarified that any private bus, mini bus or taxi arranged by the agent for this purpose, should be accompanied to/from the ship by a private car provided by the agent.

The port personnel is recommended to minimize contact with the ships’ crew and communications with the ships are carried out by email to the extent possible.

Compulsory use of face masks and protective gloves is followed by stevedores who go on board to carry out their tasks.

There are private companies engaged in disinfection, however when a ship is believed to have been possibly affected by the decease, the State Hygiene Authorities will initiate action and decide for the measures to be taken.**

8 Oct -  A general extension of seafarers' certificates till 31 December 2020 ( see IMO circular letter no. 4241/Add.3).

Effective 1 July, all travellers prior to entering the country must complete the Passenger Locator Form (PLF) and more details can be found on protocols for Arrivals in Greece


* Source: Patrikios Shipping ,** North P&I Club 


27 March - Grenada has imposed the following travel restrictions as of midnight on Wednesday, 18 March 2020:

  • Travelers will be quarantined for a period of 14 days upon arrival into Grenada, whether they are a Grenadian National or Resident.
  • If travellers are not Grenadian Nationals, and in the last 14 days have been to Iran, South Korea, China, or anywhere in Europe (including the UK and Ireland), they will be refused entry into the country.
  • If travellers arrive from any other destination, they will be screened upon entry, and quarantined for 14 days.
  • Every passenger is required to complete a declaration form on health status; are also required to check in daily with the Ministry of Health, regardless of point of origin. Additionally, they will be quarantined or isolated, if becoming symptomatic during stay.

7 April - Since 23 March, Maurice Bishop International Airport (GND) and Lauriston Airport (Carriacou) have been closed to commercial flights until further notice.  Crew on essential vessels (cargo) are no longer allowed shore leave. A 24-hour mandatory curfew is in effect in Grenada until 20 April.

*Source: North P&I Club


1 May  - *Port of Pointe-A-Pitre on French Island of Guadeloupe in the Caribbean is open.  Crew change is determined by French authorities in Martinique. Non-Covid crew can be treated but area is covered by MARTINIQUE (Fort de France) port authorities and French CROSS Authorities based in MARTINIQUE, they are the ones that decide if vessel goes to Martinique or Guadeloupe. 

22 June - International passenger flights remain suspended until further notice. Flights resumed between Martinique and Guadeloupe on 11 May. Additional inter-island flights are expected to resume shortly.*

Travel restrictions in response to COVID-19 

*Source: North P&I Club 


1 May - *Guatemala remains under lock down with a mandatory curfew in force between 18:00 to 04:00 . The wearing of masks in public places is mandatory. Ports remain open for essential cargo operations. No crew change is allowed. Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available and approved on a case by case basis.*

*Source: North P&I Club


  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • Vessels will be cleared at alongside and checked by port health for temperature control on arrival as well as requested for implementing hand sanitizing measures while alongside. Also PPE will be requested to be used
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals may be quarantined.
  • All airports has been closed effective 21.03.20 for a 30 days period or until further notice.

10 April -  ** Ports are still working without any restrictions. Sanitary measure are implemented such as hands washing and temperature checking before boarding the ship.

There is no lack of stevedores for the time being.

Sanitary services are active to control the temperature and any suspected cases are quarantined. There is not any disinfection services at the Conakry Port.

Vessels may not enter port prior to Free Pratique being granted by Health Control at anchorage.

Pilots must use protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.).

No garbage disposal.

Crew changes are not authorised. The airport is closed.

Crew should stay on board their vessel. No shore passes are being given to crew.

Curfew in force from 21.00 to 05.00 hours.

Documents required:

  • Health Maritime Declaration
  • Ship Sanitation Certificate
  • Water Analysis Certificate
  • Phytosanitary + Fumigation-Pest Control Certificate required for vessels carrying grains

22 April - Cargo handling at ports is now restricted to between 08:00 and 16:00 daily**

21 August - Heath State of Emergency extended till 16 September ( ref: US Embassy in Guinea as at today)The Gbessia International Airport in Conakry is open and some airlines are resuming regular flight schedules. The government of Guinea has implemented enhanced screening and quarantine measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19. All arriving and departing travelers must present the results of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 test. That test must be completed no more than seven days prior to departure from or arrival in Guinea. Travelers with proof of a negative test will not undergo any additional testing or quarantine. Arriving travelers with symptoms or who test positive for COVID-19 will be sent to a designated treatment center until two negative tests are completed. 

A curfew has been imposed between midnight and 4 the greater Conakry (Conakry, Coyah, and Dubreka) area. Land borders remain closed.

 Source: OBT Shipping, ** North P&I Club 

Guinea Bissau

  • No Specific statements related to vessel inward clearance as of yet from authorities of Guinea Bissau.
  • No crew will be allowed to disembark the vessel.
  • All movement from land or airport has been closed as of 18.03.2020 until further notice.

Source: OBT Shipping


23 April - According to Notice to Mariners Advisory (1) with regards to COVID19 all seaports are closed to international ships with the exception of international merchant ships. No shore leave or crew change shall be granted.

22 June -Embarking on a phased re-opening process -Phase one will run from June 18 to July 2, 2020

  • While the emergency measures have been extended to July 2, the phased reopening of the country’s two main airports to international travel will continue. Part of the phased reopening includes the provision for limited repatriation flights.
  • Arriving passengers will be expected to wear their facial masks at all time and are only allowed to remove them if providing care. Temperature, symptom-health questionnaire and other COVID-specific entry screening will be conducted.
  • Upon arrival, all crew MUST use approved transportation and be confined to designated facilities.
  •  The curfew remains in effect from 6pm to 6am.

Follow the Maritime Administration Department for the most recent circulars.


As of midnight, Monday 16 March 2020,  the government has implemented flight restrictions and closure of the border with the Dominican Republic. All flights to and from Haiti and destinations in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Latin America and Europe will be suspended for two weeks. Flights between Haiti and the United States will continue.

The Government of Haiti stated that all travelers from the U.S. must have a document showing that they have tested negative for coronavirus before boarding. The Government of Haiti did not specify what proof passengers should present and has not yet provided instructions to airlines.

The Government of Haiti will continue to conduct health screenings for arriving passengers.

The Minister of Interior announced that the border with the Dominican Republic will be closed to passenger traffic, but goods crossing the border will still be permitted if personnel transporting the goods are screened at the border.

CPS Terminal at Port au Prince is implementing the IMO’s guidance. The Port Authority has not issued yet any memorandum regarding the other terminals.

Ship cargo operations are being carried out normally at all ports for now. Strongly recommended that all crew must stay on board.

1 May - Crew changes are not possible. There are no flights in and out of country. The government of HAITI does not have any emergency measures set up at any of the international seaports to deal with any COVID-19 infected sailors.

*Source: North P&I Club


According to information provided by the Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs,  foreigners are restricted in their entry to Iceland until 15 May. This does not apply to transportation crew.

28 May - Icelandic Transport authority issued Maritime Notice IMO-1-2020, informing the IMO the Icelandic guidelines and recommendation that have been issued for their fleet,  seafarers, inspectors, Port State Control officers and Recognised Organisations including other COVID-19-related information by the Icelandic Government. Some of the more pertinent measures are as follows:

  • The Icelandic government has implemented the travel restrictions imposed for the Schengen Area and the European Union. As of 20 March 2020, Foreign Nationals - except EU/EEA, EFTA or UK nationals - are not allowed to enter Iceland. These restrictions are now extended and will remain valid until June 15 2020.
  • Essential workers - transport crew explicitly - are excepted from these provisions
  •  everyone arriving into Iceland from risk areas will be subject to mandatory self-quarantine for 14 days except Faeroe Islands and Greenland. Strict travelling conditions will apply from 15 May to 15 June 2020. The Chief Epidemiologist shall regularly revalue which countries and areas are defined as risk having taken into consideration information from international organisations such as WHO and ECDC. See link below.
  • Extensions provided for ship's statutory certificates and seafarers' certificates

12 August - The Icelandic Government has decided to extend the travel restrictions imposed by the EU and Schengen states while lifting restrictions for residents of twelve non-EEA and Schengen states as of July 15, in line with the decision of EU Member States. The new regulation also states that the travel restrictions do not apply to citizens and residents of Andorra, Monaco, San Marino and the Vatican. The 12 non-EEA and Schengen states are Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay. Transport crew are still exempted from these provisions. 


Useful links



The Indian government has imposed restrictions on landing permits to Chinese citizens and foreigners residing in China (original release). The port of Chennai  issued a statement addressing the same issue.

The Ministry of Shipping issued a memorandum suspending all landing permits if the ship have been to China after 15 January.

The Directorate General of Shipping has issued the following circulars:

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 3 4 February

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 4

20 March

  • Shipping services are required to continue to be operational and goods by sea should not be needlessly disrupted.
  • In case of any suspected person on board the vessel the suspected person shall be isolated on the ship and the same precautions applies to all who may have come in contact with the suspected person
  • If necessary, ships having persons suspected of COVID-19 will be monitored by the health authorities and put in quarantine.
  • Ships arriving from ports of infected countries identified for mandatory quarantine and travel ban by MoHFW, Govt. of India before 14 days of departure from the infected port, or having seafarers embarked on the ship who have been in infected regions within 14 days of arrival at any Indian port shall need to comply with additional measures as given in the Annex 1.
  • The updated list of infected countries may be obtained from the website of MoHFW, Govt. of India.
Addendum to No. 4 1 April
  • Pursuant to Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)Order No. 40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 24 March, the validity of 31 March 2020 to ports and ships and list of affected countries in DSG Order No. 4 is lifted and will remain to be valid until further notice orders.
  • Strict adherence to shore personnel (ship agents, cargo personnel, immigration authorities ect) onboard ships - required to be kept to a minimum and have appropriate PPE (Addendumto the above-mentioned MHA order).
Directorate General of Shipping, No. 5 23 March Indian seafarers on crew change
Directorate General of Shipping, No. 6 23 March Extension of seafarer certificates
Addendum to DGS no. 6 3 April The Directorate extends the expiry date of all STCW Certificates and associated endorsements issued by the Directorate General of Shipping (DGS) which are expiring between 23 March and 1 October, for a period of 6 months from the expiry date of the relevant certificate
 Addendum no.2  to DGS no.6   21 April   Extensions of ship's surveys, audits and inspections
Clarification note of 24 March 24 March The above clarification note in short clarified - no restriction of sign on/sign off of Indian seafarers in ports of India. However, utmost caution to be exercised in respect of sign off in foreign ports due to international and/or domestic travel restrictions imposed by their authorities. Also, stoppage of immigration of passenger traffic at 107 check posts including all sea ports is applicable only for passengers and NOT crew.
Consolidated guidelines on the lockdown

27 March

Port are excepted from the lockdown provisions. As mentioned in para 6:

"All transport services – air, rail, roadways – will remain suspended.


  • Transportation for essential goods only.
  • Fire, law and order and emergency services.
  • Operations of Railways, Airports and Seaports for cargo movement, relief and evacuation and their related operational organisations.
  • Inter-state movement of goods / cargo for inland and exports.
  • Cross land border movement of essential goods including petroleum products and LPG, food products, medical supplies.
  • Intra and inter-state movement of harvesting and sowing related machines like combined harvester and other agriculture/horticulture implements."

Advisory on non-charging of container detention charges on import and export

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 7

29 March In order to maintain proper supply lines at the Indian seaports, the shipping lines are advised not to impose any container detention charge on import and export shipments for the period from 22 March to 14 April (both days inclusive) over and above free time arrangement that is currently agreed and availed as part of any negotiated contractual terms. During this period, the shipping lines are also advised not to impose any new or additional charge.

Advisory on non-charging of any demurrage, ground rent beyond the allowed free
period or any performance related penalty on non-containerized cargo

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 8

31 March

For the period from 22 March to 14 April (both days inclusive) in order to maintain proper supply chain at the Indian seaports, shipping companies are advised not to charge, levy or recover any:

  • Demurrage
  • Ground rent beyond allowed free period
  • Storage charge in the port
  • Additional anchorage charge
  • Berth hire charge
  • Vessel demurrage or any performance related penalties on cargo owners/consignees of non-containerized cargo

Extension to the validity of ship sanitation certificate for all Indian registered vessels
operating on the coast of India

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 9

3 April In view of the difficulties expressed by the shipping industry in renewing the Ship Sanitation Certificate due to the lockdown, the Directorate extends the validity of Ship Sanitation Certificate of all Indian registered vessels operating on the coast of India up to 30 June, 2020.

Extension to Continuous Discharge Certificates

Directorate General Shipping, No.10

13 April Extension granted for a period of 6 months due to this COVID-19 outbreak

Extension of Lockdown

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order 40-3/2020

15 April




Nationwide lockdown extended to 3 May 2020. The consolidated guideline shows allowed transit arrangements for evacuation of foreign nationals and advises that there are no restrictions on port or cargo operations. For more information, go to MHA website.

Clarification about Guidelines toMHA order 40-3/2020

Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) order 40-3/2020-DM-I(A)

21 April Allows for sign-on and sign-off of Indian Seafarers at Indian ports

Standard Operating Procedures / Protocols (SOP) for controlled crew change

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 12

22 April Detailing controlled procedures to enable sign-on and sign-off of crew at Indian ports to be complied wth by the relevant stakeholders mentioned therein.

Standard Operating Procedures / Protocols (SOP) for controlled crew change at anchorages within port limits

Directorate General of Shipping, No. 12/add. 1

6 May The addendum prescribes Standard Operating Procedures / Protocols (SOP) for controlled crew change of Indian seafarers at Indian port anchorages within the port limits for compliance by all stakeholders

New guidelines on the measures taken for containment of COVID-19

Ministry of home Affairs (MHA) order 40-3/2020-DM-I(A)

1 May

Extends the lockdown for an additional two weeks effective from 4 May.

Introduces a risk-based assessment of the measures taken at different zones:

  • Red
  • Orange
  • Green

New guidelines on the measures taken for containment of COVID-19

Ministry of home Affairs (MHA) order 40-3/2020-DM-I(A)

17 May 

Extends lockdown to 31st May 2020 and new guidelines to come into effect 18 May 2020

All States /UTs shall allow inter-state movement of all types of goods/cargo, including empty trucks and no State/UT shall stop the movement of any type of goods/cargo for cross land-border under Treaties with neighbouring countries. 

Directorate General of Shipping Order No. 13

(submitted to IMO via circular letter  4254/Add.3) 

21 May  Extensions to validity  of seafarers' certificates and ship's statutory certificates granted.
Directorate General of Shipping Order No. 21 20 July

Standard Operating Procedure / Protocol (SOP) for repatriation of foreign seafarers from Indian ports

 Extension of Lockdown till 31st August 2020

( Order issued 29th July 2020) 

 29 July  Issued by the Ministry of Home Affairs, extending the guidelines on UNLOCK 3 till 31st August 2020. Further clarification on this unlock 3 where restrictions are not applicable for those involved in movement of goods or maintaining the supply of essential goods and services or rather seafarers to be regulated as per SOP issued. 

For the latest circulars, kindly refer to:



*18 March - the following will be implemented at all Indonesian ports:

  • Incoming ships from all other countries will first be inspected by Quarantine officer at anchorage.
  • Nobody can come on board, no loading activity can be conducted before arrival inspection by quarantine officer is completed Free Pratique will only be granted if crew are not suspected of coronavirus all crew are in good condition after inspection completed.
  • Arrival inspection will take about 2-3 hours by quarantine officer at outer anchorage. If any crew member is suspected to have the coronavirus disease, all activity will be suspended and vessel will be quarantined. She will not be allowed to proceed alongside jetty or load at anchorage, and shall wait for quarantine officer’s decision with indefinite waiting time.
  • Any person who has spent the last 14 days or more in mainland China is not allowed to enter, or transit, through Indonesia and Indonesian ports.*

The Indonesian port of Tanjung Priok requires a pneumonia-free declaration prior to arrival including the last 10 ports of call. Please see the original release (in Indonesian).

1 April: *The City of Denpasar is currently in a State of Emergency, and all cruise ships are prohibited from visiting and docking at the port of Benoa. They are also prohibited dropping off passengers heading for the city of Denpasar who do not have an identity document showing domicile in Denpasar as there is strict selection of passengers/goods going through Benoa Harbor to Denpasar City.

Such passengers are also prohibited from crossing through the Crossing Port Ketapang – Gilimanuk and through the Crossing Port Lembar – Padang Bai.*

Port operations are limited and crossing frequency reduced.

2 April *Crew changes in Indonesia are permitted for Indonesian crews (WNI) only after implemented the Health Protocol of Covid-19 Handling.

Foreign crews may not go ashore during ship’s activities in the port area.

Foreign crew changes are not allowed in Indonesian Ports, but during the outbreak of COVID-19 can be done at the specified anchorage area.

If a medical/health emergency occurs for foreign crews when the ship in the port area, they could be taken ashore once permission is granted by the COVID-19 Task Force in each area after implementing the Health Protocol of COVID-19 Handling.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, foreign vessels (cargo ships, passenger ships and cruise ships) that apply for permission to disembark crews, bunker, fresh water and provision supplies will be provided shelter for ship-to-ship (STS) and lay-up at the designated area, i.e. Nipah Island, Tanjung Balai Karimun and Galang Island by fulfilling the terms and requirements of arrival the foreign ship in accordance with laws and regulations.

23 April - In general, no crew change is allowed and different port have their own measures in place. Please see Spica update 21 April for detailed information.

1 May - crew changes in Indonesia are permitted for Indonesian crews only after implementing the Health Protocol of COVID-19 Handling. Foreign crew changes are not allowed in Indonesian ports, but during the outbreak of COVID-19 can be done at the specified anchorage area*

6 May: According to information from the Indonesian Ministry of Law and Human Rights, foreign citizens are prohibited from entering Indonesia with air and maritime crew being notable exceptions to these provisions.

6 August- Extension of Contingency Plan for Seafarers and Ship Owners / Operators as per Circular letter No. SE.30 Year 2020 ( via IMO circular letter no. 4268/Add.1 dated 4 August 2020) issued by the Director General of Sea Transportation dated 29 July 2020). This contingency plan covers also crew change requirements

For the latest available information on immigration matters, please refer to the following:

Source: North P&I Club


19 May - An addendum to IMO circular letter No.4216 was issued on 6 May 2020 where Iran has allowed for extension of seafarers' certificates of up to 6 months during this COVID-19 pandemic, in addition to extension given to ships' surveys, inspections and statutory certificates.  

Operations as normal with implementation measures against COVID-19 in place at ports of Shahid Raja'i, Imam Khomeini (RA) and Chabahar as per PMO news on 16 March 2020 and no interruption in loading and unloading operations in Iranian Ports as announced on 7 April 2020.

2 June - Iran informing the IMO of extensions given to their ships' statutory certificates relating to surveys, inspections and audits as well as certain seafarers' documents and certificates.

8 Oct - Further extensions provided for ship's surveys and statutory certification as well as seafarers' certification. For full details, please refer to IMO circular letter no. 4216/Add.4.

Entry to Iran is permitted to holders of an Iranian passport or holders of a valid visa. Please check with your local Iranian Embassy or Consulate.

*All passengers arriving into Iran by air are required to hold a valid health certificate, issued by the health authorities of the country of departure. This must contain a COVID-19 molecular test performed by an approved centre of the departure country, carried out within 96 hours of entry into Iran. Non-Iranian nationals will not be permitted entry without such a certificate. Iranian nationals without such a certificate will be directed to quarantine locations for 14 days and will incur associated medical and accommodation costs. You may be tested for COVID-19 on arrival.

Quarantine requirements
On arrival, passengers with a valid health certificate will not be required to self-isolate or quarantine. Iranian nationals without such a certificate will be directed to quarantine locations for 14 days and will incur associated medical and accommodation costs.*

Useful links

Source: UK Travel Advice 


*17 March - Ministry of Communications General company of Ports for Iraq have informed all agents that Masters of ships that have called at a Chinese port within the last 30 days before arriving in Iraq are requested to provide a statement 3 days before arriving in Iraqi territorial waters that crew onboard do not have any symptoms of corona virus (high temperature, sore throat, coughing or breathing difficulties).

If any such symptoms are noted, the Master should inform port authority prior to arrival and await further instructions.

The Iraqi government has imposed curfew in all cities of Iraq starting from 11 PM Tuesday 17th of March until 11 PM 23rd of March except for medical staff. As of now the impact on port operations is unknown.

26 March -  the curfew in Iraq has been extended until 11th April 2020. Currently all ports remain operational. Surveyors are able to attend for inspections with the requisite permission, so delays in getting a surveyor to a vessel will be experienced.

*Source: North P&I Club


Port authorities may refuse the arrival of a ship unless a health declaration form has been filed. This applies to the following:

  • Ships with previous port calls to China within the past 30 days of arrival
  • Crew members or passengers with recent travel history to China
  • Suspected COVID-19 cases onboard
  • Suspected contact with COVID-19 cases

Please find the original release Marine Notice 06 of 2020

20 March 2020 - The Irish Maritime Administration (IMA) issued marine notice No.14 of 2020 , providing procedures allowing for a temporary extension to the validity of seafarer certificates; giving an extension of 6 months from date of expiry. The same applies for SEAs. If a crew member needs to leave the ship due to urgent circumstances and cannot be replaced immediately due to COVID-19 travel restrictions the shipowner/Company manager should contact the Marine Survey Office for a dispensation or revised MSMD (minimum safe manning document) as may be applicable. For port state control inspections, the IMA will accept expired seafarer certificates of competency/proficiency and medical certificates as long as letters of dispensation by their flag State administration are produced. This marine notice shall expire on 31 August 2020 and the provisions outlined therein will no longer be applicable. However, towards the end of August, a further marine notice will be issued to update status. 

23 March 2020 - IMA issued marine notice No.15 of 2020, providing information relating to extensions and postponement pertaining to statutory certificates, audits and inspections for Irish-registered ships. 

30 April - Maritime Sector COVID-19 related information and seafarers regarded as essential workers information and the importance of maintaining all links in the supply chain in terms of travel by logistics workers  to places of work are considered ‘essential travel’ in the context of current restrictions. 

17 July: According to information circulated by the IMO reissuing MN 14/2020, the administration in Ireland is allowing for the following extensions:

  • Seafarers employment agreements may be extended until 30 September or until 6 months after expiry - whichever occurs later
  • Certificates of Competency and of Proficiency may be extended until 30 September or until 6 months after expiry - whichever occurs later

The circular also contains provisions emphasising the shipowners' liability: "Shipping companies remain liable for costs pending repatriation such as medical care, crew transfer, isolation etc. If in doubt, please contact the financial security provider to confirm that the insurance or other financial security is in place for additional costs."

10 August - Phase 3 of the country's roadmap for re-opening has commenced and will remain in place till the end of August. Amongst the measures are passengers arriving from overseas are expected to restrict their movements for 14 days and to complete a Passenger Locator Form. See Marine Notice MN No. 22 regarding the completion of the said Form. 

Useful links:



Restrictions may apply if the ship has called any of the below countries and regions or any person onboard has a recent travel history within 14 days to the same:

  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Mainland China
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Macau
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand

Please see the original release and amendment.

According to instructions from Israel Shipyards Port provided to BIMCO by local members crew onboard ships in Israeli shipyards are prohibited from leaving the living area and deck house unless explicit permission is provided from VP Operation.

For the Port of Ashod, berthing is possible, but crew mobility is restricted if the ship or any onboard has been in any of the above mentioned countries. Please see the port circular.

6 May:** No crew changes allowed nor crew members are allowed to be disembarkedAll passenger flights to Israel are still forbidden. Sea- trade ships are calling Israel as usual.**

7 May: According to local news papers , the entry ban for foreign citizens is extended until 16 May.

18 May: The Chamber of Shipping of Israel has informed BIMCO that, "An easing of restrictions began in Israel on 5th May. Ports and maritime operations are continuing to work as normal, albeit that cruise vessels are still forbidden to enter Israeli ports. Crew changes can now be carried out subject to relevant social distancing precautions and the use of PPE".

*Source: ICL Fertilizers, ** North P&I Club, Chamber of Shipping of Israel


All ships should forward a request for free patique (Please find a copy here) and a health declaration (Please find a copy here) 6 hours prior to arrival. Original release (in Italian)

*There are no limitations for ships entering the ports of Trieste and Monfalcone. The Trieste and Monfalcone Port Authority have issued a note dated 24 February 2020 which provides advice for ships. In case of coronavirus the ship will remain at roads and the infected person will be disembarked by means of Harbour Master’s  launch boat with health assistance on board.

Agents will board the ships with masks and/or protective suits.

Italy’s prime minister published a decree on 9 March “laying down urgent measures to contain and manage the epidemiological emergency brought on by COVID-19” and extending the emergency measures introduced by the previous day’s decree to all of Italy. The measures will be in force until 3 April, subject to any further measures being introduced. In brief, people must avoid travelling anywhere in the country. The head of Italy’s Civil Protection Service advise that the travel restrictions: (a) do not apply to the transport and transit of goods or to the entire supply chain to and from the affected areas; and (b) do not prevent individuals from travelling for work- or health-related reasons, or for other needs.*

On 10th March, the Port of Ravenna advised that the port remains operational despite the town being in lockdown.

23 March - As per BIMCO news piece, the Italian Ports Association has given the following assurance:

  • Operations in ports are carried out with adequate measures. 
  • Ports are, therefore, fully operational with all their regular services guaranteeing complete functionality of all those offices dedicated to control and verification (i.e. Port Authority, Customs, Harbour Master, Health department offices and so on). 
  •  All restrictions enforced by the Italian Government are referred only to the Cruise sector.
  • The measures adopted by the Government in no way restrict the transport of cargo in the country. The precautionary obligation of the so-called "Free Sanitary Practice" issued by the Local Office of Maritime Health remains in force. This document authorizes ships to berth, and all Italian ports are equipped and ready to apply any new measures deemed necessary by the Italian Office of Civil Defence, without compromising cargo operations.

*The Courts remain operative only for urgent procedures, such as arrest or payment injunctions, which can be filed electronically (system now in use in Italy).Mediation and negotiation proceedings are suspended until 15th April 2020. All time bars and prescription terms expiring between 9th March 2020 and 15th April 2020 are suspended.*

31 March - statement issued by the Italian National Cerealist Association (ANACER) assuring that Italian ports are fully operational and the national authorities of Italian ports have taken all the necessary measures to ensure the safety and health of both crew members and workers ashore handling the shipment of agricultural goods to Italy.  

11 April - *All Italian ports are open for container ships and commercial vessel for the traffic of goods, whilst an international suspension of cruise ship traffic and a national suspension (or drastic reduction) of passenger traffic for Sardinia and Sicily Islands are operative.

Terminals, stevedores and logistic activities are operating under strict rules and safety conditions to safeguard all operators, stevedores and crew members from potential exposure.

The Courts remain operative only for urgent procedures, such as arrest or payment injunctions, which can be filed electronically (system now in use in Italy).Mediation and negotiation proceedings are suspended until 11th May 2020. All time bars and prescription terms expiring between 16th April 2020 and 11th May 2020 (already suspended from 9th March 2020 and 15th April 2020 by previous law) are suspended.*

27 April - The Italian Ports Association has just released a video to inform that all Italian ports are fully operational and open 24/7 as well as complying with all national, health and safety measures and guidelines that are in force under this COVID-19.  

5 May - Change of Italian national crew is possible with necessity of quarantine for signing off crew. However, crew changes for foreign nationals is only allowed if there is a proved emergency situation and examined on a case- by- case basis. On the other hand, change of foreign nationals would be almost impracticable due to unavailability of most international flights.

26 May - Extensions given for statutory certification in respect of ship surveys of up to 12 months by the Italian Coast Guard. Extensions also granted for validity of the endorsement of certificates of competency of foreign seafarers and renewal of certificates of competency for registered seafarers. Validation of Certificates of International Conventions through an extension of 3 months is also provided. 

20 July - Inchcape Shipping Service mentions that crew change of italian citizens is possible.

30 July - Dry-dock inspection of the bottom of the ship to be further postponed from 30th June to 30th September 2020 ( ref: IMO circular letter no. 4231/Add.8 dated 21 July 2020).

11 August -  Via IMO letter no. 4231 /Add.9, the Italian government informed IMO that cruise ships would be allowed to enter on 15 August 2020 with government publishing the "Protocol on measures for the management of the epidemiological emergency from COVID-19 aboard cruise ships. 

24 August - Italy advising IMO via letter no. 4231/Add. 10 that seafarers to be allowed to serve for a period not exceeding 6 months and through circular 32/2020 issued by the Italian Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport to allow for inspections, surveys to be conducted or verified by remote access.

7 Sept - Italy advising IMO via letter no. 4231/Add.11, of the documentation required by shipowners for allowing seafarers to remain on board beyond the default 11-month maximum period of service established by the MLC, 2006. 

9 Sept -Certifications relating to MARPOL 73/78, Ballast Water Management and Antifouling Systems conventions - to carry out remote annual and intermediate surveys in order to issue a provisional certificate with a validity for 6 months - see IMO circular letter no. 4231 /Add.12 dated 7 September 2020. To this end, the procedures laid down by the Italian Coast Guard Headquarters - non-standard circular 32/2020 (ref. 90316 of 18/08/2020) - also apply to the specified certificates. 

*Source: North P&I Club

Ivory Coast

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health.
  • Any suspected persons will be quarantined at a nominated hospital for blood testing.
  • Vessel will only be quarantined at anchorage if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 14 days.
  • All international flights have been suspended.
  • A curfew has been initiated, thought not affecting operations in ports.

24 March - Circular issued by the Autonomous Port of Abidjan states:

  1. All ships engaged in international voyages, calling in the port of Abidjan, must be fitted with an infrared thermometer at gangway
  2. This thermometer acquired by the shipowner, must be used by the personnel and trained in taking temperatures in connection with the coronavirus (covid-19)
  3. The results of this operation will be kept at the disposal of the maritime health control of the National Institute of Public Hygiene of the port of Abidjan
  4. Access to the port by any user who refuses to comply with this operation will be refused

In addition, it should be specified that, the delivery of the shores-pass to crew members wishing to leave a ship in the Port of Abidjan, is suspended until further notice

However, any medical disembarking is subject to the authorization of the immigration service of the special police station of the port, after a favorable opinion from the National Institute of Public Hygiene (port team)

1 April - *The movement of people between Abidjan and the interior of the country is prohibited, from Sunday 29 March 2020 from midnight to Wednesday 15 April 2020. Excluded is the movement of people relating to the transport of

  • of food, pharmaceutical and medical products, sanitary evacuation, hydrocarbons, gas and all sources of domestic energy, water, electricity and telephone supply
  • Both ports in Ivory Coast are opened and in service. The stevedoring companies are available and operational inside the port area despite the curfew at night time. However any cargo transfer out of the port area is prevented from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m.
  • Whilst immigration rules have not been much changed, no shore passes are currently issued, and any sanitary disembarkation requested should be submitted to health department for prior approval.

16 April - The wearing of masks will become mandatory in the customs zone of the port of Abidjan from Monday 20 April. However the government encourages this practice to be adopted immediately*

30 April - Crew change is not allowed.  However, the Ivorian port Authorities are allowing for medical treatment of injured and ill crew members. And If a crew member is tested positive when in the port of Abidjan, the vessel will be quarantined.

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club


27 March: * The borders are closed to passengers. Cargo vessels are exempted from the ban.

5 May: Borders still closed until 31 May. However, cargo ships are exempted. No crew change is allowed. Information on medical assistance unavailable at the moment* 

18 May - New curfew hours announced taking effect on 13 May ( 8pm till 5am the next day) and will  have continuous different curfew cycles until 31 May in order to control the COVID-19 spread. The Maritime Authority of Jamaica has also allowed for extension on seafarers' certificates as well as ship's surveys and inspections

26 May: According to information from MAJ Circular 20-03-01, repatriation of seafarers is allowed under the following conditions:

  • Both Master and Crew should verify clear transit along the route of repatriation, before any attempt is made to travel
  • In cases of emergency, the Registrar of Seafarers should be contacted at: (876 854 4982) with the following information:
    • Full detail on the nature of the emergency
    • The seafarer involved
    • The vessel as well as the current and destination ports
  • Where repatriation is not a feasible option, it may cause some seafarers employed to work on Jamaican vessels to exceed the service period as entered in their seafarer employment agreements (SEA). Upon mutual agreement between the owner and seafarer, the MAJ allows an SEA to be extended beyond the maximum period of eleven (11) months or its original expiration date. The extension shall be to the first safe port of disembarkation and shall not exceed June 30, 2020.

The circular also allows for extension of the following:

  • Certificates of Registry and Licences
  • Vessel Surveys and Inspections
  • Registration Documentation
  • Seafarers’ Documentation
  • Medical Fitness Certificates

5 June - see also IMO circular regarding above extension if there are problems getting access to the Jamaican Maritime Authority website. 

8 June- The borders remain closed until further notice. Curfew in effect from 21:00 - 05:00.

10 July - Borders opened on 15 June and airports are now open for commercial flights. Curfew still in force but from 22:00 -05:00. The Jamaican government has on 1st July gazetted "THE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT (ENFORCEMENT MEASURES) (NO. 9) ORDER, 2020, where amongst others, laid out measures how crew changes can be effected for the period from 1st July to 31st July 2020 - see requirements for entry as quoted below:

"a seafarer who seeks to join or leave a ship, in Jamaica, shall, no later than 48 hours before the intended date of such joining or leaving, submit to the Maritime Authority an application in the form set out in the First Schedule, including the following information:

  • the name and address of the seafarer;
  • the name and port of registry of the ship;
  • the location of the ship;
  • the Seafarer’s Certificate of Competency or Certificate of Proficiency (as the case may be); and
  • the name and contact details of the agent responsible for the transport of the seafarer from the ship."

17 July: In circular letter 4264/add. 1 the government of Jamaica reiterates that seafarers are essential workers and as such exempted from travel restrictions in Jamaica.

14 August -The Jamaican government has on 31st July gazetted " THE DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT (ENFORCEMENT MEASURES) (NO. 11) ORDER, 2020, where amongst others, laid out measures on how crew changes can be effected from 1st August to 30 September. The procedures appear relatively unchanged compared to the earlier Order No. 9. An amendment to Order No. 11 was gazetted on the 5th August introducing the orders of "Home Quarantine" and "Stay in Resilient Corridor" which seafarers appear to be exempted thereof.   

Useful links:

Maritime Authority of Jamaica
Jamaica Information Service
Ministry of Justice/Disaster Risk Management Orders

*Source: North P&I Club 


Japan’s Ministry of Justice is denying permission to land to the following foreigners, unless the circumstances are exceptional.

3 April - Foreigners who have stayed in any of the following cities/provinces/regions within 14 days prior to the application for landing:

  • Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Republic of Korea, Taiwan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • North America: Canada, United States of America
  • Latin America and the Caribbean: Ecuador, Chile, Dominica, Panama, Brazil, Bolivia
  • Europe: Iceland, Ireland, Albania, Armenia, Andorra, Italy, the United Kingdom, Estonia, Austria, Netherlands, Northern Macedonia, Cyprus, Greece, Croatia, Kosovo, San Marino, Switzerland, Sweden, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Vatican, Hungary, Finland, France, Bulgaria, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Poland, Portugal, Malta, Monaco, Moldova, Montenegro, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Romania, Luxembourg
  • Middle East: Israel, Iran, Turkey, Bahrain
  • Africa: Egypt, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, Morocco
  • Foreign nationals holding a passport issued in Hubei or Zhejiang, China
  • Foreign nationals who were onboard the cruise ship Westerdam that departed from Hong Kong

Exceptions for foreign nationals to the above: 

  • foreign national with status of "Permanent Resident" " Spouse or Child of Japanese National", " Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident" or " Long-term Resident" and departed from Japan on or before 2 April 2020 with re-entry permission. However, these foreign nationals with re-entry permission, who departed from Japan on or after 3 April will be denied entry. 
  • Special permanent residents under Article 5, paragraph 1 of the Immigration Control Act.

7 April - A State of Emergency  for Tokyo, Osaka, Hyogo (Kobe), Kanagawa (Yokohama), Chiba, Fukuoka (Hakata) and Saitama prefecture  has been declared. This Emergency declaration does not mean lockdown of these areas/cities but will be taken as strong message from the government. Operation of harbours, ports and terminals in the areas is not restricted and for the time being correspondents and local surveyors’ service is/will be available as normal.

18 May- State of Emergency that was declared till 31 May was announced on 14 May to be lifted in 39 of the country’s 47 prefectures. The state of emergency will remain in effect in Chiba, Hokkaidō, Hyōgo, Kanagawa, Kyoto, Osaka, Saitama, and Tokyo. A decision on whether to lift it in these prefectures will be made on May 21 ahead of the current planned end on May 31.  

Ports, harbours, terminals as well as marine surveyors' availability are operating as normal. However as of 16 May, new measures in place regarding entry of foreign nationals into the country were announced by the Japanese cabinet. Crew change is allowed subject to restrictions and crew arriving within 14 days from the countries listed below as per announcement made will not be allowed to enter the country.

 Foreign nationals who stayed in the following countries / regions within 14 days before the application for landing

  • Asia: Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Korea, Taiwan, China (including Hong Kong and Macau), Philippines, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia and Maldives
  • Oceania: Australia, New Zealand
  • North America: Canada, United States
  • Latin America: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Bahamas, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Uruguay
  • Europe: Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy,  Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Vatican. 
  • Middle East: Bahrain, Iran, Israel, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates
  • Africa: Cabo Verde, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Mauritius, Morocco, Sao Tome and Principe 

Foreign nationals holding a passport issued in Hubei or Zhejiang, China

Foreign nationals who were onboard the cruise ship Westerdam that departed from Hong Kong

Note: In the following cases, foreigners with the status of residence of “Permanent Resident”, “Spouse or Child of Japanese National”, “Spouse or Child of Permanent Resident” or “Long Term Resident” (note: “Long Term Resident” is a legal term for the status of residence. It should not be confused with other status of residence with long term stay permission.) are treated in principle as persons in special circumstances, therefore they could enter Japan from the countries or regions subject to entry bans.

  1. Foreigners with the aforementioned status of residence who have departed Japan with Re-entry Permission by April 2, 2020.
  2. Foreigners with the aforementioned status of residence who had departed Japan with Re-entry Permission between April 3 and April 28, 2020, and then have stayed only in the following 14 countries newly added to the entry-ban measures on April 29 as well as in the 13 countries newly added to the entry-ban measures on May 16, are treated in principle as persons in special circumstances. 

    (14 countries added to the entry-ban measures on April 29) 
    United Arab Emirates, Antigua and Barbuda, Ukraine, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Saint Christopher and Nevis, Dominican Republic, Barbados, Belarus, Peru, Russia

    (13 countries newly added to the entry-ban measures on May 16) 
    Azerbaijan, Uruguay, Kazakhstan, Cabo Verde, Gabon, Guinea-Bissau, Colombia, Sao Tome and Principe, Equatorial Guinea, Bahamas, Honduras, Mexico, Maldives
    Please note that foreigners who had left Japan during the said period, with a re-entry permission, who have also visited the remaining 87 countries and regions on top of the aforementioned 13 countries newly added on 16 May are in principle subject to entry bans.

Foreigners with the aforementioned status of residence who had departed Japan with Re-entry Permission on or after May 16 in principle will NOT be treated as persons in special circumstances and be subject to entry-bans.

For full details, see the border enforcement measures announced on 16 May 2020

5 June- The Japanese Government informing IMO ( via IMO circular letter 4262) of the measures taken in relation to the certification of seafarers.

10 July - State of Emergency lifted for all of Japan on 25 May 2020.

20 August - Please see revised list of countries of countries where foreign nationals will be denied entry. You can also view the  updates of this list on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Consular Services.

For the most recent updates, kindly refer to:



8 April - *The Jordanian Maritime Commission (JMC) has announced sterilisation of ships calling at the port of Aqaba among the measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Places to be sterilisze: where there is direct contact between ship’s crew and related staff whose work requires entry to the places of subsistence and boarding on board, will be identified and inventoried to reduce the time to as little as possible to ensure no delay in handling of cargo.

Substances to be used in sterilization must have no effect on human health.

The cost of sterilization should not exceed a maximum of 500 JD, despite the high prices of sterilization materials from their source.

28 April -A curfew from between 18:00 to 08:00 is in force in Jordan until further notice.

18 May - Crew changes are not possible at the moment due to cessation of in/out passenger flights until further notice. Medical assistance is available only for emergencies in which the will be evacuated by ambulance in coordination with local authorities. Exact procedure unknown yet and is treated case by case, but patient may be required to be quarantined at hospital for at least 14 days after treatment and may not be able to catch the ship before its departure.*

26 May - Procedures imposed on ships entering Port Aqaba: 

1. All ships must provide health safety equipment (gags, medical gloves, shoe covers)on board and for all seafarers.
2. JMC should be provided with a report including the name of the ports through which the ship passed before it arrives the port of Aqaba, and the JMC must verify the path of the ship and the ports it passed through (especially those ports in the countries where the disease has spread). 
3.The ship's captain must periodically verify that there are no infected or suspected cases onboard.
4. Conducting a sensory examination on the treatment rooms, cabinet and medication on board the ship to ensure its suitability and ability to absorb health conditions if necessary.
5. Checking all the crew members of the ship and checking their health condition in case that any of them is suspected to be infected by the virus during the ship's voyage.
6. In case that the ship's captain informs of a medical condition or a suspected case of Coronavirus, the case shall be isolated immediately and the Aqaba Health Directorate shall be notified and necessary health measures should be taken.
7. In case of suspicion of unreported cases, the ship's captain should report immediately and under penalty of responsibility, and not to contact with any suspected or confirmed infected case.
8. Not to allow the crew of the ship to disembark on the berths.
9. Do not allow waste to be sent to the port.

No cruise ships allowed since 10 March 2020. All marine navigation agents and berth operators and any requiring to go onboard, to wear PPE and adhere to the use of a manual heat detector. Sterilisation to be carried on board using sterilisation companies where the operation should not exceed a maximum of (500) JD. 

Extension of seafarers' certificates to 2 months is given.

For full details of the above, please  refer to IMO circular letter 4235/Add.1 attaching the communication from the Jordanian Government. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


*24 March 2020 - Kazakhstan announced one-month state of emergency until 15 April. Servicing of ships from Azerbaijan and Iran at the sea ports of Aktau and Kuryk has been suspended as a temporary measure. Crews of foreign cargo vessels are not permitted to leave their ships and the transportation of people and vehicles with drivers has also been halted.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


The following ships are subject to early screening before berthing:

  • Ships with recent calls to China
  • Ships with onboard crew members with recent travel history to China
  • Ships with suspected cases onboard

Please see the original release.

24 April - *From 24 April,  the  bagging of bulk cargoes at the quayside will  no longer permitted at the port of Mombasa. The process is that bulk cargoes will be discharged directly onto trucks, the cargo is then bagged outside the port. It is the cargo receivers' responsibility to arrange for a suitable bagging facility.**

The Kenyan Port Authority issued a press release on Mombasa Port on 14 April advising, amongst others, detailed procedures for ships to comply with. No shore passes are to be granted. Only Kenyans and foreigners with valid residence permits are allowed to disembark after health clearance check made. Ship crew change is temporarily suspended except for Kenyan crew and persons with valid resident permits. The usual mandatory ship reporting is still required including crew health status and last 10 ports of call. *

** Kenya-Uganda land border closed with the exception of cargo trucks. Suspension of international passenger flights extended for another 30 days from 6 April.  Mass testing for all persons entering the country since 29th March and undergo either quarantine in designated hotels or facilities. Night-time curfew between 19:00 and 05:00 local time imposed except for essential service workers.  On 6 April, the Government of Kenya announced that road, rail and air movements would be restricted in and out of the Nairobi Metropolitan area, effective 7pm (local time) on 6 April, and Mombasa, Kwale and Kilifi Counties, effective 7pm (local time) on 8 April, for an initial containment period of 21 days. Movements within those designated areas are still permitted.**

18 May -  Suspension of international passenger flights until further notice. No foreign crew changes allowed except for Kenyan crew and persons with valid resident permits. However, in cases of emergencies, the Kenyan Immigration department together with consultation of Port Health authorities and others, could assist with facilitating such change. The landing of sick crew member who is not affected by Covid-19 constitutes an emergency that will be allowed, subject to restrictions. On disembarkation the patient will be tested for COVID-19.

20 May- Kenyan's marine circular no. 2 /2020 (see IMO circular no. 4286) on extensions/postponement of ships' surveys, inspections and audits, ship's statutory certificates as well as seafarers' certification and SEAs

8 July - *The authorities in Kenya produced the following guidelines for conducting crew changes at the port of Mombasa:

Crew changes of foreign and national crew at the Port of Mombasa will be allowed for the following categories of seafarers :

  • Seafarers who have completed their employment contracts in accordance with the seafarer employment agreement;
  • Seafarers who are no longer medically fit to work on board ship;
  • Seafarers wishing to sign off on compassionate grounds; and
  • Seafarers whose sign off does not affect the safe manning of the ship


 In order to obtain approval for crew change at the port of Mombasa, the following general procedures must be observed;

  • Application for approval in a prescribed form must be lodged at Kenya Maritime Authority with supporting documentation at least seven days before the crew change;
  • Approval given for sign on/sign off in collaboration with other GoK Agencies;
  • All relevant authorities notified of successful sign on/sign off.

Procedure for Sign–on:

  • The identified crew to sign-on must have been in self-quarantine in their home country at least 14 days before scheduled sign on date;
  • Crew must submit COVID-19 negative test certificate issued at least 72 hours before the scheduled departure date;
  • The receiving ship must be in Kenya prior to arrival of the crew;
  • Approval must be obtained before crew commences journey to Kenya
  • At the airport, crew temperature must be taken and confirmed at below 37.5 degrees (if above 37.5 degrees, measures must be taken in accordance with Port Health protocols);
  • After Immigration clearance, crew to be met by the Ships Agent and directed to the pre-arranged private transport vehicle;
  • Crew arrives on-board ship;
  • Agent notifies Authorities of the arrival on-board of the crew by email

Procedure for Sign -off 

  • The identified crew to have a confirmed flight out of the country within 48 hours of the ships arrival/departure
  • All documents required to be provided, including temperature history, seafarer employment agreement or proof of reason for sign off;
  • Crew to be cleared by the Port Health and Immigration Authorities, and approval letter provided;
  • Crew boards the designated transport vehicle;
  • Crew arrives at airport, clears with Immigration;
  • Agent notifies Authorities by email of the safe boarding of the crew


The following mitigation measures have been put in place to prevent the possible spread of the virus either to the general population or to the seafarers onboard:

  1. To minimize the risk of importation and spread COVID-19 in Kenya, it is a requirement that the Crew is transferred directly between the ship and the point of arrival/departure.
  2. Where it is not possible to effect direct transfer to the airport, the seafarer will be accommodated at an approved holding facility. However, the seafarer can stay at the designated holding facility for a maximum of 48 hours;
  3. Ships Agent meeting the sign-on crew at the airport shall provide a fresh face mask and hand sanitizer;
  4. Private transport vehicle shall provide sanitizing facility to the sign on /sign off crew; and
  5. Mandatory Temperature screening will be undertaken on crew upon disembarkation from the plane.


The following documents will be required and must be submitted to Port Health in order to obtain approval for sign on/sign off:


  • Crew temperature record for the last 7 days;
  • Crew declaration on self-quarantine before departure for Kenya;
  • Ships Agent declaration on crew fitness to travel; and
  • Application for approval of crew sign on shall be on Company letterhead.

COVID-19 negative test certificate must be provided.

Sign –off 

  • Application for crew sign off to be made on Company letterhead
  • Confirmed outbound air ticket to be provided;
  • Crew temperature record for the last 7 days to be provided;
  • Master/Agent Declaration on crew fitness to travel to be provided;
  • Evidence of reason for sign off (e.g. Seafarer Employment Agreement,);as enumerated in 3.0
  • Copies of crew passport;
  • Declaration that crew did not go ashore in the last 14 days;
  • Ship’s Declaration of Maritime Health*

13 July: With gratitude to ESL East Africa,  BIMCO has been provided with the following: 

Kenyan guidelines on Crew Change Protocols 

The above circular is from the Kenya Maritime Authority, developed jointly by the primary organisations involved in maritime and health affairs and with an explicit reference to IMO circ. 4204/add. 14

6 August - Suspension of international flights to and from Kenya was lifted on 1 August (ref: UK Travel Advice).

Useful links:

Source: *North P&I Club, **UK Travel advice


9 June - Kiribarti measures in relation to COVID-19 out break as communicated to the IMO are as follows: 

  • Extensions of Statutory certificates, surveys, audits and inspections
  • Extensions of seafarers' certificates and  SEAs. 

1 Sept - The Government of Kiribati's declaration of seafarers as key workers via IMO circular letter no. 4399/Add.1 .See also the current travel restrictions imposed, in particular, entry restrictions for travellers to Kiribati originating from countries with ongoing local transmission of COVID-19.

14 Oct - Kiribati's Ministry of Information, Communication and Transport issued Marine Notice 04/2020 (via IMO circular letter no. 4299/Add.2) extending the validity of Kiribati Seafarers Certificates to 1 April 2021. 

Useful links 


Korea, Republic of

For ships arriving at Korean ports from or via China, the National Quarantine Station and related authorities have set up an enhanced screening measures for the crew on board.

National Quarantine Station officers are boarding those ships to check the body temperatures of each crew along with handing out questionnaires to be filled out personally by all crew members.(source: Spark International)

Free pratique will only be granted after passing the above onboard quarantine inspection. 

*Restrictions on crew changes etc for Chinese seafarers or those who embarked in China

The following crew/passenger are restricted to enter Korea:

  1. All Chinese seafarers with passport issued in Hubei province is prohibited to enter Korea
  2. All valid Korean visa issued in Hubei province has temporarily lost its effect until further notice.
  3. All foreigners that have visited Hubei province in the past 14 days is prohibited to enter Korea.
  4. All foreigners transit without visa to Jeju Island in Korea has temporarily lost its effect

Other potential restrictions due to Coronavirus

  •  All crews ( Chinese, Filipino, Indian..) who intend to join/disembark to/from the vessel in Korea are allowed to enter Korea require a VISA. Transit passengers without a VISA for Chinese and foreigners from China will not be allowed.
  •  Hong Kong and Macau are now designated as countries affected by Coronavirus. Fever monitoring of all crew and crew members of ships arriving from Hong Kong and Macau and a concentrated quarantine inspection for all crews and passengers will be conducted.
  • Cruise ships are not allowed to call at any port in Korea temporarily. However, if the cruise ship needs bunkering and store supplies without disembarking from the ship, she can call at anchorage only.*

25 March - In light of the recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the United States and the rise in the number of imported cases from the US, starting 0:00 of 27 March, a stronger screening process will be applied for inbound travellers from the United States.

7 April -  Effective 1st April, the Korean government is requiring all inbound travelers who boarded from overseas to mandatory quarantine for 2 weeks. According to North P&I Club, a different standard is applied to ships and crew: 

  • Vessels arriving in Korea post 14 days since departure from last port (regardless of country): Entry for vessel and crew is as same as prior to COVID-19 situation.  Enhanced screening is not conducted on the vessel and 14 day quarantine is not required for the crew.
  • Vessels arriving in Korea within 14 days since departure from last port (regardless of country): Enhanced screening measure conducted with National Quarantine Station officers boarding the vessel to check the body temperatures of each crew along with handing out ‘Health Questionnaire’ and ‘Travel Record Declaration’ to be submitted by each crew member.  Cargo operation is only allowed after the quarantine certificate is issued by the National Quarantine Station Officer.  For crew to disembark or to enter Korea, he/she must be in possession of a working personal smart phone and must install the government specified ‘Self-diagnosis Application’ on the phone.  14 day quarantine is not required for the crew.

15 April - As the number of cases of COVID-19 in South Korea has been declining and to continue with this trend , the Korean Ministry of Justice issued two announcements on 13 and 14 April ( together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to stem out the influx of foreign COVID-19 infected persons: 

The measures in summary announced on 14 April are as follows: 

  1. Mandatory 14 day quarantine on foreign entrants
  2. Invalidation of all short-term visas – all short-term visas issued prior to 5th April are temporarily suspended and having measures in place blocking air carriers/ship companies from issuing boarding passes to seek entry with the invalidated visas. Exception: short-term employment with C-4 status referring to highly skilled technicians, long-term visa holders and those already in the country. 
  3. Temporary suspension of visa waiver and visa-free entry programs will be applied to nationals from countries which have imposed entry bans on Korean nationals. Visa screening procedure for all visa applicants that requires a submission of a medical certificate within 48 hours  of the application. 

The measures announced on 13 April are as follows: 

  1. All valid short-term visas issued on or before 5 April 2020 will be temporarily suspended. Certain exemptions provided
  2. Visa-free entry and visa-waiver programs will be temporarily suspended for nationals of countries that have imposed entry bans on Koreans. Certain exemptions provided which include " inbound flight ( ship) crew members".  See list of countries affected. 
  3. Enhanced screening of new visa applications.

24 April 

  • As per press release on 16 April, all inbound travellers coming in from the US ( Korean nationals and foreign nationals with long term visas) will be tested within 3 days of arrival, in which they will stay in self-quarantine. 
  •  According to North P&I club, all vessels regardless of days since departure from last port will be subject to the below standard set by the National Quarantine Station effective 13 April: 

“National Quarantine Station officers will board all vessels entering Korean ports to check crew body temperatures along with handing out ‘Health Questionnaire’ and ‘Travel Record Declaration’ to be submitted by each crew member.  Cargo operation is only allowed after the quarantine certificate is issued by the National Quarantine Station Officer.  For crew to disembark or to enter Korea, he/she must be in possession of a working personal smart phone and must install the government specified ‘Self-diagnosis Application’ on the phone. 14 day quarantine is not required for the crew.”

6 May -  Crew changes possible however with certain restrictions in place.

  • Crew from countries with a suspension of visa waivers programme requiring a Korean visa will need to apply for it as well as submitting a medical examination report to the Korean embassy. Exceptions are crew from China, Philippines, Myanmar, Indonesia and Vietnam are allowed to enter without Korean visa.
  • All on-signers regardless of nationality, will need to undergo a 2-week quarantine upon arrival in the airport at their own expense. 
  • Off-signers can disembark from the vessel after undergoing Special Quarantine Procedures and downloading the Self Diagnosis Mobile App.
  • They will have to report their health conditions through the Self Diagnosis Mobile App once daily and if the application is not downloaded, the off-signer is not allowed to disembark the vessel.
  • Chinese transit passengers without Korean visas and foreigners from China will not be allowed.
  • The following crew/passengers are restricted to enter Korea:
  1. All Chinese seafarers with passport issued in Hubei province is prohibited to enter Korea
  2. All valid Korean visa issued in Hubei province has temporarily lost its effect until further notice.
  3. All foreigners that have visited Hubei province in the past 14 days is prohibited to enter Korea.
  4. All foreigners transit without visa to Jeju Island in Korea has temporarily lost its effect.

17 June - Contingency Guidelines for Ships and Seafarers against COVID-19  - granting extensions to ships' and seafarers' certificates.

As of June 2020, foreign residents seeking re-entry into the country are required to obtain a re-entry permit and submit a medical certificate. Ship crew and flight attendants are exempted. Quarantine measures (14-days at a designated facility)  are still in place for all.

10 July - Quick view of Mandatory Quarantine Instructions for All Travellers coming in to South Korea.

22 September - According to information provided by Global-Korea is crew change possible within the following frames:

"S. Korea allows crew's replacement without 14 days of quarantine depending on the flight/vessel departure schedule. According to the vessel/flight departure schedule, it may take only 2 days to onboard or 1 day to disembark."

Useful links

*Source:  Wilhemsen  


* With clear reference to IMO Circular Letter No.4204/Add.2, the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health have issued a clarification note to Circular no. 3, which now recommends cargo ships from the below mentioned high risk areas to be able to berth, while prohibiting direct contact with the crew and preventing them from disembarking. This measure will be under the continuous co-ordination with the Port Health Section - Ministry of Health :

  • China and Hong Kong
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Thailand

Regardless of the above, all arrivals irrespective of nationality with a travel history within 14 days to any of the above-mentioned countries are banned according to Circular no. 3

***Kuwaiti Ports Authority announced that due to the recent increase in cases in Iran, the Kuwait port authorities have suspended all ship movements from Iran for ships calling Kuwait with immediate effect until further notice.

With effect from 6 March, the Ministry of Health in Kuwait has imposed a ban on travellers arriving from, or who have visited in the last two weeks, the countries listed below::

  • China and Hong Kong SAR
  • South Korea
  • Italy
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Japan
  • Singapore 
  • Thailand ***

A temporary travel ban expiring on 13 March has been imposed on travellers from the following countries:

  • Bangladesh
  • Egypt
  • India
  • Lebanon
  • Philippines
  • Sri Lanka
  • Syria

Ships calling from countries with a permanent travel ban are allowed to berth with the prohibition of direct contact with the crew and no disembarkation allowed. Irrespectively of this, ships from the following countries are not allowed to berth:

  • Iran
  • Iraq

** Oil sector ships are exempted from circular No (3) 2020 with certainty and care for the boarding of preventive health personnel in ports - Ministry of Health boarding ships coming from the countries above.

17 April - Kuwait allowing for extensions to ships'/seafarers' certifications as per IMO circular letter no. 4270.

***  23 April  - On 12 March it was advised that the Kuwait government have taken a series of exceptional measures in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, halting commercial flights and sending public sector employees on a public holiday for two weeks starting from today until 26 March 2020. This has been extended to 31 May. The 4pm to 8am curfew will come into effect at the start of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

Maritime navigation and normal operations at all Oil Terminals ( Mina Al Ahmadi & Mina Abdulla ) and Commercial ports ( Shuwaikh and Shuaiba ) will continue as usual without any hindrance.

Ministry of Communications advise that agents are required to provide in addition the usually required documentation before arrival:

  • a copy of the ships’ logbook for the last 30 working days – in English
  • a copy of port clearance for the last 10 ports where cargo operations were carried out.

18 May - Crew changes are not allowed as airports are closed and visas are not being issued. For serious medical issues, it is subject to port authority / port health and security agencies approval via the vessels' local agents.***

*Source: GAC (Kuwait), ** Wilhelmsen, *** North P&I Club


26 March: All international passenger transportation was stopped from 17 March 2020. Currently only special voyages required for repatriation of the residents from abroad are performed.

Transportation of rotation crew by the vessels of the port auxiliary fleet: pilot vessels, towboats and sanitary water collection vessels, shall be strictly prohibited.

Crew members of foreign-flagged vessels calling at the Port of Riga shall not be allowed to come ashore, except when routine operation of the vessel requires so, for example: to inspect draft marks, to receive ship supplies.

Ship agents of all cargo vessels calling at the Port of Riga, in addition to other pre-arrival documentation shall submit also completed Maritime Declaration of Health Form via the International Ship Logistics and Port Information System (SKLOIS) before entering the port.

Upon crossing the Vessel Traffic Service (VTS) reporting line, the Master of the vessel shall call the VTS – call sign “RIGA TRAFFIC” – on VHF ch 09 and confirm that all crew members are in good health. The Master of the vessel shall also provide an identical report at least one hour prior departure from the port.

All activities related to cargo handling and ship maintenance shall be carried out with a minimum of physical contact between persons within a minimum distance of 2 meters. Visits on board vessel shall be limited to essential crew only.

27 April: Routine PSC inspections are suspended until further notice. In exceptional circumstances, inspections may be performed if deemed necessary and will be decided on a case by case basis. Further information can be found in IMO Circular CL 4280.

18 May - Crew change in Latvia is currently prohibited, due to closed borders and restrictions in the ports. In case of emergency (accidents on board, illness of a crew member), or in case where change involves only Latvian crew members, the authorities must be contacted prior to any actions are taken. 

25 May - Extensions/postponement provided for seafarers' certificates and ship's statutory certificates for surveys, inspections and audits. 

27 May: According to information provided by the Latvian government as quoted on 27 May,  "seamen [excepted from the entry restrictions] in order for them to be able to reach their working place on a ship or to return from it". I.e.: crew change is allowed.

30 June - the Latvian Maritime Administration issues revised safety precautions on 10 June, including provision for seafarers' travel delays.  

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club


*20 April  - Following measures taken: 

  • The Lebanese government announced on 15 March 2020, a medical state emergency, obliging all citizens to remain at home except for extreme necessity until 29th March 2020.
  • The Government has declared the airport, airspace and all sea and land borders as closed for passengers as from Wednesday 18th March until 26 April 2020, except for UNIFIL (United Nations Interim Force In Lebanon), diplomatic missions and cargo aircraft.
  • Ports in Lebanon will be closed to passengers, but cargo is still permitted entry.
  • The measures applied at the Lebanese ports for commercial vessels consists of members of the Ministry of Health attending onboard the vessels arriving from countries at risk and prior to their berthing checking the body temperatures of all crew members onboard to verify whether any of them are suffering from any of the symptoms of the coronavirus (COVID-19).  Depending on the findings of the Ministry’s representatives, measures are decided on a case-by-case basis.
  • The courts in Lebanon are closed*

According to information from local members, entry into the Port of Beirut is restricted by a pre-arrival medical examination by the port's medical staff if the vessel is calling directly from China.

All ships should report the previous 10 port calls. Please see the revised release.

18 May - All ports are open and operating in principle at a normal pace (although the import-export activity has substantially diminished in view of the bad economic landscape). Beirut international airport has been closed since the lockdown . Crew changes of Lebanese nationals is allowed – disembarked crew  is monitored and subject to a 14-day confinement. Crew changes of foreign crew are not possible due to closure of Beirut airport.Lebanon has not also been allowing crew medical treatment for non-COVID injuries, unless special permission by Immigration and the return of injured crew member on the same vessel. Crew members who suffer from a critical medical condition can be disembarked with the assistance of the Lebanese Red Cross and admitted at local hospitals.

2 June - Extensions granted by the Lebanese Maritime Authority to ships' and seafarers' certificates as per IMO circular letter no. 4276. According to the letter,  the joining or repatriation of foreign crews, under extreme cases, are dealt with on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the IMO/WHO guidelines regarding seafarers' screening scan test and health check questionnaire.

9 July -* All ports are open and operating in principle at a normal pace except that import-export activities have substantially diminished due to bad economic landscape.* 

Rafic Hariri International Airport, closed to regularly scheduled flights since March 19, reopened to commercial air traffic on July 1, 2020, with service starting at a level of ten percent of that handled a year ago. The Lebanese government has announced new procedures for travelers arriving in Beirut as of that date. All land border crossings into Syria remain closed indefinitely since March 12. As of July 1, 2020, no 14-day self-isolation will be required. Instead, arriving passengers will be grouped into two categories: those arriving from countries where the PCR test is available, and those arriving from countries where it is not. Please refer to this guidance for more information.

10 July: GAC Hot Port News reports of rigid procedures for crew change. It is nevertheless a relief compared to previous restrictions.

Please see the latest daily Lebanese government publication which consolidates every ministries decisions, actions and responses to address the crisis. For additional information, visit the website of the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health.

*Source: North P&I Club


  • *All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date.
  • No specific measurements implemented by the port up till this date concerning inward clearance.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • No specific measurement announced for vessels with suspected cases, however individuals may be quarantined.
  • All passenger flights will be suspended from 23.03.2020 at 2359 hrs lt. This does not include cargo flights.*

1 April-  *The Government of Liberia has placed travel restrictions on flights from countries reporting 200 or more COVID-19 cases.

The port of Monrovia is operational. The local port Authority has not yet issued any restrictions on seaport or vessels entering.

The National Port Authority and APM Terminals Liberia at Monrovia port advise that all port users within the commercial and operational area of all seaports within Liberia such as, stevedores, cargo surveyors, boarding Agent, Supervisors, Tally Clerks, crane Operators, field Managers, vessels’ crews, are advised to take strict health practices or measure to ensure the washing of hand, usage of face mask and wearing of glove as a safe measure set by the ministries of health.

All vessel crews are not allowed to leave the vessel while the vessel is in port. However, all seaport operations are ongoing within Liberia such as:

  1. Disembarkation of stowaway from vessels
  2. Disembarkation of Sick Crew Members
  3. Loading and offloading of vessels operations

15 April - On the 10 April the Government of Liberia declared a 14 day quarantine in four counties (Montserrado, Nimba, Grand Kru and Margibi) and put the rest of the country into a 21 day State of Emergency. Only essential business and government offices remain open and they close at 15:00 at the latest each day.  Ports remain open and commercial operations continue to take place* 

17 April - The Liberian Administration issuing guidance regarding seafarers' certification and ship's surveys etc via IMO circular letter no. 4270

28 April: The State of Emergency has been extended until 10 June and the quarantine have been extended to a general stay-at-home order for the entire country

6 May - *Airports are closed. Crew changes are not possible nor is there a possibility for medical disembarkation*

12 August- The Ministry of Health announced a “Revised COVID-19 Declaration of National Health Emergency” on July 22 that promulgates public health laws and protocols to curtail the spread of COVID-19, such as the wearing of face masks in public and at government institutions, practicing social distancing, and washing hands. 

As at 12 August, Roberts International Airport (RIA) has reopened for commercial flights as of 28 June. However, airlines will not resume normal scheduled services immediately, with some operating ad hoc flights. Currently all land borders (with Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d’Ivoire) are closed to travellers. Ports remain open. Crew changes possible. 

All travellers arriving in Liberia will be screened for the coronavirus. You must present a negative test result or be tested on arrival in Liberia. You can have a COVID-19 PCR test at your point of departure within 72 hours before your arrival in Liberia. All travellers wishing to leave Liberia must have a negative coronavirus test result and a travel certificate issued by the National Public Health Institute of Liberia (NPHIL). If you display symptoms of coronavirus, or test positive, public health officials may take you to a quarantine facility

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club 


*As of 16th March 2020, Libyan Authorities announced that due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic all air, ground and maritime Libyan borders will be closed for 3 weeks (with potential extension).

If a vessel is calls to Libya from a country that has recorded COVID-19 cases, the vessel will go into quarantine for 14 days at anchorage. The quarantine period starts to count from the date the vessel sailed from previous port of call. Thereafter, it will undergo an inspection by the Health Ministry.  If it is found “clean”, it will then be permitted to enter the port.

27 March - All ports are working normally. However, port authority has issued the following new instructions pertaining to port entry and direct contact with ship crew:

All vessel are allowed to berth upon arrival as usual provided availability of a berth, except vessel carrying automobiles and or livestock which should stay 14 day as quarantine, upon vessel arrival port pilot station, quarantine committee is to be first one to board the vessel to check out crew medical condition, if all negative then vessel to be allowed to enter with Pilot using Radio communication facility on tug boats assistance, it is prohibited for crew to leave the vessel or get in contact with any of the stevedores or any person from a shore, if master is unable to enter the port without pilot on board then vessel to wait 14 days at anchor or it is to the discretion of pilot to board the vessel wearing all protective clothes.

14 April - Embarkation onto any ship has been banned for everyone including pilots and immigration officers etc.  The pilot must perform his work via the VHF while he is on board the pilot tug.  If the master refuses to enter port without a pilot onboard, then the pilot may go onboard the ship after taking safety measures (wearing the dedicated clothes, mask, gloves etc).  In case the pilot is unable to do that and the master still refuses to enter the port without the pilot, then the ship must wait at the anchorage area for 14 days before entering the port.

The crew is not permitted to leave the ship except for emergency cases.  In an emergency, any action should be taken only via the health authority.

 All ship agents must provide the following:

  • list of the last ten ports visited by the ship
  • crew list which should include the date of sign on
  • declaration signed by the ship’s master stating the situation on board the ship in relation to Coronavirus.

All required paper work must be done electronically.

At least two towage tugs must be hired for berthing.

A final declaration must be given by the health authority.

Disposing of any waste is prohibited while the ship in port.A meeting was held between the Libyan Chamber of Shipping and the Central Bank in the last few days, who discussed measures to facilitate the import of food and medical items, the main point of discussion being that the local banks will accept documents such as Bills of Lading and invoices via email instead of hard copies during this period of restrictions.*

24 August 2020 - According to Gov.UK advice as at 24 August, Libya’s air, land and maritime borders are closed. Occasionally the Libyan authorities or foreign embassies organise repatriation flights to European countries to enable the repatriation of Libyan nationals based in those countries. According to Inchcape Shipping Services as at 9 August 2020 - crew changes & shore passes are not allowed for the time being and until further notice. Certain ports are closed and some operating with restrictions. 

*Source: North P&I Club


27 March -* Entrance of cruise ships to Klaipeda Port is prohibited by the resolution of the Lithuanian Government.

Entrance of cargo ships and movement of goods are not restricted.

It is prohibited for foreigners to enter the Republic of Lithuania, except for drivers and crew members, when commercial and/or international carriage of goods is carried out, also there are other exceptions. Crew members are prohibited from coming ashore, except medical necessities.

Every person while not at home must have his mouth and nose covered (mask, respirator, scarf, etc.), so the same apply to the crews.

24 h prior to entering the port, Captain must submit a health declaration. Information regarding health of a crew members must be updated 2 h prior entering the port. If the declaration indicated a sick person on board.

  • After the vessel is berthed National Public Health Center (NPHC) under the Ministry of Health epidemiologists come onboard and investigate the situation;
    If symptoms are relevant, sick crew member is transferred by ambulance to hospital;
  • By the order of NPHC vessel (cabins), other living quarters have to be disinfected by the crew with the disinfection means on board, if the crew has no means, disinfection has to be done by the licensed Lithuanian entity.
  • After the cleaning and disinfection agents, stevedores, surveyors and others are allowed to come onboard.
  • Persons (agents, others), who are contacting with the crew members have to wear means of personal protection.
  • After the disinfection persons who are not in contact with a crew are allowed to participate in loading / unloading operations onboard.

Isolation of 14 days is compulsory for persons, who have returned from foreign countries. So if the seafarer is repatriated or coming home after his contract ended, he will have to spend 14 days at a quarantine facility established by the government.*

7 May: While persons in the country are subject to quarantine regulations imposing isolation and social distancing, foreigners entry into the country is subject to restrictions. Maritime crew members are generally excepted from these provisions. However, the following requirements still apply to maritime crew:

  • Isolation - seafarers are obliged to isolate until 14 days have passed since entry or until joining the ship
  • Personal Protective Equipment - facial cover has to be used

18 May -  North P&I reports that of 7 May, crew changes allowed as some airlines will be operating. Quarantine for seafarers lifted. Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available.

25 May - Quarantine is up to 31st May 2020. Extensions given to seafarers' certificates and ship's statutory certificates. Agreement signed on 15 May 2020 on free travel between Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia where restrictions on travel by road,rail, air and sea are lifted between the three countries.  According to Klaipeda port page, it is prohibited for foreigners to enter the Republic of Lithuania, except for crew and crew members who work in Lithuanian companies engaged in international commercial transport or perform international commercial transport in all types of vehicles,  Crew and crew members working in Lithuanian companies engaged in international commercial transport or performing international commercial transport in all types of vehicles and returning or arriving to country are exempted from the requirement of 14 days of isolation. More information can be found on here

10 July - The Ministry of Health prints out every week a list of the countries where foreigners of those countries are allowed to enter without restrictions and a list of countries where restrictions apply to their nationals as well as foreigners coming from those countries in that list. For full information, see the Ministry's section on "Relevant information for returning and arriving in Lithuania".

Useful links:
Lithuanian Transport Safety Administration
Klaipeda Port homepage - COVID-19

*Source : North P&I club 


30 March: The Toamasina Port Authority has issued protective measures against the proliferation of COVID-19 ( English translation here). 

This includes the requirements that vessels coming from the affected countries must:

  • Be quarantined as far as possible to allow the Department of Management  Regional Public Health to decide on the health status of crew members of ships wishing to call at the Port of Toamasina.
  • Strictly send prior to arrival an email to the Border Doctor, to the Port Authority and the APMF, of medical information concerning the health of the crew members, the history of the voyage of the ship and other on-board persons which will enable the Department of border protection of the Regional Directorate of Public Health (DRSP) to make analyzes of the risks of contamination

2 April: Ports are open for cargo and tanker oil ships, but with a firm restriction on entry formalities and during the stay in port according to the official instructions from the government and Harbour Master’s notes (compliance with the 14-days quarantine and stay at the anchorage outside harbour area before berthing).

  • Passenger ships are not allowed.
  • The pilot can only board the vessel after the 14 days of quarantine.
  • All seafarers are not authorized to go ashore during the vessel’s call.
  • All exchanges of formality documents and instructions are made by e-mail or by VHF.

3 April: The Health State of Emergency remains in place in Madagascar for 15 (fifteen) additional days. Three main cities are now locked down until further notice: Antananarivo, Toamasina and Fianarantsoa.

Only cargo ships are allowed to call in Toamasina Port. The port of Toamasina is open 24h/24h and Dockers involved in night shift should join the port before 20:00.

The following restrictions should be respected when calling in Toamasina (Common restrictions for all ports in the country):

Measures taken by the port will be applied such as:

  • No shore leave
  • No contact with shore personal
  • Wearing mask / gloves / glasses from crew side is compulsory when crew members have to go out on deck
  • All documents exchange is carried out by email to avoid contact
  • 2 meters distance must be kept in case involved crew members have to work on deck.
  • Ships that have completed more than 10-day travel will berth only at 15th day from last port (to comply with corona quarantine)
  • Crew and safety embarked team displacement are not accepted.
  •  Disembarking is not allowed. 

18 May Crew changes are not allowed as airports remain closed. Medical treatment ashore is allowed following assessment by border officials. For incidents occurring after berthing, crew must undergo COVID-19 rapid test prior to disembarkation.

*Source: North P&I Club 


Malaysian Shipping Notice 02/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

18 March

Marine Department Malaysia (JLM) urges the shipping community that proper precautionary actions should be taken as stated in ANNEX I guidelines.

Provided instructions in regards to

Malaysian Shipping Notice 03/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

26 March

Revoked by MSN 08/2020

Provided new guidelines for statutory certificates and inspection regimes

Malaysian Shipping Notice 06/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

3 April

Provides new instructions for crewing matters as follows:


  • All seafarers are ALLOWED to carry out crew change activities (sign-off) in any Malaysia port, subject that the seafarer:
    • In need of a medical evacuation, or
    • Malaysian citizenship who has completed his/her term of service in accordance to his/her Seafarer Employment Agreement (SEA), or
    • Medically unfit to continue his service due to his physical condition, health (including mental health) or other criteria as determined by the Director of Marine, or
    • Has developed explicit COVID-19 symptoms.


  • Master SHALL perform a daily COVID-19 symptoms monitoring and temperature checking to all newly-joined crew for at least 14 consecutive days after joining. Master is also encouraged to continuously monitor and keep the health record of the crew.

The crew change procedure in brief in the flow chart in the circular

Malaysian Shipping Notice 07/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia
10 April

Supersedes certain items in Annex II in MSN 06/2020 with below items

  • All the ship’s crew who are signing-off EXCEPT for the purpose of paragraph 1(a), are
    • subjected to undergo COVID-19 test at any lab/health centre approved by the Ministry of Health (MOH), or
    • be quarantined for 14 days at the dedicated quarantine centre determined by the MOH.
  • After the ship’s crew has undergone the COVID-19 test, Port Health Officer (PHO) will give the Home-Assessment Tools; and the ship’s crew SHALL conduct selfsurveillance at his/her home for 14 days according to MOH instructions.
  • Only seafarers who are Malaysian citizen are allowed to sign-on at any port in Malaysia. They SHALL complete the JLM Health Declaration Form AND undergo COVID-19 test at any lab/health centre approved by the MOH

Extends expiry of MSN 02/2020 until further notice

Malaysian Shipping Notice 08/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

24 April

Provides guidelines to statutory ship certificates by undertaking a pragmatic approach

Revokes MSN 03/2020

Malaysian Shipping Notice 11/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

15 June

MSN 11 amends and consolidates Annex 1, which outlines the crew change restrictions and extensions to seafarers documents in Malaysia. Most notably is the following:

  • All seafarers are allowed to sign-off in any Malaysian port irrespective of their citizenships or ship’s flag.
  • Only seafarers who are Malaysian citizens are allowed to sign-on in Malaysia. They shall complete the JLM Health Declaration Form and undergo COVID-19 test approved by the MOH.
  • Other conditions apply

Malaysian Shipping Notice 13/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

29 June

MSN 13 amends and consolidates Annex 1, which outlines the crew change restrictions and extensions to seafarers documents in Malaysia; of which the following are of significance for crew changes: 

  • All crew can change in Malaysian ports, unless they show positive COVID-19 test results
  • Sign-on and -off applications must be submitted at least three days prior to berthing
  • COVID-19 test must be taken by both on- and off-signing crew

Malaysian Shipping Notice (MSN) 15/2020

Marine Department of Malaysia

 30 July

 MSN 15 amends MSN 13 with an updated Annex 1. In addition, MSN 15 supersedes MSN 13 for crew change instruction, of which the following are incorporated: 

  • Any crew tested COVID-19 positive must inform the Ministry of Health immediately within 24 hours upon the clearance and is not allowed to leave the screening test area
  • A signed letter of undertaking agreeing to bear all costs relating to quarantine including related logistics aspects therof.
  • All crew signing on and off are now required to undergo a 14 days quarantine process at a Quarantine Centre and to do at least two (2) COVID-19 tests (1st day and 13th day).
  • Exemption for the 14-day quarantine may be granted but only for ships in domestic voyages or ships being laid up in Malaysian waters for more than 30 days.

For Kuantan Port, ships having a record of the last 3 ports that are from China will be required to furnish information at least 48 hours prior to arrival as well as subjected to screening process before any disembarkation can take place. See original release

31 March - *All vessels arriving at Malaysia are subject to quarantine clearance, irrespective of their last port of call. No crew change for foreign nationals is currently permitted at any of the country’s ports.

Malaysia Movement Control Order (MCO) in brief:

  • restricts movement and assembly nationwide;
  • restricts travel for all Malaysians going overseas;
  • restricts foreign visitors and tourists into Malaysia;
  • closes all government and private premises except those involved in essential services.

Foreign nationals who are in Malaysia and Malaysians are advised to adhere to the MCO. Violators are liable to a maximum fine of MYR 1,000 or jail for up to six months or both.

With the Immigration Department Office being closed effective 19 March 2020, travelers whose visit passes expire during the MCO period are not able to secure a special pass or to extend their visit passes to remain in Malaysia with a valid pass.

23 April - Please see SPICA regional update 21 April which includes information on Malaysian ports. 

Useful links: 
Malaysian Shipping Notices

*Source: North P&I Club


On 17 March, the Merchant Shipping Directorate (MSN) of Malta issued MSN 158 in addition to an earlier MSB 157, advising that extension of SEA, validity of seafarer certificates, statutory certificates, surveys, audits and inspections, would be considered on a case-by-case basis. For full details, please see MSN 158

According to a local member the following restrictions apply:

In Malta Freeport Terminals:

  • Disembarkation of crew members is prohibited, unless permission is granted by Port Health and Transport

Oiltanking Terminal

  • Shore leave is prohibited - apparently with no exemptions
  • Ships waste shall be handled by shore side contractors
  • Ships at berth are not allowed to receive supplies and spares - effective from February 29
  • Ships at berth are not allowed to perform crew change - effective from February 29

**In addition, ships are being requested to show the Yellow flag in accordance with the International Code of Signal to signify that the ship is healthy. It is to remain up until the Medic gives the green light to start operations.

It is understood that same procedures are in place in the Port of Valletta.**

**On 12 March, the following was sent by the Authorities in Malta to all service providers, ship agents and bunkering operators at Malta in respect of services provided outside Maltese territorial waters:-

  • All ships must be cleared by Port Health prior to port entry.
  • Cruise liners arriving from an Italian/Sicilian port (LPC) are NOT Permitted.
  • Cruise ships arriving from a port other than Italian/Sicilian are Permitted subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Any requests involving passengers from Italy/Sicily are NOT Permitted.
  • Any request involving passengers not coming from Italy/Sicily are permitted and are subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Requests from local work boats WTW / OTW are subject to Port Health clearance.
  • Conveyances involving crew changes WTW and OTW are NOT Permitted.  Crew changes are only permitted whilst vessels are in port subject that applicable procedures are in place including Port Health clearance.
  • Conveyance vessels requesting to proceed to OTW are to process a normal arrival and departure notification and are also subject to port formalities including Port Health clearance.
    With regards to the dis/embarkation of surveyors, mooring master, etc…  Port Health doctor to be consulted prior to authorising.

26 March - Authorities have advised ship agents, terminal operators, bunker barge and conveyance/launch service operators of the following measures to apply to all vessels that have been cleared to obtain services in Maltese waters and ports:

  1. No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessel throughout the duration of its call in Maltese waters and ports.
  2. No shore personnel are allowed to board vessels unless there is a written authorisation from the Port Health Medic.  Maritime Pilots, Port Foremen, Port Workers and Terminal Personnel involved in cargo handling operations are exempted from this provision.
  3. Personnel authorised to board vessels are to keep interaction with crew to the minimum that is reasonably practical.
  4. Bunker Barges and Service (Conveyance) Launches are to avoid contact with crew members.  Crew of bunker barges, crew of service (conveyance) launches and technical personnel such as surveyors and technicians intending to board vessels must obtain a written authorisation from the Port Health Medic and will be subject to mandatory quarantine once they disembark.

When boarding of vessels and interaction with crew members is necessary, the Authority reminds all to implement the measures and take the necessary precautions as advised by the Superintendent of Public Health.

The Authority further advises all responsible persons to:

  1. Immediately report any unplanned or accidental interaction with third party personnel or crew members to Port Health and comply with any instructions given.
  2. Ensure that vessels berthed within their terminal which have been directed to follow quarantine instructions comply accordingly.
  3. Immediately report any matter or operation that does not comply with the provisions of this Port Notice or the above mentioned Legal Notices and Port Notices to the Authority and Port Health.

15 April - Authorities have introduced the following additional measures:

  • Surveys or inspections within or outside Maltese Territorial Waters:
  • With immediate effect surveyors, technicians and other personnel will not be allowed to interact with vessels.
  • Embarkation/disembarkation of personnel on board sea-going vessels within or outside territorial waters will not be permitted.
  • Surveyors and similarly designated personnel may operate from onboard local bunkers barges or service boats BUT not transfer to the sea-going vessels.
  • In certain circumstances these restrictions may be lifted if both Maltese Governmental departments (Port Heath and Port Operations) give consent and specific safety instructions are followed.

Surveys or inspections in port:

  • If a vessel is granted permission to enter Maltese Ports, interaction with surveyors is only permitted if  both Maltese Governmental departments (being Port Heath and Port Operations) consent.
  • In general, attendance onboard will only be allowed once the crew have undergone a 14 day quarantine period. Otherwise a person boarding a vessel may be subject to a 14 day quarantine period themselves.
  • Special authorisation may be given in an extraordinary situation e.g. fire or accident onboard, oil spillage etc.

6 May - Crew changes are not permitted in Malta until further notice. Permission to disembark crew members for medical assistance will be granted by the port authorities and will be assessed on a case-by- case basis. This will also be subject to testing negative for COVID-19 if the crew member has not completed 14 days of quarantine**

11 May: According to information provided by Identity Malta, the Maltese administration in charge of immigration matters will still consider requests for new visas "only.... in exceptional circumstances, including family members of European Union citizens, healthcare and elderly care professionals". 

18 May - See COVID-19 info page for travel ban details. 

2 June: According to information provided by Focal Maritime Services, Malta will see a general relaxation of the restrictions from 1 July:

  • Ports will be open for all maritime operations
  • Malta will be open for international flights to and from 19 European countries

15 June: According to Focal Maritime Services, additional countries will be allowed as destination for international flights after 1 July. The full list as per today counts the following:

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland

Further to the above, all flight restrictions will allegedly be rolled back from 15 July

1 July: According to information provided by Focal Maritime Services, the following crew change procedure is in place:

  • Shipping Agent must send their request to terminal Security attaching approvals from Port Health and Immigration. The Shipping Agent should also include proof that the crew member has been for a minimum of 2 weeks in one of the listed countries as per LN244 of 2020
  • Security to grant permission for crew member to enter/leave the Terminal
  • Taxi from quay to gate or vice versa to be provided by Shipping Agent. 

Shore leave is still prohibited in general.

According to LN244 of 2020, the following countries are excepted from the travel restrictions to Malta:

  • Austria
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France, with the exception of Ile-de-France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Italy, with the exception of Emilia Romagna, Lombardy and Piemonte
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Spain, with the exception of Madrid, Catalonia, Castilla-La Mancha, Castile and Leon
  • Switzerland

Exceptions may be given on a case-by-case ratio to other countries "where such travel of persons is deemed necessary or essential".

5 August -In accordance with LN 290 of 2020, effective 15 July 2020, there is no travel ban for the following countries called 'safe corridor countries': 

 (a)  Austria;(b)  Cyprus;(c)  Czech Republic; (d) Denmark; (e) Estonia; (f) Finland; (g) Hungary; (h)  Iceland;(i)   Ireland;(j)   Germany; (k)  Latvia; (l Lithuania;(m)  Luxembourg;(n)  Norway; (o) Italy, (p)  France, (q) Slovakia;(r)  Switzerland;(s)  Greece; (t) Croatia;(u)  Spain; (v) Poland (w) United Kingdom; (x) Belgium; (y) Bulgaria; (z) Netherlands; (aa) Canada; (bb) Australia; (cc) New Zealand; (dd) South Korea; (ee) Andorra; (ff) Monaco; (gg) San Marino; (hh) China; (ii) Vatican City; (jj) Rwanda; (kk) Uruguay; (ll) Slovenia; (mm) Japan; (nn) Morocco; (oo) Thailand; (pp) Tunisia; (qq) Portugal; (rr) Romania; (ss) Lebanon; (tt) Indonesia; (uu) United Arab Emirates; (vv) Turkey; (ww) Jordan; (xx) Liechtenstein. 

Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are also considered as part of the corridor countries (considered with UK and China respectively). 

PCR swab testing prior to travelling and quarantine on arrival to Malta will not be applicable to those travelling through the above-mentioned process, provided the person has been resident in any corridor country or countries for a minimum of 14 days. Persons coming to Malta must not pass through transit airports outside the list of corridor countries. As mentioned, these persons are not subject to the 14-day quarantine as required.

Crew change to/from Malta, should be permitted for persons travelling from the list of safe corridor countries as originally applied to an earlier list in LN 244. According to North P&I Club, "crew changes are involving persons not from the specific countries listed in the Legal Notice. Crew changes can be planned and travel arrangements made accordingly."

For more detailed information on Malta travel requirements, please refer to Malta Health Govt/Travel. 

Useful links for latest information

*Source: Focal Maritime, ** North P&I Club

Marshall Islands

International Registry to the Marshall Islands maintains a COVID-19 advisory page, including the Marine Notice (MN) 7-052-2 from the Republic of Marshall Islands allowing for extended SEAs.

26 August - A total suspension of international travellers coming into the country via air travel until 5 September 2020. Domestic air travel between Majuro and Kwajalein on international airlines is also no longer permitted. Any person entering the country will need official clearance otherwise will be removed or placed under quarantine. However carrier vessels are exempted and crew changes allowed subject to conditions being fulfilled. For full details, see Updated Interim Health Travel Advisory and Restrictions issued on 30 July 2020. 

Useful links



The following circulars have been issued by the Mauritanian Minsitry of fishery and maritime economy:

Marine circular 03/2020 Restrictions to cargo ships

For cargo vessels transhipping fishery products in the harbor:

  • No transfer of the crew of the cargo ship is authorized
  • Contacts must be reduced to the strict minimum
  • The teams of the Mauritanian Coast Guard "GCM" and the crew of the fishing vessel must observe the protective measures and keep a minimum distance of 2 meters from the crew members of the Cargo ship
  • For the crew of the cargo ship, no contact with land, boats or other ships is allowed

For merchant ships serving Mauritanian ports:

  • The captains of the ship must transmit to the harbor master's offices their "ETA" and their Maritime Declaration of Health at least 72 hours in advance
  • The pilots and the pilot crew must be equipped with masks, gloves, boots and must maintain a distance of 2 meters from the ship's crew
  • Persons likely to be engaged on board the ship must have accurate and relevant pandemic information and take all measures to reduce the risk of exposure
  • No disembarkation of the ship's crew member is authorized.

Port of Nouakchott - Circular

Date: 23 April 2020

COVID-19 measures

  • Only the Border and Health authorities decide on entry of ship based on submission of health of crew members and ship's call history
  • Ships coming from affected countries will be quarantined to enable above authorities to make the necessary clearance and submission of information prior to arrival must be strictly adhered to.
  • no crew ashore allowed except for reading of draught survey
  • Pilot and doctor can board with PPE cover.
  • Port officer, state personnel and agent no longer authorised to be onboard ship. However stevedores and crane operators and other agents operating on board allowed but with COVID-19 measures complied with.
  • Disembarkation of any objects or wastes is prohibited.

6 May: North P&I reports that crew change for foreign nationals is not possible, as the airport is closed. The crew change for country’s own nationals is possible if they are in the same port as the vessel.Crew members are allowed to be treated if it is not Covid-19 related

Useful links:



24 April - *The COVID-19 Lockdown / Sanitary Curfew in Mauritius has been extended until 1 June 2020.

Services Allowed:

  • Delivery of Bunker
  • Delivery of Provisions
  • Delivery of Stores
  • Delivery of Lube Oil
  • Renewal of SSCEC
  • Delivery of spares
  • Disembarkation of weapons only (For PMSC)
  • Embarkation of Weapons only (For PMSC)
  • Vessel may or may not be boarded by Health Authorities, but clearance will be given by VHF and Email

    Services NOT Allowed:
  • No crew change
  • No Shore Leave

Medical disembarkation under the strict control of the MRCC and the Health Authorities

6 May- Crew change of own nationals will be allowed in with 14 days quarantine period ashore and but foreign nationals are not allowed. Doctors going on board vessels at berth to treat crew  for non-COVID19 injuries and illnesses as no crew is allowed to go ashore.*

*Source: North P&I Club


The Mexican Navy Secretariat has issued guidelines for a ship arriving with infectious diseases, including Coronavirus, or suspicions thereof. Should a ship have a suspicious case of Novel Corona virus, the guidelines from the Mexican Navy are as follows:

  1. The Master of the ship shall inform Port Agents of the sick person(s) who present symptoms similar to the Covid-19 (or as per applicable medical guidelines issued by national and/ or international authorities, such as WHO or IMHA for instance).
  2. Port Agents shall proceed to give notice to the International Health Service (Sanidad Internacional / S.I.).
  3. S.I. will coordinate with the Harbour Master the applicable safety protocols to be imposed on the ship.
  4. The Harbour Master will coordinate with traffic control, and likely order any suspect ship to remain at anchorage until further notice.
  5. While at anchorage, S.I. will board the ship to either confirm as negative or positive the symptoms of the crew member in relation to the Coronavirus.If positive, the ship shall be placed in quarantine until the virus is eradicated.

The Mexican Merchant Marine, has issued recommendations based on the WHO’s Circular No. 4202 from the 31st of January 2020. These are mainly aimed at preventing the spread of the virus in the maritime community. 

On the 27th of February 2020, the President of Mexico, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, stated that ships with suspicious cases, or confirmed coronavirus would be treated indiscriminately, and that they would not be denied access without previous fair treatment and protocols.

25 March - All Mexican ports are working under normal circumstances and are only applying UN international sanitary recommendations to avoid the virus to enter the country.

Up to this moment, all vessels are working under normal circumstances, however, formalities before the immigration and customs authorities within the ports have been reduced to about 50-70% due to the contingency. Due to this, formalities/paperwork is taking longer than usual.

6 May -  Crew changes are not allowed and there is difficulty for disembarking crew in need of medical assistance.

18 May -  Crew changes are strictly limited in Mexican ports, irrespective of their nationality. Mexican port’s authorities have a large discretionary power to decide over this matter and have issued notifications and guidelines on a case-by-case basis.  The authorization to disembark or not is largely dependent on each Mexican port’s authorities.  Pinedo Agogados shares experience that the Harbor Master’s Office (Capitanía de Puerto) jointly with the International Sanitary Authority (Sanidad Internacional) have declared that they do not have the necessary infrastructure to guarantee an infection-free disembarking process and therefore, decline requests to disembark crew members suffering from non-COVID injuries and illnesses. 

26 June - The Mexican government reporting to IMO via circular letter no. 4304/add.1 on the COVID-19 measures taken as of 2nd June. It appears that there is no explicit approval for crew changes though disembarkation is allowed for repatriation; to people with COVID-19 symptoms or to transfer passengers.

*Source: North P&I Club 


15 June - The Government of Moldova informing IMO (via circular letter no.4252/Add.1) of the measures taken in regard to extensions granted for statutory inspections and seafarers' certificates during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

The National Public Health Emergency Commission in Moldova issued a State of Public Health Emergency effective May 16 until June 30. 

The Chisinau International Airport is still closed to commercial flights, although some charter flights continue to operate.

Until June 30, foreigners are not permitted into Moldova unless they meet one of the following exceptions:  (1) immediate family members of Moldovan citizens; (2) persons having a visa, residency permit, or other document issued by Moldovan authorities; (3) persons traveling for “professional interest” in possession of a visa, residency permit, or other document issued by Moldovan authorities; (4) diplomats accredited to Moldova and members of international organizations and their family members; personnel who can provide humanitarian aid; (5) passengers in transit.

Moldova requires a 14- day home stay (quarantine) for new arrivals, with certain exceptions which include crew members.

Certain crossing points of the state borders have also opened.

Useful links


24 April - *Prohibition of entry for all cruisers and yachts in ports: Bar, Budva, Kotor, Kumbor –Portonovi, Tivat and Zelenika, until 2 May 2020.

Port of Bar operational for commercial vessels – no restriction. Surveys are performing regularly, strictly following safety measures.

Ban on commercial air traffic as well as restriction from other countries for travel is prolonged until 30 April 2020, including that day.

6 May -  Crew change of Montenegrin seafarers possible, but not for the foreign nationals. Local ports are allowing for crew medical treatment for non-COVID19 injuries and illness.*

7 Oct - The Government of Montenegro informing IMO of the extensions given to seafarers' certificates via IMO circular letter no. 4244/Add.1 issued on 5 October 2020. 

Entry to the country is now restricted  by a listing of countries depicted by colour coding - green and yellow listings. Seafarers are exempted. Note also that all border crossings are open except for some road border crossings. For full details including checking the latest lists and entry requirements, please refer to their website.  

*Source: North P&I Club


Prior to arrival the follow documents must be forwarded:

  • Previous ports calls
  • Maritime Health Declaration
  • Crew list with temperature of each crew for 4 days before arrival
  • Public Health Passenger Form for each crew
  • Port control must be advised if there are suspected cases onboard

20 March - **Passenger traffic suspended to/from Italy,Spain and France. 

For cargo ships up to now there are no general restrictions or quarantine. However preventive measures have been implemented as per a note n° 7/2020 from Ministry of Equipment Transport & Logistic dated 14/03/2020 attached herewith (although in French):

  • Vessels shall remain at anchorage time for health authority, entitled to deliver free pratique, to evaluate the risks and fix the preventive measures to take for persons accessing the ship, in accordance with port authorities;
  • After berthing, no physical contact should be made with people from shore and crew members are not authorized to land excepted extreme urgency case and under the control of health authorities;
  • Pilot must be equipped with FFP2 mask and gloves when meeting the Master and crew who should also wear protection equipment;
  • The agent is the unique interface with the Master. He shall access on board after withdrawal of crew members from gangway;
  • Official documents should be placed under plastic film and should be disinfected prior being remitted to authorities;
  • Local security committees may take additional measures in case of exceptional situation not anticipated in this note.

At Casablanca Port, authority (ANP) issued a note on 16/03/2020 to the various stevedore companies referring to the note n° 7/2020 from Ministry of Equipment Transport & Logistic dated 14/03/2020 above and implementing additional preventive measures such as:

  • Require for stevedore staff who has to board the vessel the use of protection equipment (gloves, bib, antiseptic solution)
  • Forbid any person acting as service supplier the board ships. Watchmen should exert their watch from shore; regarding collect of waste waters or oily waters the connection of hoses on vessel side must be done by the crew, solid wastes shall  be collected on shore.
  • Require to raise the gangway after completion of administrative formalities

At SAFI Port, operations are almost normal, however, please note:

  • No reduction of shifts (3 shifts) have been ordered.
  • No crew changes are permitted.
  • No surveyor, superintendent or technician from outside Morocco are allowed.
  • No crew member is allowed  to leave the vessel except for emergencies, gangway up.
  • Auxiliary services staff such as shipchandlers, waste disposal, watchmen are not allowed to go board.
  • Safety clothes are compulsory.

As regard surveyors access to Moroccan ports and ships - currently no official information on restrictions. However surveyors should stay on board the minimum time necessary to perform their survey / investigation.

Situation in courts – The Ministry of Justice ordered on 16/03/2020 p.m. the suspension until further notice of the activity in Moroccan courts. Only the hearings in way of emergency proceedings and those in relation to criminal pending matters are maintained. Thus the pending cases before commercial courts are suspended as well as the introduction of new proceedings.

27 March - The state of sanitary urgency is in force until 20/04/2020 18 :00 it and may be re-conducted as necessary. As from 06:00 p.m. till 06:00 a.m., people are not authorized to be outside unless for health emergency cases or for specific professional reasons. Movement between cities is not authorized as a matter of principle.

Ports are operating normally with specific prevention measures as detailed above.

Regarding surveyor’s activity,  surveyors are not allowed to access OCP terminal at Casablanca and Jorf Lasfar. As a consequence, they can neither board ships berthed at OCP terminals. At Casablanca port the situation for surveyors  is a bit confusing. Depending on the terminal and also the agent, the surveyor may or may not board the ships. There is however no restriction for surveyors as long as they remain on shore (with the exception mentioned above of OCP terminal).

22 April - lockdown in Morocco til 20 May 2020

6 MayCrew changes not possible. Medical assistance  for non-COVID19 related issues is available subject to approval of local authorities.  Disembarking of crew and transfer to clinic for care/treatment possible once verified by various port authorities representatives (Health, Harbor master office, police, custom…)  that there is no COVID-19 case onboard.**

18 May - All commercial flights to or from Morocco are still been suspended as well as with passenger ferry links between Morocco and Spain and Gibraltar. 

2 June - The Moroccan government informing IMO of the COVID-19 measures undertaken by them which include extensions granted to seafarers' certificates and documents as well as to ship's titles and certificates excluding ISM and ISPS and MLC which would be kept valid by issuance of a provisional certificate of 6 months. According to circular, no member of crew is allowed to leave the ship except for extreme emergency cases and under the supervision of the competent health services.  Temporary suspension of all pleasure, cruise and passenger ships except for Ropax ships exclusively transporting road combinations with their drivers. 

9 July -  ** Moroccan Marine Marchande issued note 15/2020 authorizing the embarkation and disembarkation of crew members from 20 June 2020. Crew changes are subject to the prior approval of the Merchant Marine Direction and must be done in compliance with the health framework enacted and adopted in the Kingdom of Morocco. Moroccan borders are still closed and consequently flights are remain suspended until further notice.**

* Source: Somaship S.A.R.L and Universal Shipping, ** North P&I Club 


13 March - Port Health requirements:  due to Corona Virus, all ships must send the required information before arrival at Beira Port:

  •  Maritime Health Declaration
  •  Crew list  which is mentioned the countries where all crew members have embarked the vessel
  •  List of 10 Port of Calls Before Beira
  •  Yellow fever vaccination list
  •  Declaration from Master confirming that all crew members are in good health conditions since from last Port of departure until arrival in Beira Port
  •  Vaccination list

In case it is verified of any risk situation to Public Health and confirmed that ship is coming from infected Countries or crew members, Captains have to declare in Maritime declaration and inform all concerned before arrival of ship , then will be analysed how long the ship has taken from previous Port until Beira, at least ship must have stand 14 days allowed from World Health Organisation, hence Port Health authorities will allow berthing of ship and Port Health officer will be the first to be on board with appropriate machine to measure the temperature of all crew members, if not have been verified high fever temperature vessel will be allowed to work but all crew members will not be allowed to go ashore.

25 MarchMaputo & Matola

  • All Vessels that have undertaken international voyage, must apply for “Free Pratique” to Port Sanitary and Health Authorities, 24 to 48 hours prior to arriving the Limits of Port Maputo Marine Jurisdiction Area. Port Sanitary and Health Authorities and MPDC Port Authority/Harbour Master´s Office, must be kept updated on any changes to the health status on board the vessel, whilst in Anchorage or while alongside the berth.
  • Masters make accurate declarations of health and well being of the crew, and if in doubt, consult with a medical practitioner to be arranged by the vessel agent. Masters unable to communicate in English, stand the risk of not receiving services until a translator is arranged by the vessel agent. Any false declaration will be viewed in a serious light and reported to the MPDC Port Authority and Mozambican Health and Sanitary Officials for further action.
  • Masters of all vessels are required to display the “Q” Flag if all onboard are healthy and Free Pratique has not been granted by Port Health – means the master declares that all crew & personnel onboard are healthy and he/she requests Free Pratique.  The Q Flag is to remain raised on the main mast until the vessel has been cleared by Port Health and Free Pratique has been granted. 
  • Duty Pilots are to make use of issued personal protective equipment (PPE), protective facial masks, gloves and long sleeve shirt when boarding any vessel to protect themselves, even if the master has declared all onboard are healthy. The disposable PPE is to remove after every vessel and placed in a sealed plastic bag. The Pilot transport vehicle and the pilot boat will be provided with designated hazardous waste containers.
  • All waste removal from Off Port Limit vessels and vessels at anchorages are to cease immediately until advised otherwise. Collection of Grey Waters, Sludge, etc., are included in the restriction.
    No waste including galley waste will be disposed of in Maputo and Matola Ports and in all Port Marine Jurisdiction Area. Galley waste will no longer be accepted at any ports and are to be incinerated on board the vessel.
  • All Off Port Limit activities involving foreign vessels and crews to be suspended until further notice.
  • Considering the cancellation of flights from other countries to Mozambique, with transit time under 14 days and the transit through other airports, it is not practical to quarantine all people arriving into Maputo and Matola Ports. It is therefore essential to restrict and suspend any specialists visiting from foreign countries until further notice.
  • Permission from Port Health and the Harbour Master’s Office is required prior to any interaction with vessels (i.e. vessels with any person having any illness). This also applies to bunker barges/ships and small vessels.
  • Shore leave for Crews which vessels are alongside of any quay of Maputo and Matola Ports are not allowed. Visitors to vessels restricted to essential personnel only. Cancelled the emission of Shore Passes to Crew Members.
  • Limited interaction between bunker operator and vessels permitted. Crew to ensure gloves are provided and used when handling mooring lines & all preventative precautions are upheld – no crew changes permitted for bunker barges or vessel taking fuel from foreign countries.
  • No Crew changes will be permitted for any Off-Port Limit calls including vessels at anchorage.
  • Vessel´s passengers and crew transfers will not be permitted in Maputo and Matola Ports and in all Port Maputo Marine Jurisdiction Area.
  • Applications for services to be render to vessels and on board vessels will be thoroughly assessed before Permission is Granted by the Harbour Master.

The above will not be applied to MEDVACS for medical emergencies, provided that all necessary MPDC Port Protocol and Port Sanitary and Health Authorities are adhered to.

11 May - Country is under quarantine until 30 May 2020. Port operations are unaffected and continue as normal. 

*Source: North P&I Club


*18 March - The Myanmar Immigration Authority suspended visa on arrival for all Chinese citizens. Maritime Port Authority no longer gives shore passes to Chinese crew and no longer allows crew change.  Port health officers will attend and board all incoming ships on arrival. Health cards will be given to each crew to complete and sign on arrival.Master of ship  must declare crew health prior vessel arrival.

Effective 15 March 2020,  travel suspension for any foreigner who has travelled to Korea and China virus hot spots in the past 14 days. Myanmar citizens who have been to hot spots in Korea and China will be quarantined at designated facilities. All individual who travelled to areas in Korea that were not hot spots will be subject to 14 day home quarantine.Anyone who has travelled to Italy, Iran, France, Spain, Germany will be subject to 14 day quarantine at a designated facility.

6 May - Crew changes of foreign nationals are not permitted. Crew changes of Myanmar nationals is possible subject to the approval of the Myanmar Port Authority and Ministry of Health and mandatory 14 day quarantine. Medical assistance  for emergency non-COVID19 related issues is available subject to approval of local authorities and decided on a case-by-case basis. Routine medical treatment is only available for Myanmar nationals. *

26 May -  Via  Myanmar Ministry of Transport, Department of Marine Administration's issue of  Marine Guidance (1/2020), extensions are granted to ship's statutory certificates in relation to surveys, audits and inspections.  

21 August - Issue of Marine Guidance 2, 3 and 4 of 2020 (via IMO circular letter no. 4246/Add.4) advising of further extensions for certificates expiring between 30 June and 30 September 2020 for Myanmar- registered ships.

In accordance with UK Travel advice today, restrictions on international travelers are still in place, with a ban on all overseas commercial flights into the country's airports extended until the end of August. New tourist visa applications are currently suspended until 31 August and new arrivals are subject to screening and quarantine requirements. Restrictions and curfews are still in place in various regions depending on the number of infected cases, like imposing today,  a night-time curfew in the capital city of the country’s western Rakhine state.

7 Sept - Issue of Marine Guidance 5 (via IMO circular letter no. 4246/Add.5) advising of extension of Seafarer Employment Agreement where the maximum period allowed is not more than 15 months. 

10 Sept - The government of Myanmar has suspended all international commercial passenger flights until 30 September and all land borders are shut. New tourist visa applications are still suspended. There are temperature checks for all arrivals. Arrivals must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result and must enter government-arranged quarantine (Ref: UK Travel Advice as at 10 Sept). Curfews, lockdowns, stay-at-home orders are currently being imposed on various states in the country.

 *Source: North P&I Club


As on 2 April, the Namibian Ports Authority has issued the following relevant circulars:

Additional Contingency Measures for the Corona Virus (COVID-19) Pandemic

Date: 17 March

Restrictions to cargo ships

Effectively suspending crew changes (Bullet 2) and imposing the following PPE requirements:

  • Goggles
  • Masks (FFP2 or better)
  • Surgical gloves
  • The above to be worn when boarding foreign ships

Additional Mitigation measures - Corona Virus (Covid-19) Pandemic

Date: 25 March

Quarantine calculation Imposing a minimum of 14 days' quarantine at anchorage "calculated as the duration from the last port of call or the last crew interaction with another vessel/rig at sea" before medical clearance and berth may proceed.

External memorandum

Date: 26 March

Port operations during COVID-19 lockdown

Imposing the following restrictions until at least 17 April, 07:00 LT:

  • Entrance to Namport buildings will be limited to ten (10) people and clients are required to maintain at least one-meter distance while queuing for service. Hand sanitizers are provided at our entrances and will be administered by security personnel at each entrance.
  • Namport customer care desk and revenue division will operate as normal from 08:00 to 17:00 with reduced staff numbers.
  • Marine, Port Security and Port Control will continue to operate with full staff compliment and normal shift patterns will be maintained.
  • The Syncrolift and Terminal Planning Divisions will shut down operations at 16:30 on 27 March for a period of
    fourteen days. Syncrolift employees will remain at home and on standby for potential emergencies.
  • The normal three shifts four-panel operations will remain in force at the container terminal and equipment and human resources deployment will be reduced accordingly.
  • Current berthing window arrangements will temporarily cease and all vessels will be handled on a first come first serve basis. Namport may at its sole discretion deviate from this arrangement to give preference to vessels carrying emergency supplies.
  • Break Bulk Operations will be limited to two vessels at any given time and human and equipment resources will be reduced accordingly.
  • Import and export deliveries will be accommodated during normal working hours but special consideration will be given to emergency supplies during this period.
  • Port activities in Luderitz will be limited to two working vessels at any given time and equipment and human resources will be reduced accordingly.

North P&I Club

Date: 6 May 2020

State of Emergency and crew Change
  • Country under state of emergency which was declared on 17 March will be for a period of 6 months. Walvis Bay port is closed and country has implemented international travel ban.
  • Crew changes for own country possible subject to 14 day-quarantine. International crew changes are not permitted. To be re-assessed by end of June 2020. Note that all airports are closed and international travel to and from Namibian closed and under ban. Only life-threatening illness or injury will be treated upon application and assessed on a case-by-case basis.

For the most recent circulars, kindly refer to NAMPORT

Source: Irish Shipbrokers


*24 March - The port of Rotterdam remains operational. Cargo handling and production continues unabated. The Harbour Master Division is monitoring safety and public order on the water 24/7.

The Port of Rotterdam Authority has taken steps to safeguard the continuity of business operations and is advising and assisting clients to keep them informed of developments. As the situation relating to the spread of coronavirus is changing very rapidly, new measures including those requiring additional measures are likely in the days and weeks to come.

The following measures have been taken:

  • Employees of the Port of Rotterdam Authority are working from home as much as possible and can be reached by email. Operational services continue and the Harbour Coordination Centre remains accessible 24/7.
  • All events, receptions and non-essential training courses have been postponed or cancelled.
  • All seagoing vessels are required to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) before arriving at, or being piloted in, the port of Rotterdam. That procedure is already in place for cruise vessels. It does not apply to inland shipping.*

**According to information received from local members, there are no restrictions issued by the Dutch government on passenger traffic.

However - considering the above - local terminals and port authorities may have issued their own preventive measures. Ships calling from affected areas may be liable to the following preventive measures:

  • Crew change by boat
  • Early medical screening**

26th March - the Netherlands' Maritime Affairs (Human Environment and Transport Inspectorate) has now enforced a contingency plan ( via IMO) in relation to granting of extensions for ships' certificates, surveys, annual ISM audits, dispensation for Minimum Safe Manning compliance, seafarers' certificates etc. 

26 March - *Amsterdam port is closed to all sea and river cruise ships, and all events are cancelled until 1 July 2020. Daily consultations are being conducted with terminals in the port area about the impact of COVID-19 measures and the current state of affairs.

The Port of Amsterdam requests all ships entering the port to submit a Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH), regardless of the situation on board. This must be sent at least 6 hours prior to arrival at the Pilot Station and must have been signed in the last 24 hours. In case of deviations from the Maritime Health Declaration, Port of Amsterdam will contact the Municipal Health Service.*

17 April - All corona measures taken by the Netherlands Government will be extended till 28 April and will be assessed again. From 17 April 2020 at 18:00 onwards, a health screening form will be compulsory for travelers from high-risk areas travelling to the Netherlands. Due to the Public Health Act, it is necessary that all airlines ask passengers for a health screening form. The declaration-form must be completed before boarding. See Q&A on COVID-19 and travel to Netherlands.

6 May -* Crew change possible for commercial cargo vessels. However, with the very limited available flights departing, many shipowners leave the crew on board of their ships as they simply cannot fly home. Emergency medical response is still possible, although harbour doctors are hesitant to go onboard or see patients in the harbour clinic. If a crew member requires immediate medical assistance (because of an accident on board) the crew member will be taken to hospital with all precautions *.

Useful links:

* Source: North P&I Club, ** MariTeam Shipping Agencies

New Zealand

As per 1 April, the following travel restrictions are in place according to the New Zealand Health Authorities:

  • No entry to New Zealand for foreign citizens.

Since 26 March a State of Emergency was applied at all New Zealand territory. To keep updated on this, we recommend you to refer to the New Zealand Government page on COVID-19. The Ministry of Transport has issued guidelines for clarification on essential services, according to which the non-essential goods can be transported under the following circumstances:

  1. If essential workers are already located at the port for the purpose of dealing with essential goods; and
  2. If the movement of non-essential goods at the Port does not impact on:
    1. The movement of essential goods or
    2. The delivery of essential services at the Port; or
  3. If the movement of non-essential goods is required to create space for essential goods and the movement of essential goods within the port and across the supply chain. In this instance, the non-essential goods are classified as essential for the purposes of moving them to an alternative storage facility.

With respect to 3 above:

  • Additional workers that are required to enter the Port, to assist with the movement of non-essential goods to create space for essential goods, become essential workers for the purpose of moving those goods; and
  • Those goods should only be moved to a place of storage to get them out of the way as essential goods.

6 May - The Government has announced new border measures: 

  • Only New Zealand residents and citizens (and their children and partners) are permitted to enter New Zealand.  This includes the Realm countries (the Cook Islands, Niue, Tokelau), Australian citizens and permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand, airline and marine crew.
  • Some exceptions, on a case by case basis, for example for essential health workers, humanitarian reasons, and others.
  • Every traveller arriving into New Zealand on a flight which departs from another country after 23:59 on 9 April must go into one of two facilities ( quarantine facility or approved managed isolation facility) for a minimum of 14 days.
  • Crew changes possible but ship crew must self-isolate on the vessel for 14 days until after they had departed from the last overseas port. Shore leave is not permitted during the self-isolation period. If the crew need to interact with border or port staff they should follow the advice on personal protection for border staff. (See Border Advisory 20 March 2020.)

3 June - -Current border measures extended to 22 June 2020 with the COVID-19 Alert moving down to Level 2 on 13 May 2020. As per COVID-19 Border Advisory (20) – 09 May 2020, the following measures in place for crew change: 

  • Marine crew arriving by air to join a vessel are to travel immediately and directly by private transport to the vessel where they will complete 14 days of self-isolation. 
  • Marine crew arriving by sea must self-isolate on the vessel for 14 days until they departed from after overseas port OR took on new crew (ie 14 days from the last day of possible exposure to a case). Shore leave is not permitted during the self-isolation period. If the crew or border staff need to interact, vessel and border staff should follow the advice on personal protection for border staff. During level 3 (and level 2) crew will need to follow the same requirements as everyone else in New Zealand.
  • Once any period of isolation or quarantine is completed, all crew will also need to follow the same requirements as everyone else in New Zealand, currently Alert Level 2.
  • On the rare occasion a marine crew needs to depart a vessel recently arrived in New Zealand the crew will be required to go immediately into self-isolation for 14 days from the date the vessel departed the last international port of call OR took on new crew (ie 14 days from the last day of possible exposure to a case). The vessel (or employer) will need to meet the costs of isolation on shore.

9 July 2020 - The COVID-19 Public Health Response ( Maritime Border) Order 2020 came into effect on 30 June 2020, giving clear rules for safe crew changes and will apply for an interim period of 4 weeks initially and will be refined thereafter. Under this Order, all ships are prohibited from entering New Zealand unless exempted and there are strict isolation or quarantine requirements for those entering. Amongst the exemptions are ships that are loading and unloading cargoes or ships with compelling need for re-provisioning, refuelling or both or repairs, refitting  and permission has been granted from the Director-General. 

In general, crew wanting to disembark must remain in quarantine or isolation at least 14 days after arrival unless the following requirements are met:

  • Ship has been at sea for more than 28 days
  • No contact with anyone other than those on board 
  • The Customs and Excise Act 2018 requirements for the arrival of craft and disembarkation of persons have been adhered to, AND
  • A medical officer of health or health protection officer is reasonably satisfied that no persons on board have displayed symptoms of COVID-19.

The quarantine restrictions may be ignored if the seafarer either

  • Board a ship scheduled to leave New Zealand
  • Travel to a designated airport to board an aircraft scheduled to leave New Zealand

To understand better the NZ procedures, various scenarios are listed in the Quarantine/Isolation Process at the maritime border, that will qualify for disembarkation and the various procedures required and this includes crew change involving travelling to the airport ( scenarios 5A and 5B). Scenario 6 depicts the process for crew arriving by air to join a ship. Full details are available on COVID-19: maritime sector

14 August - An updated list ( as of 17 July 2020) of the Quarantine/Isolation process where advice for scenarios 2 and 6 has been amended. As of 12 August, the Auckland region has raised to Alert Level 3 due to a spike of COVID-19 cases while the rest of the country is at Alert Level 2. 

7 Sept -  The New Zealand Maritime Authority informing IMO via circular letter no. 4248/Add.6 dated 1 September 2020, of exemption granted to seafarers' certification and this exemption is valid until 28 February 2021.

2 Oct - NZ has imposed the following maritime border restrictions ( Order No.2, 2020) which came into force on 6 September 2020 replacing the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Maritime Border) Order 2020 : 

  • restricting ships arriving in NZ - exemption for a cargo ship arriving in NZ for the purpose of loading or unloading cargo ( clause 10). Ships arriving for other purposes like reprovisioning or refuelling will need permission ( clause 11). For ship allowed to enter, the master must give at least 168 hours' notice of ship arrival ( clauses 14 and 15).
  • putting in place isolation or quarantine requirements for people arriving in NZ by sea whereby a crew member can be exempted from certain isolation or quarantine requirements ( clauses 26,27 and 28). 
  • providing exemptions for the safe transfer of maritime crew ( see clause 3) 
  • new restrictions applying to boarding, disembarking or approaching a ship that is in isolation or quarantine ( see clauses 24 and 25) 

Please refer to the NZ Ministry of Health - Maritime sectorNZ Ministry of Health information page  and NZ Border information for latest updates. 


24 April: Government measures:

  • Confinement has not been mandated, the citizens are staying home by their own action and need for safety against the virus.
  • Business are in general open, the ones that can send staff to work from home.
  • Borders are closed since April 17th, No commercial flights available, only cargo flights.

Port of Corinto situation:

  • Port is working normally no crew changes are allowed.
  • Currently small changes are faced during berthing maneuvers due to prevention of Corona virus, which consisted in the following procedures:
    • Master must provide Maritime Health Declaration prior arrival.
    • In case some on board faced symptoms during transit, Master must notify to port agent, who will inform Health Department officer.
    • Once vessel is at anchorage area, Health Department officer will board the vessel at first.
    • Once health Department officer has checked all crew member and found all in order, he will instruct Quarantine officer to board the vessel
    • Health Department officer and Quarantine personnel will carry our normal inspection to the vessel and complete free practique outside.
    • Once free pratique outside is completed, pilot will be allowed to board the vessel for transferring her to the berth.
  • Inland transportation working normally.  Airport opened for cargo planes only.
  • Surveys are being attended
  • No special treatment to cargo

6 May -  Crew changes not allowed. Borders closed until 1 June and no international flights available. No medical assistance available. 

9 July - Borders and airports are still closed. No international flights available.The Nicaraguan government has yet to officially impose any domestic travel restrictions or national quarantine policies.

*Source: North P&I Club 


27 March -  the Government of Nigeria is restricting entry of travellers coming from countries* (see NCDC news 18 March) .  The Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Health (Port Health Services) has the following procedures in place:

  1. Intensify surveillance at points of entry (Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and FCT) particularly for returning travellers with travel history to countries with ongoing transmission*.
  2. Heighten screening measures at points of entry. In addition to automated temperature screening at points of entry, travellers are given a contact form to fill and asked questions upon arrival about symptoms of illness and travel history.
  3. Travellers without symptoms on departure but become unwell in transit are advised to self-report to the Port Health Services on arrival
  4. Travellers from countries with ongoing local transmission*, but who show no symptoms on arrival should self-isolate at home for 14 days after arrival
  5. If travellers from countries with ongoing local transmission* feel ill with fever, cough or difficulty breathing within 14 days of arrival in Nigeria, please:
  • Observe self-isolation immediately by staying indoors and avoiding contact with people
  • Call the NCDC 24/7 toll-free line IMMEDIATELY on 080097000010

*Travellers to China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain,Japan, France, Germany, USA, Norway, United Kingdom and Netherlands and Switzerland.

27 March - The President announced on 30 March, cessation of all movement to be effective from 30 March for a period of 14 day in Lagos, FCT and Ogun State. However all seaports in Lagos shall remain operational with continued screening and as mentioned above. Crew changes are restricted due to closure of airports  from 23 March to 23 April 2020.  However, all airports in Nigeria remain open only for emergency and essential flights ( ref notice from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority). According to NCDC's announcement on 31 March, "Ships coming in through the seaports are also subjected to mandatory health screening and clearance by Port Health Services, especially ships that sailed from high-risk ports, have been at sea for less than 14 days or that have crew members who are ill."

14 April - Nigerian Maritime and Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA)'s issued Marine Notice - MN 04/20/SN01 extending the validity of statutory and trading certificates for Nigerian ships. 

14 April - Marine Notice no. 04/2020 issued by NIMASA on 30th March banning all ships without thermal screening facilities from operating in Nigerian waters. Only international marine vessels having thermal screening facilities for passenger and crew may be allowed on the ports and that Shipping Agent/Master of Vessels must submit all documents related to crew and passengers regarding their travel to or from the COVID-19 affected countries. The NIMASA DG, also pointed out that it was important for all passengers and crew members to fill the Self Reporting Form as prescribed by Nigerian Port Health Authorities adding that Port Health Officers (PHO) shall carry out thermal screening of all the passengers and crew members on board ship and until clearance is given by the PHO no passengers and or crew members would be allowed ashore. Persons having contact with anyone with travel history to the following countries and areas are prohibited from boarding:

  • China
    • Hong Kong
    • Macau
  • Korea, Republic of
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • "Other affected countries"

15 April - *Nigerian Ports Authority Lagos Pilotage District Notice to Mariners No.05 of 2020:

  • Every vessel calling at Nigerian Seaports from COVID-19 affected countries (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, UK, USA, China, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea, Australia, Turkey, Iran, Austria, Portugal, etc) will only be allowed into Nigerian Seaports when Port Health Service has established that the vessel was continuously sailing for a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to arrival.
  • A vessel calling at a Nigerian Seaport from COVID-19 affected country and was at sea for only ten (10) days is expected to remain outside bar for four (4) days to complete fourteen (14) days before applying for Health Clearance from the Port Health Service.
  • A vessel that was continuously sailing from her port of departure for fourteen (14) days but called at a port in West Coast Country before arriving Nigerian Seaport will apply for Health Clearance from the Port Health Service in Nigeria on arrival.

A vessel that arrived West Coast Country and did crew changes is expected to report the same to the Port Control on arrival in Nigerian waters. The Ship’s Agent is expected to inform the Port Health Service of the crew changed before applying for the Health Clearance.

16 April - The Nigerian Maritime Authority as per Marine Notice MN 04/20/SN01 (issued  via IMO circular letter no. 4271 dated 16 April) allowing for extensions for ship's statutory and trading certificates as well as seafarers' certificates and endorsements as required.

24 April - Border closure extended to 4th May 2020.

6 May - There is no directive barring crew change , so it is still allowed. However, as the airports are closed for commercial flights, this is in practice not possible. Illness can always be treated as with every other person, but for COVID-19 cases, they can only be handled by specifically designated centers across Nigeria.*

18 May - The Nigerian Port Authority via IMO circular letter no. 4271/Add.1 issued on 14 May, declared to keep its ports open and operational by adopting safe and best industry practices in order to sustain maritime trade and shipping activities for continuance of vital and essential supply of goods and services during this COVID-19 pandemic. 

2 June - The Nigerian Government has announced that a number of COVID-19 restrictions are to be lifted. This includes:

  • Full opening for the financial sector with banks now allowed to operate with more working hours five days a week.
  • There would be controlled access to markets and locations of places of economic activities but local authorities will continue to provide guidance on opening times.

Mandatory supervised isolation of persons arriving  in the country will continue to be for 14 days until a new policy comes into force.

9 July - Revised Quarantine Protocol for anyone arriving in Nigeria dated 8th June. 

30 July - Issue of Marine Notice MN 07/20/SNO2 ( issued via IMO circular letter no. 4271/Add.2 dated 22 July 2020) extending further the validity of statutory and trading certificates for all Nigerian-flaged ships. 

19 August - NIMASA issued MN 05/20/SNO2 on crew change /travel protocols. 

Useful links

Source: Nigeria Centre for Disease and Control ( NCDC), NIMASANIMASA Marine Notices, *North P&I Club



With regard to the change of crew on Norwegian ships, the Norwegian Maritime Authority (NMA) has now agreed to issue a general acceptance of crew members to continue service on board
Norwegian ships until a suitable arrangement can be made. Please see NMA's letter here

6 May - The Norwegian borders are closed effectively from 16 March to foreign nationals without a residence permit in Norway according to government website.  Airports remain open. According to the guidelines issued by the Norwegian Maritime Authority, crew change operations are possible though quarantine measures may be applied if off-signing crew members have had close contact with persons not assigned to the ship.

20 May - NMA extending the validity of all trading certificates and ship instructions expiring in 2020 ,implementation of ISM audits as well as validity of personal certificates of seafarers, including endorsements of foreign certificates.

7 August - Norwegian protocols with regards to crew change on ships including quarantine requirements and exemptions thereof, available online.

The NMA's stand on expired employment contracts where lack of a valid one may result in detention of the ship. 

Useful links: 
Latest COVID-19 related news from NMA




14 April -

*Port of Salalah

Container Terminal:

  • Manning and resources deployment continue as normal.
  • Vessel operations continue as normal.
  • Gate operations continue as normal.

General Cargo Terminal:

  • Dry / liquid bulk operations continue as normal.
  • Manning and resources continue as normal.
  • Dhow operations continue as normal.
  • Garbage services are suspended for the time being.

Marine services:

  • Port health doctor will check all vessels on berthing and grant free pratique prior to start of any cargo operations.
  • Cavotec mooring systems are not available until mid-May. All vessels to berth with minimum 4×2 lines fore and aft.
  • Cruise vessel calls limited to bunkering at anchorage.
  • Marine operations continue as normal.
  • Crew Change is not permitted.*

22 April - The current security measures and checkpoints in place in the Governorate of Muscat will be extended until 8 May, the Supreme Committee for dealing with COVID-19 has said.

Further, no large-scale gatherings would be allowed during the Holy Month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin this week.

The Port of Salalah has announced that it had gone completely paperless for its operations, in part of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Oman.

The port is no longer accepting any paper delivery orders, and the e-delivery order upload solutions have already been implemented and activated.

For a majority of shipping lines, a file transfer protocol (FTP) system has been set up, where shipping lines can upload the PDF version of delivery orders, and port officials can also assess it, the notification said.

The port authorities have also stopped accepting cash for any services offered by them and have instructed all the stakeholders to utilise the electronic payment platform only. And for collecting original bills, the port has arranged a safe dropbox to minimise physical contact.

14 May: *Crew change is not permitted, including the disembarkation and embarkation operations.*  This is In line with information published by Royal Oman Police stating that "In line with precautionary measures established by the Sultanate of Oman, to limit the spread of the pandemic Corona virus, all visas are no longer available until further notice".  *Flights have also been suspended. Disembarkation of sick crew (for non- Covid 19 injuries and illness) is also strictly restricted at the moment and only extremely urgent cases are  allowed to be treated in Oman at the moment . The approval for the same  is granted by the authorities basis of their inspection on board and  their clearance.*

19 May -  As per Oman's Ministry of Transport maritime circular 07/2020 dated 29 April (via IMO circular letter no. 4239/Add.1 issued on 4 May 2020) , the following are instructions for vessels that are in international voyages and calling at Omani ports, terminals or offshore installations:

 All vessels calling at an Omani port, terminal or offshore installation, shall submit the following documents to the Port (Health, Safety and Environment section/officer) 12 hours
before arrival:

  • The Maritime Declaration of Health Form;
  • Last 10 ports of call list;List of all passengers & crew members with temperature above 37.5 degree Celsius;
  • Crew list / Passenger list; and
  • Current copy of Ship Sanitation Control (or Exemption) Certificate(s).


The documents specified in above paragraphs a. to c. must be completed using the formats set out in the ANNEX C as attached to IMO circular letter no. 4239/Add.1 and, submitted regardless whether there are any sick passengers or crew on board.

The crew list shall include the date and place that each crew joined the ship and countries they came from for joining the ship.

Temporarily crew are restricted to the ship while alongside or in anchorage, unless disembarking is required to receive emergency medical attention not available on board the ship or as part of a crew change.

Crew change while the ship is in Omani port or terminal - in general it is restricted. However, under the following circumstances, this could be effected: 

  • The crew has served his/her maximum time on board and no further extension of the employment contract is granted by the flag State;
  • Compassionate grounds e.g. death of family member; or
  • The crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship. 


Conditions under which Omani nationals or residents may be changed are

  • For seafarers who are leaving the ship, the company shall:
    • provide the list of seafarers consisting of full names, ID number, address and contact details to the Ministry of Health (MoH);
    • provide a declaration of health for seafarers, covering at least previous 24 days, and including the previous port of calls of the ships that they were working on prior to discharge, to the MoH; and
    • ensure that he/she is kept under the quarantine for 14 days in accordance with the MoH regulations and procedures.
  • For seafarers who are joining the ship, the company shall ensure that they do not have any symptoms related to the COVID-19.

Conditions under which Non-Omani nationals may be changed, subject to flight availability, are:

  •  For seafarers who are leaving the ship, the company shall:
    • Provide a declaration of health for seafarers, covering at least previous 24 days, and including the previous port of calls of the ships that they were working on prior to discharge, to the MoH; and
    • Ensure that either they fly out of country immediately or, kept under the quarantine in accordance with the MoH regulations and procedures until fly out of the country. All the relevant expenses shall be borne by the company or the ship agent.
  • Note: In cases when seafarer is kept under quarantine, the company shall notify the MoH about the names of seafarers and conditions of the quarantine.
  • For seafarers who are joining the ship, the company shall ensure that they do not have any symptoms related to the COVID-19.

20 August - According to US Embassy in Chile report dated today, commercial international flights remain suspended until at least till 31 August 2020. However, chartered flights  are available upon permission granted by the Omani Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also, the Royal Oman Police resumed services to visas, passports etc on 1st July. Last curfew ended on 15 August. No requirement to have a negative COVID-19 test (PCR and/or serology) upon entry. However , health screening procedures in place at airports and other ports of entry.

*Source: North P&I Club  


The Pakistani Ministry of Maritime affairs issued a declaration prohibiting shore leave and disembarkation of crew from foreign flagged ships. The Directorate of Central Health Establishments has also issued an advisory cum guidelines to all Pakistani ports. 

Please find below list of circulars and response plan issued by individual ports in response to COVID-19

Response plan coronavirus (COVID-19)

Port Qasim Authority

12 March

The response plan contains the following bullets:

  • Role of port health authority
  • Role of shipping lines / agents, hereunder providing the following documents:
    • Maritime Health Declaration certificate and undertaking by the Master
    • List of crews with:
      • Port of joining
      • Date of joining
      • Body temperatures
      • Ports visited
    • International Vaccination Certificate
    • Ship Sanitation Control Certificate / Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate
    • Medical Chest Certificate
    • Derating certificate / Derating exemption certificate
  • Role of Port Qasim Authority
  • Role of immigration & customs
  • Role of cargo handling companies
  • Role of terminal operators
  • Management of suspect and acute cases on board
  • Management of close contact cases on board
  • Case of suspect proving healthy (false alarm)
  • Additional port administration orders

Response plan coronavirus (COVID-19)

Karachi Port Trust

13 March

The response plan contains the following bullets:

  • Role of port health authority
  • Role of shipping lines / agents, hereunder providing the following documents:
    • Maritime Health Declaration certificate and undertaking by the Master
    • List of crews with:
      • Port of joining
      • Date of joining
      • Body temperatures
      • Ports visited
    • International Vaccination Certificate
    • Ship Sanitation Control Certificate / Ship Sanitation Control Exemption Certificate
    • Medical Chest Certificate
    • Derating certificate / Derating exemption certificate
  • Role of Karachi port
  • Role of immigration & customs
  • Role of cargo handling companies
  • Role of terminal operators
  • Management of suspect and acute cases on board
  • Management of close contact cases on board
  • Case of suspect proving healthy (false alarm)
  • Additional port administration orders

Guidelines in continuation to Corona Virus (COVID-19) - Clinical Care & Preventative Measures

Port Qasim Authority

19 March

The guidelines imposes the following:

  • Person with sickness should not be allowed to enter in the premises
  • Suspect of COVID-19 and symptoms similar to COVID-19 should not be allowed to enter in the premises
  • Suspect of COVID-19 in the premises must be evacuated with special arrangements and hospitalised
  • Medical record of the suspect must be provided to Senior Medical Officer of Port Qasim Authority and Port Health Establishment

Personal behaviour:

  • No handshakes and embracing
  • Temporarily stoppage of biometric attendance
  • Minimum one to two meters safe space/distance be maintained between two individuals
  • Disinfection of staircase and doorknobs on daily basis
  • Disinfection of transport every day
  • Use of face mask and sanitisers
**General news coverage 17 April Ongoing lockdown. New lockdown guidelines issued listing amongst others, activities that are prohibited and allowed after 20 April. Sea transport and crew changes are allowed as per the guidelines , "Movement of staff and contractual labour for operations of railways, airports/air carriers, seaports/ships/vessels, landports and ICDs is allowed on passes being issued by local authority on the basis of authorisation issued by respective designated authorities of the railway, airports, seaports, landports and ICDs" In addition, according to UK-travel advice,the Pakistani authorities have closed land borders with Afghanistan, China, India and Iran. Border crossings with Iran have opened occasionally to allow Pakistani nationals to return home. Border crossings with Afghanistan open a number of times a week, but for outward goods transport only. Those crossing into Pakistan may have to comply with COVID-19 testing/thermal screening and quarantine measures.

** General guidelines on inbound/outbound international passenger flights 27 April

Please check on limited scheduled inbound flights arranged by the Pakistani Government periodically, whereby upon arrival, passengers and crew will be subject to 48-hour state-monitored quarantine period. For outbound passengers, only charter and private flights are currently allowed.

Nationwide lockdown extended till 9 May

General news coverage 13 May Easing of the lockdown phase has begun on 9 May opening businesses and its border with Afghanistan (ref:Pakistani news).

Port Health Circular


9 June

Preventive measures at the Port of Karachi:

  • Any on-signing seafarers during the previous 30 days must be mentioned in the maritime declaration of health
  • No vessel is allowed to berth at Karachi Seaport without completion of a period of 15 days from the date of most recent sign-on, otherwise COVID-19 test must be carried out
  • Permission to berth shall be granted after submission of COVID-19 test or completion of 15 days period of sign-on of the seafarer.

* Port Health Circular

Port Qasim

15 June
  • The Master of the ship may kindly be advised to indicate / mention the Seafarers with sign-on within 30 days in Maritime Declaration of Health and with the assurance that they are cleared free from COVID-19 by PCR
  • Amended 17 June: No berthing without completion of 15 days since date of sign-on or submission of COVID-19 test report
  • No permission shall be granted to ship for berthed, until and unless all seafarers on board are assured for COVD-19 PCR negative or with completion of 15 days since sign on
  • Permission shall only be granted on submission or proof of COVID-19 PCR negative.

* Source: General Shipping Agencies (PVT) LTD, ** BIMCO


Extensions of SEAs, seafarers certificates (including endorsement certificates and issue of dispensation letter

In respect of the above, the Panama Maritime Authority (PMA) pursuant to their Notice MMN 03/2020,  provides details on the procedures of how the above can be obtained. Note that extension will be for a period of 3 months granted if approved from the date of expiration of certificates.

PMA's implementation measures onboard their ships pursuant to MMN 02/2020, some of which are as follows: 

  • Seafarers calling at China ports are advised to wear masks and take precautionary measures to avoid getting infected with a new coronavirus and prevent its potential spreading.
  • When entering China ports, seafarers are expected to remain onboard their ships and disembark their vessels only when it is absolutely necessary.
  • Strictly enforce the ISPS requirements on ensuring that unauthorized personnel do not board the ship throughout the ships port calls.
  • Shipping agencies in Panama, must inform the Ministry of Health (MINSA) and Harbour Master (captaincy of ports) if any crew member or passenger is reported with any of the symptoms of the coronavirus and must coordinate with local health authorities

Ships intending to transit the Panama Canal, should report suspected cases through the Panama Maritime Single Window within 30 days prior to arrival to enable PMA authorities to take the appropriate preventive measures. Please find the original release Advisory to Shipping A-04-2020

PMA's press release dated 16 March 2020 listing out their latest measures, some of which are as follows: 

  • Effective 14 March 2020, temporary suspension of boarding and landing of passengers and crew members to and from cruise ships, small cruise ships, ships with great draft, international shipping of passengers in yachts, mega yachts, and commercial yachts in ports, berths or wharfs, anchorage areas and marinas located within the national territory, and which arrive from international shipping originated from risk areas coming from China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France and from other countries as announced.
  • Information required to be submitted at least 48 hours prior to arrival on boarding dates and places for each crew member, list of the 10 ports previously visited, Maritime Health Statement, sick list if maritime ancillary services need to be rendered to international ships subject to approval by maritime health authorities. 
  • Only personnel essential for operation of the ship is allowed to board but have to be in compliance with all health measures
  • All STS (ship to ship), as well as fuel and water supply operations procedures to be carried out upon procedures approved by PMA and Ministry of Health. 

Additional information: 

*17 March update:

  •  The Panama Canal continues to operate normally even though air travel to and from Europe and Asia remains suspended. This has caused problems for ship personnel who land ashore for medical reasons and once fit to fly are unable to be repatriated until flight restrictions are lifted. 
  • Only Panamanian citizens and/or residents are allowed to enter the country.
  • The Maritime Courts have suspended all terms and operations limited to matters of urgency including ship arrests.
  • Only local personnel, suppliers, surveyors etc are allowed to board vessels at the anchorages and terminals. It is not known at present when/if this will change.*

25 March update from Waypoint Port Services

  • Crew changes cancelled with immediate effect
  • Cruise ships forbidden to berth, embark or disembark passengers
  • Airspace closed for international pax flights effective 22 March for 30 days. Only cargo, humanitarian and domestic flights allowed.
  • Strengthened measures for ships attendance and control in ports in effect.
  • Any foreigner arriving shall remain in quarantine for 14 days. 

26 MarchPanama Canal adopts measures to guarantee sustained operations amid COVID-19 

27 March - PMA issued MMN 07/2020 informing shipowners/operators and interested parties on postponement - extension of statutory certification and services and the procedures as to how such requests should be made.   

1 April - Notwithstanding the exception provided to Holland America's passenger ships MS Zaandam and MS Rotterdam to transit, PMA reiterated that all ships must still adhere to their precautionary measures, in particular, ships with confirmed cases or suspected cases of COVID-19  are prohibited from transiting the Panama Canal and must comply with the required quarantine period. For full details, see PMA's Advisory Shipping Notice (A-12-2020). In addition, measures (Advisory to Shipping A-13-2020) must be implemented by ships before Panama Canal Authority's employees ( inspectors, pilots  etc) come onboard. 

6 May - *Crew change is not possible.

13 May - Medical treatment to non-COVID19 crew is possible in Panama, however after strict protocol followed, including the boarding of authorities to review the crew member before authorizing his disembarkation. *

8 June - The Panamanian Government supports IMO in its decision to designate seafarers as " key workers" and in its communication to IMO, expressed that whilst extensions and endorsements have been given to seafarers' certificates and SEAs, they are awaiting for guidelines from the Ministry of Health regarding repatriation of crew as it is currently still not allowed for boarding and disembarking of crew members.  In addition, it is now a mandatory measure for all officers and crew members of transit vessels to wear protective masks when coming into contact with PMA personnel. 

19 June - The Panama Maritime Authority has provided a protocol for crew change (revoked) and repatriation with a related flow chart (revoked)

23 June - The Panama Ship Registry has issued a new circular (MMN-03/2020) allowing for the extension of seafarers contracts to a maximum of 17 months.

A revised protocol has been provided to BIMCO by the Panama Maritime Authority with a related flow chart carrying the following requirements:

  • Confirmation of charter flight, airline, flight number, date and estimated times of arrival and departure.
  • For crew who would be embarking:
    • Medical Certificate showing that crew is in good health, issued by a Private or Public Clinic, sealed by a licensed Physician.
    • Self-health statement made by the crew and daily temperature readings (at least twice a day for 14 days) (Annex B, Circular No.4204/Add.14, dated May 5th, 2020).
    • Employer's letter and information sheet, regarding the change of crew.
  • For crew to be disembarked:
    • Maritime Health Statement, signed and sealed by the vessel of each crew member.
    • Certificate signed by the Captain on the health condition of all crew members.
    • Registration of temperature readings on board (at least twice a day).
    • Responsibility letter from the Shipping Line, in which it certifies that the information provided for by the vessel is valid.
    • List of the last 10 ports.
    • Crew List, with date and place of embarkation.
  • Include all details regarding transportation of crew:
    • Airport - Hotel - Port.
    • Port - Hotel - Airport.
  • Confirmation of Hotel to be used.

Note: Stay in a hotel shall be in strict compliance, in the event of having to wait the flight or arrival of the vessel to port.

30 June - The Panama Maritime Authority has issued a circular letter elaborating the measures from MN 03/2020

9 July - The Government of Panama extended the suspension of international commercial passenger flights to July 22. There are exceptions for cargo, humanitarian, medical supplies, medical evacuation, and government aircraft flights.  

6 August - the PMA has a dedicated section online for "Crew Change during COVID-19" including flights available for repatriation to Panama.

8 Sept -  The Panama Maritime Authority has issued version 3 of MN 03/2020 in August. The main change in this version is the application of extension to the seafarers' employment agreement upon its expiration as per revised 6.1 of the said Notice. Seafarers that are subject to these extensions shall be repatriated as a prescribed Standard A2.5.1.2(b) of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006, The PMA strongly encourages all Authorities to allow the crew changes at the earliest opportunity so as seafarers repatriation to their homes could be achieved. The extension according to point 6.1 will be granted until September 14, 2020. After September 14, 2020,  the PMA will return to compliance with the provisions of Executive Decree No. 86 of February 22, 2013 and MMC-262.

23 Sept - The PMA issued MMN 16/2020 this month,  displaying the 7 different modalities of how crew change can be conducted safely at Panama waters. 

To keep updated, please check on:

*Source: North P&I Club 

Papua New Guinea

21 April - * GAC advise that all international ships’ first port of call will be the four listed below:
  1. Port of Port Moresby
  2. Port of Lae
  3. Port of Madang, and
  4. Port of Rabaul.

The following conditions apply:

  • There will be no shore leave by crew of all international vessels and voyage calling into all PNG Ports and port facilities.
  • There will be a suspension of crew change in all PNG ports facilities for foreign crew.
  • No crew is allowed on the quayside of PNG port facilities.
  • No personnel form the portside are allowed on board any international vessel apart from those performing statutory function and relevant stevedores who must be in PPE.
  • All statutory function undertaken by receiving PNG port personnel should be done strictly with the PNG Department of Health guideline and appropriate PPE.
  • All cruise vessels and super yacht and any passenger movement via any sea craft are banned from entering any PNG port or port facilities.
  • All log ships and log ponds must sign a Declaration of Security (DoS) for loading at the log ponds, including port facilities occasioning used for serving international vessels.
  • Contactless stevedoring including segregation of ship’s crew and shore personnel during loading and unloading must be strictly observed.
  • All shipping documents must be electronically dispatched where possible.
  • Any person on any vessel who decides to disembark will have to undergo a 14 day mandatory quarantine in a facility nominated by the Controller.

PNG port facilities cover PNG Ports Corporation Limited (PNGPCL) ISPS Port facilities, Private ISPS Port Facilities and facilities occasionally serving international vessels under a Declaration of Security (DoS). Deliberate failure to comply with this Direction and Notice is a breach of this regulation and can warrant a fine of up to K50,000.00 for individuals and up to K500,000.00 for companies or jail time for offending individuals.

13 May -  Crew changes for foreign crew in all PNG ports facilities is suspended until further notice and no crew is allowed to disembark on the quayside of PNG port facilities. For urgent crew changes, SOE Controller permission would need to be obtained first.

Until PNG’s state of emergency is lifted, whether or not crew will be allowed access to medical treatment in PNG is entirely at the discretion of the SOE Controller. Special approval needs to be obtained. There have been instances where medical disembarkation has been denied.

If a crew member is permitted to disembark the vessel, they may be required to undergo COVID-19 testing or be subject to a 14 day mandatory quarantine period. There seems to be insufficient local capacity for such testing and the facilities in Port Moresby are reportedly sending their samples to the Dept of Health in Brisbane for testing which introduces significant delays in results becoming available. Obtaining international flights to repatriate seafarers is difficult due to the limited availability of international flights and border closures in transiting and home countries.

*Source: North P&I Club


*9 March - The Peruvian Transport Ministry is enforcing new directives aiming to prevent  new cases. Every ship (cargo or passenger) calling Peruvian ports will be subject to an inspection at anchorage prior to berthing.

The inspection will be carried out by personnel from the National Port Authority in liaison with The Maritime International Health Direction and the Ministry of Health.

15th March - Effective midnight Sunday, 15th March 2020, a National State of Emergency will enter into force in all Peru. The intention is that all Peruvian population stay at home for the next 15 days. With exception of those people essential to certain activities needed by the population, such as; health, food and banking services. In particular frontiers will be closed and this includes inbound passenger; planes and ships that will not be allowed to disembark; crew or passengers in the country.

Marine and river Cargo transport and stevedoring operations are excepted in the National State of Emergency and ensuing social isolation. Thus, these operations of import, export and cabotage will continue. The complimentary measures taken to put in force the above; National State of Emergency and the limitations this will cause will be informed.*

2 April - On 15 March, Peru announced a national State of Emergency, which has now been extended until 12 April. From 31 March, there will be a nationwide curfew between the hours of 18:00 to 05:00. In Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad and Loreto the curfew will start two hours early, lasting from 16:00 to 05:00. All borders are closed until at least 12 April. Peru announced a ban on all flights arriving from and departing to Europe and Asia, with effect from Monday 16 March. The ban is for 30 days and could be extended.On 30 March, the President declared further measures to be enforced during the State of Emergency period. These include an extended mandatory curfew from 31 March between the hours of 18:00 and 05:00 each day (with exceptions for emergencies) and the complete ban of private vehicles from 05:00 on 19 March.

*2 April - Paita, Salaverry, Chimbote, Callao and Pisco are currently reported to be operating as normal.

6 May - *There is no limitation to carry crew change: (A) In respect of locals changing crew, except for limitations as to age, less than 60 years old are allowed, or what is described as patients of risk i.e. with heart, lung condition , diabetes, etc. (B) As for foreign mariners, please be informed that the national  boundaries are closed and no commercial flights are coming to or leaving from Peru, except humanitarian flights. On the other hand, there is no restriction as to maritime traffic.*

11 May: According to information provided by the Peruvian government, foreign seafarers are prohibited from disembarking and changing in Peru.

13 May - Local ports do allow medical treatment for non COVID-19 injuries / illnesses.

2 June - According to notification by Peru to the IMO, the Peruvian Maritime Authority has decided to extend the validity of seafarers competency and medical certificates as well as statutory certificates of national vessels

Country's national state of emergency and quarantine measures are extended through Tuesday, 30 June .  Mandatory nightly curfew hours in Lima (and most of the country) begin at 9:00 pm and end at 4:00 am.  Curfew hours in the regions of Ancash (the coastal provinces of Santa, Canta, and Huarmey, only), Ica, La Libertad, Lambayeque, Loreto, Piura, Tumbes, and Ucayali are from 6:00 pm to 4:00 am.  The all-day Sunday curfew will continue throughout Peru during the extended state of emergency period. 

9 July- Peru has extended its state of emergency to 31st July 2020. Effective 1 July,  Peru entered “Phase 3” of its economic recovery in most of the country and quarantine measures will be lifted for most of the country.  The all-day curfew on Sundays will be eliminated.  Hours for the mandatory nightly curfew have been reduced and will now be in effect from 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM.  Exceptions are in place for the regions of Áncash, Arequipa, Ica, Junín, Huánuco, Madre de Dios, and San Martín, where quarantine measures (including the all-day Sunday curfew) continue with a mandatory nightly curfew from 8:00 PM to 4:00 AM.

However, international borders still remain closed for passengers, with the exception of repatriation flights.

For the latest information regarding restrictions and other precautionary measures undertaken by the Peruvian authorities, please refer to the dedicated government page

*Source: North P&I Club


Circulars and announcements of national concern:

Implementation in the seaports of the presidential directive for the management of the 2019 Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease situation

PPA circular 01/2020

Date: 3 February

Philippine Ports Authority
  • Temporarily banning the entry of any person regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders of Permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government, directly coming from China and its Special Administrative Regions.
  • Temporarily banning the entry of any person, regardless of nationality, except Filipino citizens and holders permanent Resident Visa issued by the Philippine Government who within fourteen days immediately preceding arrival in the Philippines,has been to China and its Special Administrative Regions.
  • A mandatory fourteen (14) day quarantine for Filipinos and permanent Resident Visa holders coming from any place in China and its Administrative Regions.
  • Temporarily banning Filipinos from travel to China and any of its Special Administrative Regions.

Guidelines at all seaports for prevention and spread of Novel Corona Virus Acute Respiratory Disease

Date: 4 February

Department of Health
  • All vessels calling from China, including Hong Kong and Macau SAR, in the past fourteen days must be boarded at the quarantine anchorage.
  • Upon arrival at quarantine anchorage, the master of vessel must hoist at its foremast the yellow flag and inform immediately the Quarantine station at assigned port through ship agents. Strictly no embarkation/disembarkation policy.
  • Quarantine Boarding formalities shall ensue - the master of the vessel shall submit a duly accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and BOQ shall issue free pratique. Other boarding formalities shall commence.
  • Ships cleared at the first port of entry and calling another local port, which within the past 14 days travelled from China, Hongkong and Macau SAR, must be boarded at the designated Quarantine anchorage area by QMO, submit duly accomplished Maritime Declaration of Health and other pertinent documents.
  • The master of vessel must report immediately any occurrence of flu-like symptoms (e.g fever, cough, colds, body weakness and difficulty of breathing). In an event of flu like manifestation arise, the master must immediately report to the QMO for guidance on implementing infection prevention and control protocols to minimize the spread of infection on board.

Management port protocols in response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-2019)

PPA circular 02/2020

Date: 12 February

Philippine Ports Authority

This circular applies to:

  • All arriving ships that have called at any port in China or South Korea.
  • All arriving ships with crew and/or passengers who have travelled to China or South Korea.

The following restrictions applies:

  • All PPA ports shall remain open to all ships, except cruise ships, with recent port calls in China and its SARs regardless of the fourteen (14) days incubation period of disease, provided that they have been boarded at Quarantine Anchorage.
  • No embarkation/disembarkation of crew shall be allowed.
  • PPA must receive preferably 24 hours - but not less than 8 hours - before arrival:
    • the Maritime Declaration of Health
    • Crew list/Passenger List
    • Information on sick or deceased crew/passengers
    • Information on crew/passengers travel history
    • Copy of Ship Sanitation Certificates
    • Last five ports call list
    • Waste on Board Vessel Information Form (WOBVIF)
    • Other related documents
    • Pilotage services shall continue to be rendered, provided that no boarding shall be made prior to the submission of "free pratique" by the vessel's master and clearance from the BoQ Boarding Team.
    • Restrictions apply to disposal of garbage such as but not limited to:
      • Food products
      • Animal products
      • Infectious waste

Amendments to PPA circular 02/2020:

Philippine Ports Authority Removing Taiwan and inserting South Korea in section II. Coverage in PPA circular 02/2020.

PPA ports under tight watch, new measures against COVID-19 imposed

Date: 11 March

Philippine Ports Authority
  • The policy on no disembarkation and expected vessel change-crew involving Filipinos, remain in force and if needed, all berthing privileges of vessels coming from highly-infected countries shall be cancelled
  • On top of the usual thermal scanning of passengers and port personnel in all ports, the PPA has mandated all its Port Management Offices to make available to passengers, port users and other stakeholders necessary disinfecting supply such as anti-bacterial solutions and sanitizers.
  • Fumigation and disinfection of all Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) and PPA offices nationwide are also ongoing in order to reduce the risk of a sustained transmission via the seaports
  • Proper disinfection and monitoring of cargoes in short-haul voyages are likewise in place
  • A highly accurate passenger information system for easy contact-tracing and an isolated holding and testing area for COVID-19 symptomatic port users are in place in all ports.
  • To-date, PPA ports remain in full commercial operations and no person showing the symptoms of the COVID-19 has been detected. International cargo vessels are also being strictly screened at anchorage prior to docking. Vessels with Free Pratique are allowed to dock, otherwise, they are held in preventive anchorage for 14 days before being allowed to berth.

Guidelines in the implementation of community quarantine in Luzon in all ports under the jurisdiction of PPA.

PPA Circ. 10/2020

Date: 17 March

Philippine Ports Authority

Ports shall continue to be open to cargo ships provided that there will strictly be no embarkation/disembarkation of crew, and subject to the requirements of the Bureau of Quarantine/Department of Health. All passenger ships shall not be allowed entry in ports.

Amendment of section 3 of PPA MC NO. 10/2020

PPA Circ. 13/2020

Date: 3 April

Philippine Ports Authority

Provisions for inland transportation of containers

Amendment of section 3 of PPA MC NO. 10/2020

PPA Circ. 14/2020

Date: 7 April

Philippine Ports Authority

Provisions for inland transportation of containers

Temporary Travel Restrictions on Inbound Foreign Nationals During the Enhanced Community Quarantine

Date: 20 March

Bureau of Immigration

Temporary Travel Restrictions: Effective 22 March 2020, the entry of foreign nationals shall be highly restricted.

Foreigners outside the country either with immigrant, non-immigrant or special visas shall not be allowed to enter the Philippines, except for:

  • Accredited Foreign Government and International Organization officials and their dependents;
  • Foreign spouses and children of Filipino nationals; and
  • Foreign airline crew.

Exclusion: All Exclusion Order Issued against a foreigner pursuant to this Circular shall be deemed as final and executory. The foreign passenger shall be promptly boarded on the same vessel or immediately succeeding flight.

Effective: This Circular shall take effect immediately, and continuously during the period of the Enhanced Community Quarantine.

Guidelines for Repatriation via cruise ships and other maritime ships

Date: 16 April

Philippine Government The Philippine government has now allowed foreign cruise ships with Filipino crew members to dock in Manila ports and to be used as quarantine facilities for their crew members. Foreign crew on the cruise ships will be allowed to disembark in Manila “for the sole purpose of taking outbound flights to their final destination abroad” after finishing the 14-day mandatory quarantine upon disembarkation. ( North P&I Club)

Extension of Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ)

Date: 24 April

Philippine Government

According to CNN, Philippines,the ECQ has been extended to 15 May in Metro Manila and also other high risk provinces in Luzon which is home to about 57 million people and large industries.

Less arrivals and departures expected as airport closes

Date: 4 May

Bureau of Immigration The Bureau of Immigration expects further decrease in arrivals and departures following the announcement of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) that all commercial flights to and from the Philippines will be suspended starting May 3

 Marina Advisory No. 2020-25 and No. 2020-30

Date: 29 April 2020 and 5 May 2020

(via IMO circular letter no.  4237 dated 27 April 2020) 

Philippines Maritime Industry Authority Extensions/postponement to be given to statutory ship certificates and services for Philippine registered ships.

Crew change protocol

Date: 29 May

Philippines Maritime Industry Authority The Philippines Maritime Industry Authority has compiled a crew change protocol, which basically implements the suggestions made through IMO.

 Marina Advisory No. 2020-23

(via IMO circular letter no. 4237 /Add.1)

 Philippines Maritime Industry Authority  Extensions granted to Filippino seafarers for their STCW certificates

 Marina Advisory No. 2020-45

(via IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.7) 

 Philippines Maritime Industry Authority  Allowing for extension of passport validity of overseas Filippino workers (OFWs) including seafarers to be sent by mail or courier by an authorised representative of the seafarer or applicable shipping company/manning agency with no presence needed of seafarer. Other forms of extension also acceptable subject to International Civil Aviation (ICAO) and/or recognition by immigration or border authorities. 

 Marina Advisory No. 2020-44 

via IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.8)

Philippines Maritime Industry Authority
  • Addendum to Marina Advisory No. 2020-23 on extension of validity of STCW certificates
  • Those expiring between 1 June 2020 and 30 June 2020 - automatic extension for a period of 6 months is given.

 Joint Circular No.01 Series of 2020 

(via IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.10 dated 24 July 2020)


Relevant agencies of the Philippine Government ( eg. Departments of  Foreign Affairs, Justice, Health, Transportation etc)   

 Guidelines for Establishment of the Philippine Green Lane to facilitate the speedy and safe travel of seafarers, including safe and swift Disembarkation and crew change during COVID-19. This joint-circular took effect on 2 July 2020 and applies to: 

  •  Filipino seafarers joining a ship docked in the Philippines or overseas (outbound)
  • Filipino seafarers leaving a ship (inbound)
  • Filipino seafarers transiting in the Philippines (airport/terminal to airport/terminal)
  • Foreign seafarers joining a ship docked in a Philippine seaport from the airport
    (airport to ship)
  • Foreign seafarers leaving a ship docked in a Philippine seaport to an airport (ship to
    airport), and
  •  Foreign seafarers transiting in the Philippines (airport/terminal to airport/terminal)

This joint circular does not cover the following situations: 

  • Ships, vessels, or aircrafts with contact/trace of COVID-19 positive cases, in which case, the procedure for Stringent Quarantine under the Omnibus Interim Guidelines shall apply; and 
  • When seafarers belong to a vessel used as quarantine facilities, or are part of a repatriate crew, in which case the procedure under the Omnibus Interim Guidelines and Republic Act No. 9271 or the Quarantine Act of 2004 whichever is appropriate, shall apply. 

Philippines Community Quarantine (CQ) enforcement

2 August 

Philippines Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF)  The Philippines Government will from time to time adjust the various PCQ regime ranging from general, modified to enhanced CG in the various regions of the country depending on the COVID-19 developments.  Currently, from 1 August  to 15th August, Cebu City is now under general CQ, easing up from modified enhanced CQ. The other areas placed under GCQ are Bulacan, Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal in Luzon; Lapu-Lapu City, Mandaue City, Talisay City, Minglanilla and Consolacion in the Visayas; and Zamboanga City in Mindanao. The rest of the country are under modified CQ.

To monitor the  CQ enforcement, please go to IATF website/resolutions

 President Memorandum Circular No. 79

2 August 

 Office of the President of Philippines

Imposing a Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ) status in Metro Manila, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, and Bulacan from 4 August to 18 August.  

Awaiting an IATF resolution. 

Source: Official Gazette

Circulars and announcements of local concern:

Metro Manila

Date: 15 March

North P&I Club
  • The government has declared the whole of Metro Manila under a state of community quarantine starting 15 March 2020 until 14 April 2020. During this period, land, domestic air and domestic sea travel to and from Metro Manila will be suspended.

Port emergency measures to ensure unhampered flow of import cargo at MICT

PPA Circ. 11/2020

Date: 26 March

Philippine Ports Authority

Only overstaying foreign containers already cleared for delivery/withdrawal shall be transferred

Guidelines implementing Joint Administrative Order 20-01 in the Port of Manila under the jurisdiction of the Philippine Ports Authority

PPA AO no. 03/2020

Date: 8 April

Philippine Ports Authority


  • To provide rules governing the expeditious berthing of vessels, and ensure that the handling, delivery and transfer processes of cargo loaded/discharged continue unimpeded at all times.
  • To direct and authorize the Terminal Operators of Manila International Container Terminal (MICT) and South Harbor to maximize the terminals' operating capacity by immediately transferring overstaying imported cargoes from the terminals to designated ports and underutilized facilities.
  • To prescribe free storage period for refrigerated cargoes and dry vans during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) to facilitate their immediate withdrawal in order to prevent disruption to the supply chain, especially for basic commodities and services, to the maximum extent possible.

Luzon,PPA circular 10/2020

Date: 17 March

Philippine Ports Authority
  • Ports shall continue to be open to cargo ships provided that there will strictly be no embarkation/disembarkation of crew
Port of Villanueva

Date: 18 March

North P&I Club
  • The port of Villanueva has adopted stringent policies which affects surveyor attendance. The port will not allow access to persons other than local stevedores
  • Foreign Vessels are banned from docking at any port in the Province of Siquijor until further notice.

Surigao del Norte

Date: 23 March

North P&I Club
  • Travel ban to all incoming and outgoing domestic vessels. All incoming foreign vessels (regardless of nationality and the country of origin) will be banned to enter the province.

Various Ports Information

Date: 21 April

North P&I Club SPICA update
Crew Change information North P&I Club Crew changes for Filipino crew are permitted, subject to restrictions. Foreign crew are only permitted to disembark the vessel, subject to restrictions. See Guidelines for Repatriation issued by the Philippines's department of Health

Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available. Routine medical assistance remains available and is approved on a case- by- case basis which is subject to a remote consultation with a medical professional.

Useful links



9 April -  *Summary of containment measures in force in Poland:

  • Border closed except for repatriation, international transport etc.
  • Polish nationals returning to the country will be under a 14 day quarantine period and must stay at home.
  • Ban on internal travel with the exemptions.
  • Medical services restricted to urgent cases only.

Ports are operating normally with no delays currently being experienced. Quarantine regulations and preventative measures for the port of Gdynia can be found here:

Correspondents are reporting that:

  • On arrival vessels are bordered by the port fire brigade dressed in suitable PPE. All crew members have their body temperature taken and if any of the crews’ temperature exceeds 38 degrees centigrade, the vessel will immediately be instructed to proceed to anchor and is subjected to a 14 day quarantine.
  • No shore leave is permitted.
  • Crew changes are not being permitted.
  • Repairs are not being conducted and foreign superintendents are not permitted to enter the country.
  • Local visitors (agents etc) are required to compete a Locator Form (PLF).

21 April - Summary of present containment measures:

  • The ban on repatriation of deceased persons from abroad (body or ashes) has been changed according to the Regulation of the Council of Ministers of 07.04.2020, Item 624 and it allows to repatriate of ashes of human remains from abroad and from Poland to another country.
  • Polish ports continue to operate whilst respecting the health and safety of all employees, clients, crew members.
  • For vessel arrivals, ports follow the guidelines and recommendations of the Sanitary Inspection and the Border Guard: Border and sanitary controls have been put in place to check all ship crew
  • members entering ports and they are subject to mandatory body temperature checking. The procedure is carried out by the Border Guard with the assistance of the Fire Department.
  • There are mandatory temperature measurements for all staff or visitors entering ports.
  • Despite these restrictions Polish ports have been able to maintain full berth operations.

The reloading operations have no substantial disruption. As the road traffic is not so busy the truck drivers move on their trucks with no delays and according to a schedule.

24 April - The Polish Sanitary Inspection advise that a crew member who has symptoms of COVID-19 disease will be taken by safe transport for diagnosis (physician);

  • The ship stays on the road, the pilot does not perform his duties, and the rest of the crew is quarantined until receiving the test results.
  • The ship will be directed to the anchorage and the 14-day quarantine will be shortened by the number of days of sea voyage from the last port to arrival on the road

If the ship is already in port and one of the crew members develops symptoms of COVID-19 virus:

  • If symptoms of suspected COVID-19 appear on one of the crew members on the ship already in port, he will be taken to a safe transport to the hospital for diagnosis and until the results of the tests the other crew members will be quarantined.

If there is no need for the crew to contact the port’s staff for reloading or repair, such operations may take place.

6 May -  Crew change - not recommended. Permission to repatriate foreign seafarers is not clearly defined and the Border Guard interprets the provisions individually. Crew changes of Polish nationals are allowed subject to 14 day quarantine.

13 May -  For medical assistance, there are no restrictions in treatment ashore of seamen suffered from illness or injury.  The Polish Sanitary Inspection advises that a crew member who has symptoms of COVID-19 disease will be taken by safe transport for diagnosis (physician) and

  •  the ship stays on the road, the pilot does not perform his duties, and the rest of the crew is quarantined until receiving the test results.
  • The ship will be directed to the anchorage and the 14-day quarantine will be shortened by the number of days of sea voyage from the last port to arrival on the road

If the ship is already in port and one of the crew members develops symptoms of COVID-19 virus:

  • If symptoms of suspected COVID-19 appear on one of the crew members on the ship already in port, he will be taken to a safe transport to the hospital for diagnosis and until the results of the tests the other crew members will be quarantined.

If there is no need for the crew to contact the port’s staff for reloading or repair, such operations may take place.

27 May - According to information provided by the Polish government , all foreigners are banned from entering Poland. Certain exceptions are in place, however, seafarer are not excepted from the restrictions.

1 Sept -  Extension of seafarers' documents to 31 December 2020, maritime pilots' documents, contracts to maximum 3 months etc as provided by the Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation to the IMO via circular letter no. 4232/Add. 5 dated 26 August 2020. 

Effective 13 June, Poland has restored full border traffic within the internal borders of the European Union (EU), where there is no quarantine required and one can travel freely and cross the internal borders of the EU, However, restrictions, including the limitations concerning the entry of foreigners into Poland and quarantine, still apply at the external border of the EU. It appears that partial exemption is given based on "  foreigners who run a means of transport designed for the transport of persons or goods, and whose transit takes place as part of their professional activities consisting in the transport of goods or persons,  ".  International flights are still operating with restrictions ( ref: Polish government website as at  1 September 2020)

Useful links

*Source: North P&I Club


21 April - Following applies: 

  • All flights from and to Spain and Italy are suspended, with exception of  diplomatic and armed forces, mail and cargoes, as well as humanitarian or medical.
  • Road, railroad and river transportation suspended on Portuguese borders with exemptions.
  • All airspace within EU and Schengen areas will be closed to international flights with destination to EU + Schengen area or departing from, with some minor exceptions.
  • All shore-leaves permits are suspended to all crewmembers within Portuguese ports.
  • On a case by case basis, and upon advice of Health Maritime Authority , crew changes or disembarkation with repatriation purposes may be authorised by Immigration Office and Local Port Captaincy.
  • Passenger vessels will not be authorized to disembark any guests/crewmembers/staff. Licenses to go ashore also will not be granted. Exception is made to Portuguese Citizens living in Portugal wishing to debark at our ports.  Cruise vessels still may call Portuguese ports and to carry on provisions, fresh water and other supplies, as well as to perform bunkering operations.
  • All persons arriving to Portugal by sea; air or ground borders may be subject to quarantine for 14 days in hotel. This containment measure may suffer some adjustments by Regional Health Authorities.
  • Vessels not performing commercial calls may be prevented entry into Portuguese ports. On a case by case basis, and upon advice of Health Maritime Authority, Local Port Captaincy may authorized it to enter and carry on provisions, fresh water and other supplies, as well as to perform bunkering operations. No crew changes will be allowed.

For vessels calling Portuguese ports under commercial calls (not passengers cruise ships):

  • For commercial calls,  vessels are allowed to enter and berth in order to perform commercial ops (load/discharge) with no delays or minor delays on account of terminals/vessels contingency plans.
  • Health Maritime Declaration must be sent prior vessel’s arrival, at least with 24 hrs in advance and with new Health Maritime Declaration sent on arrival day.
  • Pilotage, towage services and linesmen are working normally, with some contingency plans of their owns.
  • Crew Shore leave is suspended.
  • Crew changes by primary rule are not allowed. However, same may be required and are subjected to advice of local Health Authorities which will review it on a case by case manner.
  • In some ports, some terminals (on account of its contingency plans) do not allow visitors, crew change nor provisions & supplies by shore side. In these situations launch boat is the only alternative to serve vessels needs by sea side.
  • Contact between Officers and Crew with terminal staff, surveyors and agents are kept to a minimum possible.
  • At present moment there aren’t ports/terminals closed or restricted
  • At present moment no vessel calling under commercial calls has been refused to enter or berth in Portugal

The Portuguese Government have extended the state of emergency until 24:00 on 2 May and the above containment measures will remain in force until 14 May.

27 April: According to information from the Portuguese government,disembarkation and crew change from cruise vessels are explicitly prohibited. However, for the general cargo vessels, there are no similar provisions in place. 

13 May- * Crew changes are restricted and must be accepted by the Health Authority on a case-by-case basis. Medical treatment for non-Covid19 injuries or illness is allowed in a case by case approval, after all documentation is accepted by the health Authority.

For disembarking crew, a risk evaluation is carried out. Must send Health Maritime Declaration, one or two days prior vessel’s arrival, as well as identification of crew members to disembark. Vessel declaration from doctor on board (in doctor’s absence, declaration from Master) stating the non- existence of symptoms or signs of COVID-19.

In addition, following must be reported to Regional Health Authority to obtain their dispatch.


  • List of disembarking crew members with nationalities must be disclosed.
  • Will they be repatriated ?
  • To inform flights available for repatriation?
  • How NON-EU Nationals will fly home? If EU residents, please send copy of permit. If not, please send flight bookings
  • Airport destination of each disembarked crew member
  • Will all off-signers disembark at same time ?
  • Will all off-signers depart from Portugal on same flight?


  • List of embarking crew members with nationalities must be disclosed.
  • What is the origin airport of each crew member ?
  • Have on-signing crew been under quarantine? Any evidence to support it?
  • Will all on-signers arrived at Portugal on same flight?
  • Will all on-signers will embark at same time?*

20 May: The Portuguese Ministry of Foreign Affairs have announced that all visa applications are suspended until 15 June

*Source: North P&I Club

Useful links:



3 April  - Requirements for the various ports:

Mesaieed Port

  • Vessels are permitted to call to Mesaieed port, except for those calling directly from Iranian ports, which are subject to 14 days’ waiting period before being allowed entry.
  • All vessels must submit Corona Virus declaration, Maritime Declaration of Health, Master’s Declaration, Last 10 Port of call and crew list & temperature reading of all onboard 72 hours before arrival/berthing and resubmit 48, 24, 12, 6 and 3 hours prior to arrival.
  • If any crew is suspected of COVID 19 infection, the port shall contact the medical authorities for assistance and testing. After clearance, vessels are being permitted to berth.
  • Entry into the country has been suspended for all nationalities except for Qataris. No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty, unless in case of emergency and subject to approval from Port Management. No crew changes are authorised until further notice.

See Masaieed Port circular 

Ras Laffan Port

  • Circular from Ras Laffan -  MDH, Corona Virus declaration, forms required from all vessel calling Ras Laffan, Maritime Health Declaration is normally need to be submitted to regulation department 72 Hrs prior to arrival, in addition Master need to update & resubmit MDH 24 Hours prior berthing.
  • If vessel arriving directly from China or called in China, the quarantine period commences on departure China, Ras Laffan port regulation will review the departure date from China and berth if vessel completed 15 days of quarantine  period before calling Qatar.
  • If any crew onboard suspected with Corona Virus, Ministry of Health will attend the vessel for inspection, pilot will board once Ministry of Health approved to board.
  • Off signers from foreign vessels should attend screening inside port. All off signers should wear mask & gloves upon leaving from vessel till they exit from Qatar.
  • Crew arriving from Halul island or area operating directly by QP should complete Corona virus screening inside Ras Laffan port.
  • On Signers will be screened at Hamad International airport only
  • A list of off-signers should be prepared for all those who hold a valid Qatar seaman visa, completed their stay inside country above 40 days, mentioning their sign-on date, and sent to for submission to Port/Immigration authorities at the earliest. Port & Immigration are instructed to complete the sign-off of crew members staying above 40 days at a time from a vessel or cancel all sign-off till situation back to normal.
  • While booking exit flight ticket, make sure airline will accept the crew members to board the flight, otherwise crew will stuck inside the country and the Immigration department will take necessary action against crew/agents/vessel owners. Crew members are not permitted to stay in a hotel and wait for exit flight.
  • No more seaman or business visa application are being accepted by the Immigration Department till further notice.

Hamad Port

  •  All vessels to submit Declaration form with Pre–Arrival Information 72/48/24 Hours prior arrivals.  No other requirement officially announced so far.

Duqm Port

  • Port remains operational. All ships calling at the Port of Duqm are requested through their agent in addition to the standard vessel registration and notification, to submit the IMO Declaration of Health together with the declaration/questionnaire in annex of this document. These documents should be signed by the master of the vessel and send by email to
  • In case of a negative declaration of the master of the vessel (no sickness on board), the vessel will enter the harbor following the standard procedure, pilot and the doctor of MOH (Ministry of Health) will board the vessel at the pilot station.
  • The doctor of MOH will inspect the vessel prior to any operation, entry or leave to the said vessel.
  • Once the inspection is finished, operations can start considering all necessary precautionary sanitary measures.
  • In case of positive declaration of the master, the vessel will not be allowed to enter the port and must go at anchor. The respective sick crew member(s) will be screened by the doctor of MOH and medical team of Port of Duqm.
  • In case positive to COVID-19, the vessel will have to stay in quarantine and the master must follow the instructions of the MOH.
  • The crew of vessels calling Port of Duqm within a period less than 14 days will remain in quarantine during stay at the port. No shore leaves nor physical interaction with operation workers is allowed.
  • Agents are requested to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Health in case of crew change.
  • Crew shore leave is not allowed.
  • Port users are requested to avoid physical contact with crew members, to wear masks on board the vessels and use disinfecting product to wash hands after visiting the vessels.
  • The MOH and HM Office to be contacted in case of any suspicious situation concerning the Corona Virus in the Port area and on board the vessels in within the Port Limits

6 May -  Crew changes for foreign nationals are not permitted. Nationals holding a resident permit are permitted to disembark the vessel. See COVID-19 Daily Port Update for further details. Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available and approved on a case- by- case basis.

*Source: North P&I Club 

Reunion Island

8 April -* Port Reunion is open but vessels have to fill-in the maritime declaration of health and give a list of embarking crew members  (with date and place of embarkation).

Before arrival MRCC contact the Master and check if no crew members are ill on board.

The Master has an obligation to inform of whether or not symptomatic persons are on board. Failure to do so is an offense punishable by imprisonment and fined. If no suspicion, free pratique is granted. If there is suspicion, vessel stays at anchorage waiting for health authorities’ intervention.

An official document will be issued soon by the authorities.

All requests for special operations at Port-Reunion are under the control/approval of the authorities.

All requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

27 April - Port Reunion has issued guidance regarding measures to be taken for receiving and handling ships

6 May - Crew change possible but subject to fulfilling certain conditions. For a crew change operation at Port-Reunion, the following is required:

  • a copy of the passport of each crew members
  • the maritime declaration of health completed
  • crew List
  • confirmation that there are no symptoms of covid on board
  • list of ports of call & date
  • ship’s sanitary certificate
  • Company’s letter, in French, explaining the intended operation
  • e-tickets with final destination
  • attestation document completed for each crew members
  • for non-European crew member a ‘Sauf conduit’
  • All the flights (arrival and departure) should be booked on the same day of the operation.
  • Medical assistance: case- by- case basis. Repatriation is affected by lack of commercial flights.*

19 May: The Port of Reunion has issued a circular with precautionary measures applicable for crew change operations:

  • The off-signing seafarer must have
    • a current identity and nationality title validity
    • an airline ticket
    • proof of immediate, direct and non-stop transport between the disembarkation point and airport.
  • Transport between the ship and the plane must take place on the same day.
  • Foreign nationals from countries not members of the European Union, from Schengen or the United Kingdom must, if they do not hold a visa and upon presentation of their seafarers' identity document, ask the customs service at least 24 hours before entering French territory, a safe conduct. This document will be issued to them for the duration which covers their movement from the ship to the airport

All these documents will be sent to the authorities for authorisation and approval.

25 June: According to information provided by the local government, starting 22 June, entry into Reunion requires a COVID-19 test with 72 hours of departure. Numbers of weekly planes in and out will increase and passengers limit will be uncapped.

*Source: North P&I Club 


10 March - All ships arriving from risk areas will be subjected to thorough checks inclusive of physical examination of crew, checking of ship’s medical logs as well as crew lists to verify travel history.
If no suspect cases, the ship will proceed to berth with crew members being forbidden to go ashore till expiry of the 14 days incubation period.

Operations can progress with limited contact, PPE, a distance of minimum 2 meters and or no longer than 15 minutes.

After the incubation period, all restrictive measures will be abolished.

If suspect cases, quarantine will be established during which ship will await at roads and the only permitted operations be supply of food/water/medications.

Suspect cases be referred to Constantza Contagious Disease Hospital as per procedures where analysis to either confirm or disprove the case be carried out.

If positively confirmed infection with COVID-19, the sick will receive treatment and the ship will remain in quarantine as per procedures.

If analysis show negative result, the quarantine will be lifted after the expiry of the incubation 14 days.

Disinfection will be carried out by authorised specialized companies.

25 March: Romanian authorities would bind any vessel calling Black Sea and Danube River ports to a 14 day quarantine period at roads prior to be allowed in port. While indeed legal text states that 14 days begin running as from vessel’s sailing out of the last port situated in a red or yellow risk zone, in practice Interservices SA  has encountered situations where 14 days began running as from vessel’s call at Romanian ports. Exercise caution on how authorities would view running of 14 days.

31 March: All vessels calling at Romanian ports will be allowed to berth alongside the ports only if vessels are found to be equipped with necessary protection equipment. This includes:

  • Disposable protective gloves,
  • Disposable face mask with filter
  • Protection glasses
  • Alcohol type disinfectant/sanitizer
  • Disposable overalls. If disposable overalls are not available, the overalls made of cotton should be available, which can be removed before the pilot gets in the pilot boat. (Only for the vessels whose last port of call was one of the Countries where the pandemic was widespread)

If the vessels are found not to be equipped with necessary protection materials, then they will have to wait in quarantine period for 14 days counting from the date of last port of call.

Please note that there are two anchorage areas where the ships are allowed to wait in quarantine. One of these areas for the vessels coming through Black Sea is the port of Sulina and for the vessels which sail through the Bystroye Canal is in the 44 miles off Danube River.

14 April -  The Romanian Government has published a new regulation in order to ensure that the domestic products remain in the country stock. According to Military Ordinance no. 8 which has come into force, the exportation of grains, grain products and edible oils (listed as wheat, barley, oat, maize, rice, wheat flour, soybean, sunflower, seed oil, sugar, and some bakery and pastry products ) which are origin of Romania are prohibited until 16 May. This was uplifted on 17 April. 

6 May - Crew changes for foreign nationals are not permitted. Romanian nationals may be permitted to disembark the vessel subject to restrictions. Medical assistance for urgent non-COVID19 cases remains available and approved on a case by case basis. Patients will be subjected to epidemiological triage and tested for COVID 19. *

10 August - Extensions granted to certificates of seafarers' certificates till 1 October 2020 (via IMO circular letter no. 4234/Add.4 dated 14 July 2020) 

*Source: North P&I Club


Effective from 18 March until 00.00 1 May Russian borders will be closed to foreign travellers. According to an official release from the Russian Government, maritime crews are excepted from these provisions.

*According to information received by local members no other restrictions on federal or state level. Restrictions may be applied at local port level.


The list of epidemiological risk countries has been updated. If a ship has crew members or passengers from epidemiological risk countries who boarded within the last 14 days before arrival to Novorossiysk, or if the ship has visited one of the listed epidemiological risk countries within the last 14 days, disinfection of the ship will be required upon arrival.

The current list of epidemiological risk countries is as follows:

  1. Disinfection is required and compulsory: China, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain, The Republic of Korea
  2. Highly likely disinfection will be required: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Greece, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA.
  3. Disinfection can be required: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belarus, Benin, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Butane, Cambodia, Cameroon, Canada, Central African Republic, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cote d’Ivoire, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech, Dominican Republic, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Estonia, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Finland, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kuwait, Latvia, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Maldives, Malta, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, Nigeria, North Macedonia, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Guinea, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Rwanda, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, UAE, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Vatican, Venezuela, Vietnam.
Only Group A countries are currently subject to the compulsory disinfection. Groups B) and C) as a preliminary assumption only. The final decision on the need for disinfection will be taken by the Sanitary Authority for each particular vessel, depending on the actual epidemiological situation at the time of the decision.

After the disinfection on board all crew and passengers are subject to the medical check. Doctor must check crew temperature and general condition of the crew. If everything is good and no risks or sick persons found on board the Sanitary Doctor will confirm possibility to make Inward Clearance and obtain a full free pratique. After inward clearance formalities the vessel is allowed to perform cargo operations.

Kavkaz and Taman

  • All ships are subject to risk assessment by Health authorities on an individual basis.
  • Focus is made on the 14-day incubation period and health condition of the crew.
  • Shore leave may be limited for all foreign citizens (crew and passengers) at any port and any time.
  • Screening on vessels arriving from any country is being conducted by Health authorities.
  • Certificates of disinfection from the other countries are no longer accepted.As of 11 March 2020, no special restrictions or measures have been announced yet.

Taman Immigration authorities have temporarily restricted shore leaves for the following persons:

  • Citizens of the People Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Italy and Iran arriving as crew members.
  • Crew members – foreign citizens, who visited ports of Italy, People Republic of China, Republic of Korea, and Iran during the last 14 days before arrival at Taman seaport.
  • In daytime the ships  are visited by the sanitary services for identification of the crewmembers or passengers displaying symptoms compatible with the disease by temperature screening and examination. There is no screening during the night shifts.
  • A list of the previous ten ports of call must be provided by Agents to Immigration authorities.
  • Although there is no official requirement for a 14-day quarantine at anchorage, at the beginning of March, a ship coming from one of coronavirus-affected countries was not allowed to proceed for berthing until the expected incubation period of 14 days had expired.


All ships  arriving at Tuapse port are subject to a temperature screening of the crew members before commencement of the inward clearance formalities. There are no any other special measures in force.


Crew members who arrived to Kaliningrad on the ships that departed from High Risk countries / ports less that 14 days before their arrival to Kaliningrad are demanded to stay on board at all times while the vessel is berthed; NOT to attend shops, pharmacies and/or any public places; NOT to use public transport; to avoid contacts with others; to comply with hygiene and sanitary protection requirements (body temperature screening twice a day and keeping temperature records).

Authorized representatives of Shipowners and their agents are held responsible for enforcement of the above requirements.

Murmansk and Kandalaksha

Starting from 00.00 on 16.03.2020 and until further notice all crew members returning to Russia from other countries, especially from Norway, are to undergo a compulsory medical examination through the established procedure, social withdrawal / self-imposed isolation is not considered sufficient.

Starting from 00.00 on 17.03.2020 and until further notice, disembarkation and shore leave is prohibited to crew members having arrived on the ships from foreign ports to the ports of Murmansk and Kandalaksha in cases where these ships had left foreign ports less than 14 calendar days before they arrived to Murmansk / Kandalaksha. Harbour Masters of the ports are to take adequate measures to ensure implementation of the said requirements.

St Petersburg

As of 31 March, in St. Petersburg only people aged 65+ are recommended to stay home, no further restrictions have been announced yet. Ports are operating with limitations: the vessels’ crew is not allowed to disembark while the vessel remains berthed at the ports; ship agents and surveyors are given access on board, always provided that they are properly protected by face masks and latex gloves.

6 May: Crew changes for foreign crew are not recommended due to the international flights being suspended. They can be performed only after special approval/confirmation by the Russian Sanitary Authorities at the urgent situations such as illness of the crew member, death of the relatives. A crew member may sign off and stay in Russia until the flights are resumed, but the subsistence costs are to be covered by someone (the local authorities require a relevant assurance before they allow such a sign-off).

Only Russian nationals can be replaced by the same local nationals. The old crew must comply with the quarantine requirement, that is 14 days under the doctors’ supervision staying home. There is no requirement to stay isolated in a hospital upon arrival from abroad. Only a close supervision by the health authority with daily reporting on the overall condition. **

25 May - Extensions granted for seafarers' certificates,including medical certificates by the Maritime Administration of the Russian Federation.  

17 June - Revised extensions granted for the above seafarers' certificates.

10 August - Clarification provided ( via IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.9) with regard to extensions given for seafarers' certificates issued in accordance with STCW - applies regardless of ship’s flag, i.e. the above extension of validity of the certificates and documents is applicable to seafarers working on board ships flying the flag of a foreign State. 

7 Oct -  Extension of seafarers' certificates extended up to 31 March 2021 (inclusive) via IMO circular letter no. 4237/Add.12.

Temporary restrictions on entry and exit via Russia’s land borders remain in place. Anyone arriving into airports will be temperature checked. The Russian government requires all arrivals to obtain and present a negative COVID-19 test certificate dated less than 72 hours before travel. Passengers arriving for permanent work purposes including Highly Qualified Specialist (HQS) visa holders also have to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Russia. All other arrivals are not required to self-isolate if arriving on a regularly scheduled flight, provided they can show a negative test certificate (ref: UK travel advice)

* Source: Neva-Delta S.A., ** North P&I Club



According to information from the Saba Government, the borders are closed until 10 May. These provision may be extended.

For the latest available information, please confer to the Saba Government

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

25 May - Circular GEN 025 Rev.2 issued by the Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Maritime Administration (SV providing extensions and procedures for certification of seafarers and surveys and certification of ships flagged under them during this COVID-19 outbreak. To read circular, please view IMO circular letter  No. 4248/Add. 2 . 

2 July -  The country's maritime administration issuing rev. 3 of circular GEN 025 (via IMO circular letter No. 4248/Add.3) relating to seafarers' SEAs and certification and surveys of ships whereby measures are adopted and in place from 18 June and for 2 months.

10 August - Issue of rev. 4 of the circular GEN 025 (via IMO circular letter no. 4228/Add.4) giving the country's maritime administration's updated measures in relation to seafarers' certificates and ship's certificates. 

With effect from 1 August, revised protocol for entry of travellers to the country with different requirements for three categories: the CARICOM Bubble countries, USA, and rest of the world. 

21 August - Revision 5 of circular GEN 025 (via IMO circular letter no. 4228/Add.5) in relation to updated measures for extensions/postponement of certificates, surveys etc of seafarers and ships .

23 Sept - Revision 6 of circular GEN 025 (via IMO circular letter no. 4228/Add. 7) in relation to temporary measures imposed for a period of 2 months starting from 18 September pertaining to certification of seafarers including SEA contracts and surveys and certification of ships flagged under the country. 

Useful links 

Saudi Arabia

The Saudi Ports Authority issued Circulars 37(2020)38 (2020) and 39 (2020) which provide mandatory instructions to ships arriving to Saudi Arabia:

  • Temporary suspension of voyages coming from coronavirus affected countries ( China, UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Korea, Sultanate of Oman, Sudan, European Union countries, Swiss Confederation, Turkey, India, Pakistan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Sri Lanka, South Sudan, Djibouti, Somalia and Philippines) with the exception of cargo vessels and evacuation. 
  • Suspend travel of citizens and residents from the above-mentioned countries or travellers who have been there within 14 days prior to arrival
  • Suspend the assigning in/off procedures for on board - seafarers to all types of ships that arrive at Saudi ports and those coming from the above-mentioned countries or who were in those countries within 14 days prior to arrival. 

9 June  - *Amended curfew status_ 30th May – 20th June, curfew extended from 8PM – 6AM. From 21st June, no curfew, all activities open except international flights. Even whilst under curfew, surveyors can obtain special permission to attend ships.

Crew changes are not permitted. As for medical assistance, it is proving very difficult to arrange medical treatment for crew members at Saudi Ports with general medical symptoms, unless it is an emergency. If a crew member is taken off, they are first tested for COVID-19, if the test is positive, the ship is then quarantined for 14 days.*

18 June- Extensions/endorsements granted for seafarers' certificates (via IMO circular letter no. 4243)

Useful links

Source: * North P&I Club


All  ships scheduled to call Dakar Port will now have to send by email to the port authority ( and the Health department (Sea border health control) (, latest 72 hours prior to her arrival the following documents:

  • The list of the 10 previous port of call
  • The maritime health declaration
  • The crew list clearly stressing the date and port where each crew member boarded the ship

Any ship coming from countries (areas) impacted by the COVID-19 (CORONAVIRUS) will be attended at anchorage by the Health department in charge Sea border sanitary control (Service de Contrôle Sanitaire aux Frontières Maritimes) who will grant the free pratique and the authority to proceed before the ship is allowed to enter to Dakar port.

Modified berthing procedures took effect 1 March:

72 hours before their arrival in Dakar, all ships must email the following documents:

  • List of the last ten (10) ports of call;
  • Maritime Health Declaration;
  • Crew list specifying joining date and port of each crew member.

To both:

  1. the Harbour Master at, and
  2. the Maritime Border Health Inspection Services (Service de Contrôle Sanitaire aux Frontières Maritimes) at

Original Port of Dakar circular and English translation

25 March: Immigration officers are now looking for clerical errors on the seaman books. The Immigration Officers indicate that the name of the ship and the date of the entry must be completed by the Masters of the ships under the decree dating from 1971 i.e. Article 5 of same i.e. (Crew-members of ships and aircraft calling at ports of call may be allowed to enter the territory on production of the crew’s book, License or certificate.)  This concerns the date of embarkation of the seaman on the ship as well as the IMO numbers of the particular ship on which he/she embarked. Failure to do so will result in the ship being fined. The amount of the fine has not yet been fixed.

26 March: The Port is operational for cargo ships only and all precautionary measures are taken to prevent the pandemic spread.

9 June  - Crew changes for nationals are authorized subject to the Health Service’s prior visit onboard at anchorage. Crew changes are prohibited for foreigners. As for medical assistance, this is possible subject to a reinforced Health Service inspection and approval onboard at anchorage. Note that government has imposed compulsory wearing of masks from 20 April until further notice. 

*Source: North P&I Club 


8 April -  *The port remains open but not to passenger ships. Ships before arriving at Port Victoria must do their normal maritime health declaration.

6 May - Crew change is not allowed. Cruise ship are still not allowed in the port but pleasure yachts are welcome depending on where they come from.  The airport will re-open on 1st June 2020 for international flights again depending on where the flight comes from.  Seychellois will be allowed to leave the island but may face quarantine when they return.  The cargo and fishing ports are opened for normal operations. Lockdown is expected to cease*

9 June - The existing Public Health restriction order expires on Monday the 4th May 2020 and a revised one will come into force on same day. The new order allows for gradual removal of restrictions by phases. According to Seychelles Nation, East Africa's largest newspaper,  the government is taking the step to ban all cruise ships tourism through to the end of 2021.

*Source: North P&I Club

Sierra Leone

  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and other documents requested by the agent.
  • Vessels will be cleared at alongside (unless vessel loading at anchorage) and checked by port health for temperature control on arrival as well as requested for implementing hand sanitizing measures while alongside. Also PPE will be requested to be used. Hereafter boarding authorities will proceed to board the vessel when port health have given green light to proceed and yellow flag lowered.
  • No quarantine period announced for vessels coming from affected countries.
  • Vessels with suspected crew on board will not be able to lower the yellow flag and will be requested to proceed to anchorage for a period of 14 days. Hereafter vessel will be requested to carry out another check before proceeding with usual inward clearance unless suspected cases found on board.
  • All passengers flights has been suspended from 22.30.20 for a 90 days period or at least until further notice.

*26 March - State of emergency announced 24 March for 12 days. Port of Freetown is open. *

17 April - According to news coverage on 3 April, Sierra Leone had their first 2 COVID-19 cases and has since tightened restrictions. A lockdown for 3 days went into force even though doctor were pushing for 14 days. Restrictions on entry into the country by land and international flights have been implemented. 

25 August - According to UK travel advice as at 25 August, travel to the country is still subject to restrictions. Having said that, Freetown International Airport is open and commercial flights are running.  Anyone intending to travel to Sierra Leone must obtain authorisation from the Government of Sierra Leone through their on line portal. This requires the submission of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. Additional COVID19 testing is conducted on arrival. Land borders remain closed.

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club 


Since January 24, Singapore has been screening seafarers arriving at checkpoints. Please see the original release.

MPA 16/2020 supersedes 14/2020 regarding requirements for submission to the Port Health Office. The requirements apply effective 23 March 2359 hrs and in essence, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Port Health Unit/Central Regional office 12 hours before arrival at Singapore port effective 23 March: 

  • Maritime Health Declaration Form; 
  • Crew list/passenger list;
  • Current copy of ship sanitation certificates;
  • Last 10 ports of call list;and 
  • List of all passengers & crew members with temperature above 37.5 degree Celsius. 

MPA 17/2020 supersedes 15/2020 and the restrictions are as follows: 

Border Restrictions

  • All short-term visitors will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This means that crew and passengers on short-term visits will NOT be allowed to disembark in Singapore for the time being.
  • Crew change in Singapore is also disallowed for the time being. 
  • With effect from 13 March 2020, Singapore has ceased port calls for all cruise ships.
  • The Port of Singapore remains open for cargo operations and marine services, including shipyard repairs. This means that ships are still permitted to enter Singapore port limits to carry out their intended operations such as cargo operations i.e. terminal loading, discharging, bunkering and storing of provisions/stores. Vetting inspectors and shore technicians from Singapore are also permitted to attend vessels at Singapore anchorage for inspection, servicing or repair of equipment on board but this is subjected to their own (inspector / shore technician) personal and companies discretion in view of the current global health situation.

Please see also MPA 18/2020 regarding advisory for shore personnel and ship crew visiting or working onboard ships alongside wharves, in shipyards and at anchorages. 

GAC also kindly provided the following information relating to restrictions for crew changes for vessels outside of Singapore harbour limits more commonly known as OPL.

  • No sign-off or medical evacuation is permitted while vessel is at OPL be it while on transit or anchor. If owners or vessel intend to sign off crew / personnel, vessel must be prepared to :
    • enter Singapore port limits and be subjected to the current port control measures.
    • submit the Maritime Health Declaration (attached here latest MHD).   
  • Personnel intending to visit or sign-on vessel at OPL is still permitted for passport holders that is able to clear the Singapore airport or land immigration entry checkpoints.
  • Delivery of ship spares, provisions, stores to vessel and off-landing of items/equipment from vessel at OPL is still permitted at this point of time. 

3 April - Additional measures to minimise the spread of COVID-19 were announced by the Singapore authorities today, whereby all business, social, or other activities that cannot be conducted through telecommuting from home will be suspended from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (inclusive). Notwithstanding such suspension, maritime-related activities as provided in MPA circular 20/2020 are exempted which include the following: 

  • Shipping e.g. ship operators and liner operators
  • Shipping-related services e.g. ship management and ship agencies
  • Safety and navigation services e.g. class societies, pilotage, salvage and towage
  • Port and terminal operations including construction
  • Port marine services e.g. ship chandlers, bunkering, ferry services

On 26 February, MPA issued a shipping circular 03/2020 providing instructions on how dispensations can be obtained for various shipping obligations (eg extension of seafarers' service agreements or mandatory surveys).

On 10 April, MPA issued a shipping circular 06/2020 whereby a pragmatic approach has been taken regarding extension of STCW certificates for seafarers. 

On 16 April, MPA issued a Port marine circular No. 23 /2020 advising of the requirements for operators of harbour craft and pleasure craft, and vessels in port to comply with the COVID-19 (Temporary Measures) (Control Order) Regulations 2020. Includes:

  • Every individual must wear a mask when not in his or her ordinary place of resident. However, he or she need not wear the mask when carrying out, in the course of employment, an activity that requires that no mask may be worn or that the mask must be removed to carry out that activity. Examples of such activity are welding and diving.
  • Only essential service providers are permitted to operate, within the conditions in the Regulations.
  • There are also requirements on the occupier of permitted premises, i.e. premises where an essential service provider ordinarily carries on its business or work, such as taking body temperature and contact details of individuals entering the permitted premises.

The Supreme Court Registry has stated in Registrar’s Circular No 4 of 2020 that every matter scheduled for hearing from 7 April 2020 to 4 May 2020 (both days inclusive) will be adjourned unless the matter is assessed to be essential and urgent. A list of essential and urgent matters is set out in Schedule 1 of the aforesaid circular and includes an application for the arrest or release of a vessel; an application for the discharge of dangerous or perishable cargo; and an application for the judicial sale of a vessel, where the safety of the crew is a concern.

22 May - MPA issued Port Marine Circular 26/2020, which supersedes PMC 19/2020. Crew change can be facilitated in the following special circumstances:

  • The seafarer has served his/her maximum time on board - and no further extension of the employment contract is granted by the flag State.  For an overview of extensions to employment agreement, BIMCO provides an overview here
  • Compassionate grounds (e.g. death of family member)
  • The seafarer is no longer medically fit to work on board the ship

The following categories will also be considered when facilitating crew change:

  • Seafarers with expired employment contract
  • Additional crew on board whose sign-off would not affect the safe manning of the ship
  • Change of crew due to the sale or purchase of ship
  • Personnel who is not part of the ship’s crew such as superintendents and service engineers

The MPA has the following requirements for crew change:

  • Signing-off
    • Confirmation that the seafarer has not gone ashore in the last fourteen (14) days before leaving the ship, and remained well throughout that period
    • Fit-to-travel medical certificate issued by a doctor in Singapore
    • Proof of expiry of employment contract or unfit-for-work medical report, where applicable
    • Relevant documentation supporting required crew change (e.g. sale/purchase agreement of ship)
  • Signing-on
    • Confirmation that the seafarer has been in quarantine for at least 14 days prior to departing his/her home country and has been well throughout that period
    • COVID-19 test (polymerase chain reaction (PCR) type) with negative result at his/her home country not more than 48 hours prior to his/her departure flight
    • Fit-to-travel medical certificate issued by a doctor at his/her home country not more than 24 hours prior to his/her departure flight
  • Transfer Arrangements
    • The seafarer must be transferred directly between the ship and point of arrival/departure in Singapore
    • The ship will not be allowed to depart Singapore until the sign-off crew has departed Singapore and/or the sign-on crew has boarded the ship
  • Ship owners/managers/agents should apply for crew change in Singapore by writing to and at least 14 days in advance of the planned crew change.

3 June -  To enable crew change in Singapore to be facilitated as smoothly as possible to mitigate the risks of spreading COVID-19, the MPA has  now released a FAQ section with guidelines (Crew Change Guidebook) pertaining to how crew changes can be conducted safely in Singapore. 

19 June - MPA issues updated requirements (PMC No.27 of 2020) to facilitate for better crew changes, providing amongst others, designated holding facilities for crew members that are unable to transfer directly to their ship or flight and will apply for applications made effective today onwards. Ships no longer need to wait for departure of sign-off crew in order to leave the port. Sign-off crew can now obtain a fit-to-travel assessment/certification via tele-medicine assessment. With effect from 26th June, meet-and-greet service providers must be employed to meet sign-on crew at Changi airport. These are on the assumption that the special circumstances in PMC No. 26 of 2020 are met. 

MPA issued also shipping circular No. 13 of 2020 providing measures in the form of extensions granted and active assistance to support seafarers on Singapore-flagged ships facing challenges like expired crew contracts, crew change and repatriation at ports.

26 June -  Revised version  - the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook Version 2 dated 22 June 2020

24 July - Extract from press release issued 24 July 2020 by Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) "Given the increasing number of crew change applications, MPA will need to prioritise new crew change applications. These will include crew with expiry of contracts which flag States are not extending further, Singapore-registered ships, and crew sign-offs. With immediate effect

MPA will give priority to applications from Singapore-registered ships and applications for sign-off crew only (i.e. without signing-on new crew). 

For all other cases, MPA will consider the following circumstances for crew change applications:
(a) the crew has served his/her maximum time on board and no further extension of the employment contract is granted by the flag State; or
(b) compassionate grounds e.g. death of immediate family member; or
(c) the crew is no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship. 

Please refer to Port Marine Circular 31 of 2020 (PMC 31 of 2020) for more details - Superseded by PMC 36

MPA is also working with the industry taskforce to review the guidelines on the ‘safe-corridor’ procedures in order to safeguard the crew change process. This includes the need to self-isolate while serving the 14-day Stay-Home Notice (SHN), to ensure accurate COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test, and direct transfers from airport to ship for the crew while in Singapore to minimise contact

In addition, as an added precaution in the Port of Singapore, all shore personnel in contact with ship crew are advised to don face shields or goggles in addition to face masks and gloves when working on the ships.  For ships which have conducted crew change in the past 14 days, shore personnel are advised to ensure that there is no contact with the ship crew. For more details, please refer to Port Marine Circular 32 of 2020.

4 August - Revised version, version 3 the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook dated 3 August 2020.  This updated Guidebook mirrors the latest shipping circular no. 14 from the MPA in regard to minimising risks of COVID19 spread among crew. Note that this revised version provides further guidance (addendums) on what is expected during self- quarantine period as well as protocol for crew in country of origin.

See MPA's dedicated section on Crew Change for easy reference and guidance. 

25 August - Further to PMC 32, MPA issued PMC circular 35 of 2020 to tighten measures to fight against COVID-19 in relation to shore-based personnel coming on board vessels to do repairs, servicing, surveys and inspections. Ships are now required to inform the Port Master 3 days before arrival of any such intended activities and do not include receiving bunkers and ship supplies. Failure to notify and submit the required information to the Port Master, the owner, agent or master of any vessel may be found guilty of a breach of Section 44 of the Maritime and Port Authority Act (Chapter 170A) and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $10,000.

31 August -  With effect from 1st September, MPA's requirements for crew change are revised as per below.  

Signing-on crew requirements as follows:

  • Crew member is no longer be required to do the 14-day quarantine or do only a 7-day quarantine if the crew member comes from an originating country/region appearing in MOH's list of countries considered as low risk. Otherwise all signing-on crew are required to serve the 14-day Stay-Home -Notice (SHN) in the originating country/region. 

BIMCO hint: a quick way to check the latest list - go to MOH's FAQ section and click on "H - Border Measures and Changes to Stay-Home-Notice requirements" and find the latest measures for inbound travellers) 

  • All crew must be certified fit-to-travel by doctor in originating country not more than 24 hours prior to departure flight and arrive in Singapore to join the ship not more than 2 days before ship's departure from Singapore. 
  • Crew must also have obtained a negative COVID-19 test result not more than 48 hours prior to the departure flight. The test must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR type) taken at a government -approved or ISO 151189-accredited testing facility 
  •  If crew member was previously tested COVID-19 positive, the date of this test must be more than 21 days from date of departure from originating country to Singapore. 
  • The crew changing process to have no more than 5 persons in a group and no interactions between these groups. 

Signing-off crew requirements as follows: 

  • Certified fit-to-travel by doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship; and 
  •  has not gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking and has remained well throughout the period. 

Singapore has also established a Crew Facilitation Centre (CFC) at Tanjong Pagar Terminal to facilitate more crew changes in a sustainable manner and with minimal health risk to the general population. Three floating accommodations at the CFC will be designated as holding or quarantine facilities. These will house sign-on crew that are waiting for their ships’ arrival for up to 48 hours, and a quarantine facility to house close contacts of crew who are tested positive for COVID-19.

For full details to the above, please refer to PMC circular 36 which supersedes PMC circular 31.


22 Sept - MPA has issued PMC circular 38 today and this circular supersedes PMC circular 36.  A brief summary is appended below. For full details, please refer to PMC circular 38.

Signing-on crew requirements as follows:
  • Crew member is no longer be required to do the 14-day quarantine or do only a 7-day quarantine if the crew member comes from an originating country/region appearing in MOH's list of countries considered as low risk. Otherwise all signing-on crew are required to serve the 14-day Stay-Home -Notice (SHN) in the originating country/region. Please refer to MOH’s website ( for the latest list of low risk countries/regions.

BIMCO hint: a quick way to check the latest list - go to MOH's FAQ section and click on "H - Border Measures and Changes to Stay-Home-Notice requirements" and find the latest measures for inbound travellers) 

  • All crew must be certified fit-to-travel by doctor in originating country not more than 24 hours prior to departure flight and arrive in Singapore to join the ship not more than 2 days before ship's departure from Singapore. 
  • Crew must also have obtained a negative COVID-19 test result not more than 72 hours prior to the departure flight. The test must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR type) taken at a government -approved or ISO 151189-accredited testing facility 
  •  If crew member was previously tested COVID-19 positive, that crew member must submit documentary proof of past diagnosis based on the earliest positive PCR test result. Note however that if the date of the PCR test is 21 days or fewer before date of Singapore arrival, that crew member will not be approved for crew change. Further guidelines on effects of timing of positive PCR test result taken are given below: 
  1. If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 22 to 90 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, the recovered crew need not serve the SHN  at his/her  originating country/region and  take  a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore
  2. If the date of the positive PCR test result is between 91 to 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country/region. The recovered crew need not take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore, but if he/she develops symptoms during the SHN period, he/she must be tested for COVID-19.i
  3. If the positive PCR test result is more than 180 days before the date of arrival in Singapore, he/she must serve a 14-day SHN at his/her originating country and take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours before departure for Singapore.
  • The crew changing process to have no more than 5 persons in a group and no interactions between these groups. 

Signing-off crew requirements as follows: 

  • Certified fit-to-travel by doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship; and 
  •  has not gone ashore in the last 14 days before disembarking and has remained well throughout the period. 
  • MPA will facilitate pre-departure COVID-19 PCR testing for sign-off crew. 
Sign-on and sign-off crew may stay at designated holding facilities for up to 72 hours. Ship owners/managers/agents must apply for crew change in Singapore, at least 14 days before the planned crew change, by filling up the online form or scan the QR Code embedded in the said circular. 

Trace together

The Ministry of Health (MOH) and GovTech have jointly developed a " Trace Together (TT)" mobile app which helps to speed up contact tracing by using a community-driven approach to identify close contacts of users. The TT app receives a Bluetooth signal containing the phone number of other app users who are within close proximity. The phone numbers are encrypted and not visible to the user.  If a user is infected with Covid-19, MOH will seek permission from the user to access the phone number log that is stored and encrypted on the user’s app for contact tracing. This will greatly improve the accuracy and timeliness of contact tracing and help to contain the spread of the disease by notifying quickly the people whom had been in close contact with a COVID-19 infected person. 

The TT app can be downloaded from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store.

More information can be found via

IFC Questionnaire

In an effort to improve their service and get a better understanding of the challenges faced by ships in the Singapore Straits, the Information Fusion Centre of Singapore is inviting participation in a questionnaire. The survey ends on 5 June. The questionnaire can be answered either: 

Source: GAC (Singapore)


All calls are subject to a screening based on a medical questionnaire. Depending on the outcome, ships might be directed to the anchorage for further medical examination, which might further place the ship in quarantine.

6 May - **Crew changes of foreign nationals are permitted however travel restrictions make this difficult and crew may be subjected to a 14 day quarantine. Crew changes of Slovenian nationals are permitted. Off signing crew will be subjected to a 14 day quarantine at home. **

11 May: According to information provided by the Slovenian government, third-country nationals are limited to enter Slovenia in urgent cases only. However, seafarers are categorized as essential workers and for this reason exempted from these provisions.

27 May: According to information provided by the Slovenian government, seafarers' documents may be extended until 1 July.

9 June - Slovenia opens its borders without restrictions to travellers from three neighbouring countries: Croatia, Hungary and Austria and Italy ( at certain border points). New ordinance on border measures in force from 26 May:

  • Without restrictions or quarantine - Slovenian citizens, foreigners with permanent or temporary residence in Slovenia, Croatia and Hungary and the exceptions listed in Articles 10 and 12 of the 'ordinance' may enter the country
  • 14-day quarantine for those with permanent or temporary residence in EU or other Schengen Area member states as well as for incoming travellers from third countries not qualifying for the above. Exceptions again listed in Articles 10 and 12. 

See here for full details of the new measures of 26 May, including exceptions mentioned in Articles 10 and12. 

Useful links:

* Sources:  Navigo d.o.o. and Centralog, ** North P&I Club


5 May - * Following measures in place:

  1. The port has specially assigned an ambulance launch for seaborne  COVID -19 Services
  2. The medical team boards the ship on arrival and check crew medical condition and take temperature checks
  3. The pilots are then allowed to bring the vessel in
  4. Protective geared free pratique are allowed to board.
  5. From this point NO MORE people are allowed to have contact with crew. Even agents are not allowed to board.
  6. Crew are advised to stay in their quarters only
  7. Under strict medical supervision, crew changes from ship to ship are possible.  Crew changes through air travel are not possible because all domestic and international flights are suspended.
  8. Medical Assistance is available:  any crew gets sick, doctors attend to him and if necessary take them to hospital. In case of COVID- 19 suspicion, arrangements are made to move  the sick person to specially arranged area ashore to get treatment. So far there are no incidents in this matter. In case of sickness reports on board ships at anchorage, the Medical Launch attends to it*

*Source: North P&I Club 

South Africa

The following Marine Notices have been issued from South African Maritime Safety Authority in response to COVID-19:

Marine notice 13/2020 Vessels and seafarers This marine notice serves to inform all stakeholders that any Survey, Audit and/or Inspection is to be temporarily suspended until 30 March 2020, in terms of the Presidents National Disaster Declaration.
Marine notice 14/2020 Information and Emergency Contact Details

Cancelled by MN 26

Marine notice 15/2020 Additional measures

Cancelled by MN 26

Marine notice 18/2020 21-Day Lockdown

Cancelled by MN 26

Marine notice 19/2020 Process for extension of Seafarers Certificates This Marine Notice seeks to advise seafarers, employers and crewing agencies of the process to obtain documents to extend the validity of certificates issued in accordance with the Merchant Shipping (Safe Manning, Training and Certification) Regulations 2013, as amended
Marine notice 20/2020 Process for extension of Statutory Certificates
This marine notice serves to inform all stakeholders on the process for obtaining an extension of statutory certificates, for those vessels that are required to be operational as considered forming essential services, that are due to expire during the lockdown period
Marine notice 21/2020 South African Ports Open for Cargo Operations

Cancelled by MN 26

Marine notice 24/2020 Medical Evacuations from Vessels Permitting the disembarkation of crew members on certain medical grounds. Although this relates particularly to off-shore incidents, if the vessel is in port, at Richards Bay specifically, a similar procedure should be followed
Marine Notice 26/2020

Managing suspected cases onboard 

Important contacts

The circular takes into account the following bullets:

  • Disease transmission
  • Symptoms
  • Suspected base of COVID-19
  • Preventive measures

Important contacts:

  • Coronavirus public hotline - 08 000 29999
  • Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (24/7/365)
    • +27 (0) 21 938 3300
  • Transnet National Ports Authority
    • +27 (0) 83 378 8877
    • +27 (0) 83 306 1228


(via IMO circular letter no. 4285 dated 30 April 2020) 

Guidelines for Seafarers and vessel certification during COVID-19

The South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) informing the IMO of the guidelines they have put in place to ensure continuity of maritime related services. 

Useful link: SAMSA

 SAMSA MN 30 of 2020  COVID-19 Level 3 Crew Changes

 (SAMSA link not available at time of updating this information on 10 June 2020)

SAMSA made this article on the content of MN 30, with the following notable entries:

  • All South African seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels either in South Africa or Internationally.
  • Returning seafarers will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine
  • No foreign Seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels in South Africa, unless prior arrangements have been agreed upon between the seafarers’ Embassy and Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Health.

 SAMSA MN 32 of 2020 

dated 5 June 2020

COVID-19  Level 3 Crew Changes ( Amendment)
  • Above MN 30 is cancelled 
    • All South African seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels either in South Africa or Internationally.
    • Returning seafarers will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine or self-isolation. Those wishing to join a vessel should also self-isolate for 14 days prior to embarkation. Not mandatory but recommended for seafarers to take a COVID-19 test prior to joining a vessel.
    • No foreign Seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels in South Africa, unless prior arrangements have been agreed upon between the seafarers’ Embassy and Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Health.
    • All seafarers joining or signing off to complete CREW HEALTH Declaration & DAILY TEMPERATURE RECORDS.


 SAMSA MN 34 of 2020 

dated 17 June 2020 

Process for extension of certificates
  • MN No 33 is cancelled.
  • How application for extension of certificates of seafarers can be sought during this lockdown.

 SAMSA MN 40 of 2020

dated 21 August 2020 

 Seafarer crew changes
  • MN Notices No. 29 and 32 cancelled
  •  National restrictions lowered to Level 2 effective 18 August
  • Cruise ships  are prohibited except for disembarkation of South African crew or holders of permanent residence permits
  • Foreign crew changes to take place only at Ports of Cape Town and Durban subject to fulfilling the conditions provided in the said Notice especially completion and submission of Form A at least 96 hours prior to crew change. No layover for sign-on and sign-off crew unless permission granted.

General: South Africa's government gazette dated 18 March 2020 regarding COVID-19 and port operations imposed restriction on crew mobility.

Transnet, the custodian for ports, rail and pipeline infrastructure in South Africa implements strict health measures and extra procedures for all ships entering South African ports, including all foreign ships entering the ports must receive free pratique by the Port Health department and details of the last 10 ports of call to be recorded. Transnet's Notice dated 16 March 2020 on the additional measures imposed, some are as follows: 

  • Masters of all vessels are required to display the “Q” Flag if all onboard are healthy and Free Pratique has not been granted by Port Health – means the master declares that all crew & personnel onboard are healthy and he/she requests Free Pratique. The "Q" flag to remain until Free Pratique has been granted
  • All waste removal from Off Port Limit vessels and vessels at anchorages are to cease immediately until advised otherwise. 
  • Galley waste will no longer be accepted at any ports and are to be incinerated on board the vessel.
  • Vessels from the following ports in China, Italy, Iran, South Korea, Spain, France, Germany, USA, Switzerland, UK, Norway or other high and medium risk area - No waste including galley waste will be disposed off in any South African port.
  • Shore leave for crew to be limited for essential services only with a limit on the number of crew leaving together. Visitors to vessels restricted to essential personnel only.
  • Limited interaction between bunker operator and vessels permitted. Crew to ensure gloves are provided and used when handling mooring lines & all preventative precautions are upheld – no crew changes permitted for bunker barges or vessel taking fuel from foreign countries.
  • Vessel passenger and crew transfers will not be permitted in any of the South African Ports.

*25 March - The President announced on 23 March  that South Africa will go into a state of lock down from midnight on Thursday, March 26 until April 16. Harbours and Ports of Entry will remain open as it is considered essential services however it will likely be a challenge getting to the port for ships agents, stevedores, surveyors etc – this being the case the work in Ports will likely slow down. The mandatory lockdown will however, impact on third-party suppliers such as the testing laboratories etc. All ports are open however, they are all operating at level 2 security in terms of ISPS.*

27 March - The following will apply to Bulk, Breakbulk and Automotive Terminals operated by the State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (“TPT”):

  • Operations at all Bulk Terminals (mineral mining commodities) will be scheduled as per demand from mining customers, subject to approval by the Department of Public Enterprises;
  • Mining customers will also have to obtain approval from the Department of Mineral Resources;
  • Should approval be obtained, TPT will request employees in the relevant Bulk Terminals to return to work;
  • Agri-Bulk products (grains, soya bean meal, fertiliser and woodchips) deemed an essential service will operate on a single berth operation at East London, Richards Bay and Durban Agri Terminals;
  • Breakbulk Terminals (“MPTs”) at Cape Town, Richards Bay and Durban Point will operate on a single berth operation to handle essential breakbulk goods and containers;
  • MPTs at East London, Saldanha Bay, Port Elizabeth and Durban will be closed;
  • All Automotive/Ro-Ro Terminals will be closed.

Essential goods and services will be prioritised as follows:

  • Essential goods will be prioritised over non-essential goods;
  • Each vessel will be required to provide a mandatory import evacuation plan prior to berthing;
  • Containers must be cleared and assigned prior to berthing and it will remain the responsibility of the shipping lines to evacuate containers to a suitable facility;
  • TPT reserves the right not to berth a vessel should these requirements not be met;
  • TPT reserves the right to prioritise the berthing of vessels on a first planned, first served basis at all Terminals;
  • TPT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the order of berthing in order to prioritise the handling of essential goods;
  • Refrigerated containers will be prioritised over non-essential exports.

The following will apply to the Container Terminals operated by the State-owned Transnet Port Terminals (“TPT”):

  • Operating staff at Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 will be reduced to two berths;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 1, Ngqura Container Terminal (Coega), Port Elizabeth Container Terminal and Cape Town Container Terminal will all operate a single berth operation with approximately half of the current staff complement;
  • Cape Town Multi-Purpose Terminal will handle containers on a single berth;
  • Durban Point will operate on a single berth for both containers and essential breakbulk goods;
  • East London will not handle containers.

Essential goods and services will be prioritised as follows:

  • Transhipments will be handled on an exception basis only with prior approval from TPT;
  • Essential containers will be prioritised over non-essential containers;
  • Each vessel will be required to provide a mandatory import evacuation plan prior to berthing;
  • Containers must be cleared and assigned prior to berthing and it will remain the responsibility of the shipping lines to evacuate containers to a suitable facility within the free period;
  • TPT reserves the right not to berth a vessel should these requirements not be met;
  • TPT reserves the right to prioritise the berthing of vessels on a first planned, first served basis in all Terminals;
  • TPT reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to change the order of berthing in order to prioritise the handling of essential containers;
  • Landside, inclusive of rail, will remain open but on a reduced resource basis;
  • Acceptance of exports on rail will only be allowed if they can be physically exported through the applicable terminal;
  • Refrigerated containers will be prioritised over non-essential exports;
  • Import containers may be for cargo owners who have temporarily ceased operations during the lockdown period and therefore cannot receive the containers.  In this case, it is the responsibility of the shipping line/freight forwarder to remove these containers to a depot or bonded warehouse within the free period.

In respect of the port of Durban:

  • Port Control will be manned 24/7;
  • Tugs and berthing staff will be reduced to 4 tugs and 4 gangs;
  • All non-essential vessels that are not working cargo will be required to vacate the port by 22:00 local time tonight, 26 March 2020;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 1 will be reduced to a single berth operation;
  • Durban Container Terminal Pier 2 will be reduced to a two berth operation;
  • Island View berths will be limited to IV2 or IV4, IV3 and IV6 or IV7;
  • Point will have one berth available for essential cargo;
  • Maydon Wharf berths will be limited to three being MW1/2, MW3/4 and MW5 with vessels to dock based on the essential goods list.

In addition the following measures will be in force as ordered by the Harbour Master:

  • All vessels are required to obtain Port Health clearance 72 hours prior to arrival, even if the previous port was another South African port;
  • All vessels are required to obtain ISPS clearance prior to entering the port of Durban;
  • No crew changes will be permitted, either in the port or off port limits (“OPL”);
  • All bridges, gangways, hand rails and doors must be regularly sanitised;
  • The port will only allow disembarkation of returning South African citizens or permanent residents;
  • Masters are to enforce strict gangway watches in port;
  • No persons will be permitted to embark or disembark a vessel in port without approval from Port Health and Immigration Services;
  • No shore leave will be permitted, save in exceptional circumstances, and approved by the South African Police Services and Immigration Services once the Harbour Master has been engaged;
  • OPL operations for the supply of stores and equipment will only be permitted subject to the presentation to the Harbour Master, and his approval in writing, for each and every operation, of a Standard Operating Procedure, a comprehensive risk assessment of the operation and a detailed mitigation plan;
  • No waste/slops, particularly galley waste and dunnage, may be removed from a vessel;
  • No diving activities will be permitted save in an emergency and approved by the Harbour Master;
  • Intensive measures are encouraged to be taken for hygiene control including but not limited to: washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, use of an alcohol-based hand sanitiser containing at least 60% alcohol, sanitising of all work surfaces and self-isolation of any crew member when sick;
  • Masters are encouraged to conduct relevant risk assessment/s and ensure that all crew members and persons boarding vessels wear the appropriate PPE;
  • Masters are to discourage non-essential third parties from boarding their vessels;

Bunkering to be approved in writing by the Harbour Master and such operations will be permitted subject to limited interaction between the bunker barge and the receiving vessels.  The Masters of both the barge and the receiving vessel are to conduct a risk assessment to ensure adequate mitigation measures are put in place, particularly the donning of the correct PPE.

16 April -  South Africa has extended the lockdown for a further two weeks,  to the end of April 2020.

12 May - No crew change is allowed.*

10 June - Borders remain closed except for the transportation of goods, repatriation of South Africans and evacuation of foreign nationals as per Alert level 3 regulations (national lockdown) effective 1 June 2020.

As with Alert Level 3 regulations and the issue of Marine Notice MN 30-2020 - Level 3 crew changes ( link not available on SAMSA website) South African seafarers are now allowed to freely embark and disembark vessels in South Africa or abroad. Returning seafarers will be required to undergo a 14-day quarantine. South African seafarers wishing to join a vessel, should preferably self-quarantine for 14-days prior to embarking. No foreign Seafarers will be permitted to embark or disembark vessels in South Africa, unless prior arrangements have been agreed upon between the seafarers’ Embassy and Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), Department of Home Affairs and Department of Health. See news release.

13 August - According to information provided by Waypoint Port Services, the South African borders have been opened for crew change since 31 July ( see amendment  to regulation 41 of Government Gazette).

9 Sept - see above SAMSA MN No. 40 issued on 21 August  for information on crew changes. 

Useful links:

*Source: North P&I Club 


For certain regions in Spain:


*17 March - The Spanish Government has implemented the “State of Alarm” in Spain for fifteen (15) days – extendable depending on the evolution of the situation. Thus, the Spanish Government has established measures that can limit the circulation or presence of persons or vehicles at certain times and in certain places, amongst others.

Port and logistic activities related to cargo vessels will continue.

However, personal interaction with personnel from local companies (agents, stevedores, suppliers, etc.) can have certain restrictions; all in views to prevent the spread of the COVID – 19 and guarantee the health of local personnel and crew on board

All procedural deadlines, hearings and trials, as well as time bars, are suspended during the period of emergency declared back on 14 March 2020 until at least mid-April 2020.

19 March: Port Authorities have informed that they have maintained with normality the operations that were previewed at their ports. Sanitary measures have been taken in order to minimize any risk of contagious by COVID -19. Crew changes are not allowed during the State Alarm period, at any of the Spanish Ports.  If a change of crewmember has to be carried out due to medical reasons, immediate notification shall be made to agents so that the corresponding protocol be put in place by the Authorities.

23 March: Spain to prolong the State of Alarm two more weeks up and until 11 April 2020.  There are restrictions to citizens’ movement who have to remain confined in their homes.  Border controls have been resumed with France and Portugal. International flights restricted and only Spanish residents and nationals are allowed in the country.  Cruise and passenger ships are restricted.

Ports are operating, loading and discharge of goods is on-going.  Stevedores and personnel attending on board vessels have to take basic precaution such as the use of masks and keep a safety distance of 1.5 metres from each person in contact.

9 April: State Bulletin Order TMA/330/2020 of 8 April extends the restriction of entry in Spanish ports of passenger ships and ro-ro ships providing regular services between Italy and Spain if they have embarked passengers in Italian ports, with the exception of drivers of traction heads of ro-ro cargo. Cruise vessels coming from any port are also prohibited.

It is expected that this new extension of the period of state of emergency will be agreed until 26 April.

Ports will continue to be operating, loading and discharge of goods are on-going.

Stevedores and personnel attending on board vessels shall continue to take basic precaution such as the use of masks and keep a safety distance of 1.5 mts from each person in contact.

In case that a vessel calling any Spanish port declares any ill crew member with signs of COVID 19 or there is a suspicion of health alert, Port Authorities will follow a Technical Instruction where the vessel will be requested to immediately inform, through the Maritime Declaration of Health, to the Port Authority, the Harbour Master or the Maritime Port Traffic Control Centre.

Depending on the circumstances, and after a Health Inspection on board the vessel has been undertaken, the Port Authorities will decide if the vessel remains at anchorage or if allowed to berth at a designated berth.*

1st May  - State of Alarm extended to 9th May though there is ease of restrictions for Spanish citizens from now till 9 May and may vary from region to region.  By decree, international crew change is allowed through Spanish territory. Also confirmed via IMO circular letter no. 4247/add.2  issued on 1st May where seafarers are allowed to cross the borders and transit through Spanish territory.  However according to North P&I club, this is hampered by closure of commercial flights and subject to a series of conditions depending on whether crew is EU or Schengen free traffic citizens. 

19 May- Via IMO circular letter no. 4247/add.3 issued on 11 May, the Government of Spain advised as follows: 

  • Measures adopted by Royal Decree include extensions given to certificates and documents to seafarers and ships required under the various international  conventions under IMO and ILO as well as the European Union
  • By Order TMA/258/2020 of 19 March, suspension of inspections and surveys to all ships at Spanish ports, extension of the term of validity of the dispatches by time and the crew signing on and off and passenger disembarking prohibitions
  • By Order TMA/330/2020 extending the  prohibition of entry of passenger ships from the Italy and cruises of any origin destined for Spanish ports - repealed see Order TMA/419/2020 below.
  • Facilitation of transit of seafarers  across borders is allowed subject to satisfaction of their documentation on their health status ( see IMO circular letter no.4247/Add.2

State of Alarm has been extended to 24th May. However by Order TMA/419/2020, a gradual lifting of restrictions in terms of mobility and social contact is implemented, e.g. allowing for certain ship inspections to take place. However, the following restrictions remain: 

  • The restriction of entry into Spanish ports of cruise-type passenger ships from any port is maintained.
  • Foreign ships or recreational vessels that do not have their port of stay in Spain will not be allowed to enter any Spanish port. Ships and vessels that only have professional crews on board are exempt from this restriction.

29 May - Alarm status extended till 7 June 2020.

10 June - Alarm status extended till 21 June 2020. According to North P&I club, crew changes are allowed but subject to conditions and also hampered by the closure of commercial flights. Medical assistance varies from port to port.

12 June- The Spanish Government informing the IMO of the COVID-19 measures taken to-date via IMO circular letter no. 4247/Add.4 dated 10 June 2020. As confirmed therein, from May 15, 2020, people from abroad must quarantine the 14 days following their arrival.  Exempted are cross-border workers, transporters and crews, as well as health professionals,  provided they have not been in contact with people diagnosed with COVID-19. Further confirmed: ships crew members are allowed to cross internal land, air and sea borders and Schengen borders in order to ensure the provision of maritime transport services and fishing activity. 

29 June - State of Alarm ended on 21 June.  *The general situation is as follows:

  • Land borders are only opened for entry to Spanish nationals, Spanish citizens, cross-border workers, embassy members and commercial cargoes.
  • All non-EU-nationalities are not allowed to transit across EU borders by road.
  • Sea and air borders remain open otherwise with restricted frequency of voyages and flights.
  • Spanish ports remain operative for cargo vessels and commercial operations, irrespective of their nationality or last scale port.
  • Cruise vessels can access to ports with no passengers on board.
  • Regular port services such as pilotage, mooring, towage and repairs continue operating normally.
  • Port State Control inspections are resumed from 22 June, after three months interrupted.

    Medical Assistance
  • Port of Cádiz: the crew can be attended by local Hospitals for problems not related to COVID.
  • Algeciras: no restrictions for the crew medical treatment in Algeciras either at the public hospital or at the private hospital.
    Barcelona: no restrictions for the crew medical treatment in the Port of Barcelona, however preference is that a doctor attends on board. Patients admitted to hospitals for operations are tested for COVID-19.*

14 August - A collective list (in Spanish and unofficial English translation) of measures and TMA orders issued by the Spanish Ministry of Transport to-date including crew changes ( TMA 374/2020 and 439/2020) and certifications of seafarers and ships. 

Useful links:
Spanish Maritime Authority measures
To find the latest available information arising from the State of Alarm, please refer to the Spanish Government

*Source: North P&I Club

Canary Island

5 May - *Main ports, Las Palmas and Tenerife, are open and operational 24/7. There are no restrictions for maritime traffic. Laid-up at anchorage or berth, all ships are welcome to call at our ports.

Airports in the  islands are operative despite the number of flights being reduced.  Seafarers Repatriation are allowed for both “own and foreign citizens”. Formalities: Crew Travel documents are requested, minimum,  72 hours in advance, to submit formal petition before Authorities. 

Medical Assistance- 24/7 services : Air Ambulance, Rescue At Sea, Medical First Aids by Helicopters. Medical treatment for Non-COVID injuries and illnesses are allowed. Prompt medical assistance granted.* 

*Source: North P&I Club

Sri Lanka

16 March: "Authorities have imposed a ban on embarking/disembarking crew, passengers and armed guards as from 1200 hrs LT (GMT + 5.5) today 16 March, and Crew shore leave too would not be permitted. These restrictions have been imposed for 14 days and the situation would be reviewed thereafter. *

There is no restriction on ships that have called China, but if the period is less than 14 days – then crew may be subjected to additional medical checks by the Port Health."

Shore pass depends on evaluation of travel history. See original release.

*18th March   - Authorities have imposed restrictions that no persons would be permitted to enter/disembark in Sri Lanka from any vessel or aircraft as of 0400hrs on the 19 March 2020 to midnight of 25 March 2020. Furthermore ship’s crew of vessels calling into ports will not be permitted with any shore leave. All international airports in Sri Lanka have also been shut for a period of 14 days from 18th March 2020. In case of any on board medical emergencies, we feel that this may be dealt with a case by case basis and will be subject to review and discretion of authorities. The government has also declared public holidays this week in order to curtail the spread of the virus.

During the hours of curfew, movement from one district to another has been completely banned except for essential services. Disembarkation of crew members for a medical emergency will be considered as a life saving measure and the approval will be granted by the Deputy Director of Port Health on a case by case basis.

28 April: The curfew in the districts Colombo (where the Port of Colombo is), Gampaha, Kaluthara and Puttalam, has been extended till 5.00 am on Monday, 4th May.  The curfew currently in force in all other districts (Ports of Galle, Hambantota and Trincomalee)  has been has been amended to between 20:00 to 05:00 and will continue until further notice..*

12 May: According to information provided by the Department of Immigration and Emigration in Sri Lanka, all visa applications have been suspended until further. * Not possible to carry out crew changes of foreign crew due to closure of airports. Only signing off for Sri Lankan seafarers possible. * 

20 May - The Sri Lankan Ministry of Ports and Shipping (SLMPS)has issued circulars MSN 04/2020 and MSN 02/2020 - Revised ( see IMO circular no. 4237/Add.4 dated 18 May 2020)  relating to extensions to be granted for certificates  of seafarers and statutory surveys of own flagged ships, inspections, audits and relevant statutory certification required. 

See also SLMPS website on special notice for  suspension of crew sign on and visas.

10 June - According to North P&I Club, Sri Lankan National crew members are permitted to Embark/Disembark – subject to various procedures to be followed. Foreign crew disembarkations will be permitted on a case by case basis when the airports are opened following special procedures; bulk crew changes using chartered flights may be considered (under stringent conditions) by the Ministry on a case by case basis. The ‘SOP to carry out bulk crew changes facilitated by charter flights’ (PHS COVID-19 SOP-05) is to be followed.New guidelines for conducting crew changes of foreign nationals are in the process of being finalised. See also Standard Operating Procedure -Setting up and Maintenance of Safe House for Seafarers (PHS COVID-19 SOP-08) and Standard Operating Procedure – Transporting Seafarers (PHS COVID-19 SOP-09).

15 June: According to Marine Insights is Sri Lanka acting as hub for Indian seafarers. 

18 June: While the Department of Immigration and Emigration hasn't provided any news regarding foreigners entry into Sri Lanka, GAC has provided a pamphlet on crew change in Sri Lanka with the following notably entries:

  • The new process will include PCR tests conducted on all foreign crew members, stay at an isolation center and onward repatriation via sea/ airport.
  • Currently 300 foreign seafarers are allowed in Sri Lanka at a given time
  • As of now crew changes are permitted at Colombo Galle ports only
  • The on signer could stay up to 5 days upon arrival off signers up to 7 days in Sri Lanka expecting the arrival of vessel/ departure flight
  • Sign on crew arriving by air needs to undergo a PCR test within the preceding 5 days to the flight departure and with a negative result
  • Crew members to stay at an Isolation Center pending results from PCR test

For more details, kindly reach out to GAC (Sri Lanka)

24 June: Sri Lanka has temporarily halted crew changes.

25 June: GAC Hot port news is elaborating on the suspension on crew change. Allegedly the following operations are still permitted:

  • Disembarkation of foreign seafarers
  • Crew change of Sri Lankan seafarers

7 July - According to North P&I club, foreign seafarers who arrived by charter flights were tested positive for COVID-19 and because of this, crew changes for foreign nationals will be suspended from 12 July until further notice. This means that foreign seafarers already in the country will be required to sign on vessel by this date or be repatriated. Sri Lankan nationals /crew members are still permitted to embark/disembark subject to procedures being followed and allowing for direct bulk crew transfers and repatriation. Medical assistance for disembarkation of a foreign seafarer on medical grounds is permitted subject to approval and clearance from the relevant authorities. 

Useful links:

*Source: North P&I Club

St Eustatius

15 April - *The Government of St. Eustatius issued the Emergency Ordinance COVID-19 Additional Measures St. Eustatius in which it imposes a series of measures in its territory to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 Coronavirus. The flight bans for travellers from high-risk areas will be extended until April 28, 2020 18:00 hours. Listen to the Government Commisioner for St. Eustatius explaining the Emergency Ordinance.

The document established a series of prohibitions which are compulsory, fines or penalties will apply in case any violation:

People who enter to the island will be isolated (quarantine) including permanent residents.

Activities which involved more than fifteen (15) people simultaneously.

Economic and commercial activities are suspended, with the exception of supermarkets, service stations, pharmacies and establishments dedicated for the provision of food or beverages.

The use of protective equipment to prevent COVID-19 infection (gloves and masks); it is recommended to maintain a minimum separation of 1.5 meters from another person.

In relation to the Maritime activities, the ports are open, but operating with minimal personnel and in shorter period of time. A protocol for the all type of ships calling St. Eustatius Port was implemented. All Masters entering the waters of the Island will be subject to a series of questions by the authorities focussing on crew list, the last 10 ports visited especially in the past 4 weeks and the submission of a Maritime Health Declaration. Ships that do not meet requirements will be placed in quarantine for 15 days. Direct contact between the different authorities and / or port personnel with any member of the ship is reduced to a minimum, and all persons must carry the respective personal protective equipment at all times. No crew member is allowed to disembark; crew change is also forbidden.

7 May - no crew changes are allowed. Medical assistance remains available for non-COVID19 injuries or illness and will be approved by the health authorities on a case by case basis*

27 June: The St. Eustatius Government implemented a Travel and Quarantine Policy beginning June 15 to gradually ease travel restrictions. This flexibility only applies to air travel, entry to the country by sea is still prohibited.

To get the latest available information related to the measures taken in relation to COVID-19, kindly refer to the Dutch Rijksdienst Caribisch Nederland webpage on the topic

*Source: North P&I Club

St Lucia

*27 March -  Restricted travel for arriving individuals who have travelled to, from or through China within the last 14 days, as well as Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Italy and Singapore. Effective 12:01 a.m. Wednesday 18 March, the restrictions expand to Spain, France, Germany, Iran and the United Kingdom. The Government of St. Lucia is working with the authorities from Martinique in defining the terms of the commute between the two countries. Persons who have travelled from the U.S. within the last 14 days and who develop respiratory signs and symptoms will be isolated and tested for COVID-19. Effective Monday, 16 March  cruise vessels are also banned. 

7 April -  St. Lucia’s airports were closed to international passenger traffic until 5 April. From Tuesday 7 April, a 10-hour curfew will be in effect from 19:00 to 05:00. Essential services will be provided on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, from 07:00 – 16:00

21 April: Ports and airports remain closed with the exception of vessels for flights entering with essential supplies etc. The curfew is extended until at least 26 April.

15 May: The state of emergency has been extended until 31 May 2020, the 19:00 – 05:00 curfew remains in force.

8 June: From 4 June St Lucia began to gradually reopen its borders. International flights are currently only operating between St Lucia and the USA.

6 July -Crew changes allowed but with restrictions and subject to the approval of the Chief Medical Officer. Medical assistance remains available for non-COVID19 injuries or illness and will be approved by the health authorities on a case-by-case basis.*

With effect from 9 July, all arriving passengers must have a negative result from a PCR test within 7 days of travel and complete a pre-arrival travel registration form and subject to approved quarantine either at home or government approved ones. 

7 July: According to information provided by the local authorities are travel to St. Lucia subject to a negative COVID-19 test result with effect from 9 July.

Useful links: 
St Lucia Travel Advisory

*Source : North P&I Club 


Masters must deliver a 'fever' report to the Port authorities prior to arrival at Sudanese water. Please find the original release here (in Arabic)

Information received from one of our members on 5 February 2020 regarding Port Sudan: 

"As per new regulations from port health department, any ship arriving from any Chinese port or infected ports worldwide, must be inspected by port health team upon arrival @ outer anchorage via port tug, for "health green light" to berth.

In which below is required before arrival to be submitted into port health dept:

  1. A letter from the Master confirming all crew members are healthy and no one is affected with NOVEL CHORONA VIRUS 
  2. Daily temperature / health report of each crew member's temperature for the last 20 days.
  3. Crew List 
  4. Vaccination list
  5. 10 last port of calls must be submitted to port health team before ship's arrival indicating any Chinese ports. (if found any Chinese port or infected ports within 20 days, ship is subject to health inspection upon arrival @ anchorage area)." 

*31st March - A curfew has been imposed in Port Sudan from 20:00 – 06:00 hours. Also the daily working hours have been adjusted from 08:00 – 13:00 hours, so a reductions in discharge rates can be expected.

2 April - The Directorate of Health Quarantine has advised that when a ship arrives at Port Sudan, if the voyage has taken 14 days or longer, the vessel can berth on arrival. If less than 14 days, as we understand, the vessel will have to wait at the anchorage until the 14 day period is reached.

The above does not apply to ships that arrive at Port Sudan via the Suez Canal, in which case all these ships must wait at the anchorage for 14 days.

All ships on arrival will be boarded by the Port Health to check the crew as necessary.

10 June -  No crew changes are permitted. Availability of medical assistance unknown at the moment. 

14 August -   *Due to a state of unrest at Port Sudan a state of emergency has been declared and a full curfew has been imposed. Selected sectors that are excluded from the curfew include customs authorities, shipping agents and some transport networks. The port is not operational due to the absence of shore workers and stevedores.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


Closed all its land and sea borders from 13 March to all persons and flights.  However, the government is keeping the ports open as goods (foodstuff) need to come into the country and a limited number of port staff will be allowed to travel to the port to load/discharge vessels, although vessel time in port may be extended due to limited work force.

15 April  - The Maritime Authority Suriname (MAS) requires the following in order to preventing and/or mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19:

  • All ship pre-arrival documents, in particular the crew list and the Maritime Declaration of Health (MDoH) form, shall be authorized by the captain of the ship;
  • If there is a report of a sick person after sending the first MDoH form, a new form shall be drawn up and sent to the MAS
  • If on arrival of the ship at the light ship (LS) buoy, the shipping agent is informed by the crew that a sick person is on board, the he shall pass this information to the MAS/Vessel Traffic Control (VTC) and the Public Health Department (BOG), through the emergency number 178, without delay; and
  • It is prohibited to transport sick crew member to the doctor without prior authorization of BOG

On 25 March 2020, MAS provided this precaution in order to preventing and/or mitigating the transmission of the COVID-19 to pilots:

  • Prior to the pilots bearding the vessel, the bridge and equipment must be sanitized including as well as the pilots’ chair, door handles, piloting stations and open bridge wings, radars, chart tables, etc.
  • Port health and the Port authorities must be advised on the health status of all persons onboard as outlined in the pre-arrival documentation.
  • The pilot must be escorted by one person to and from the bridge.
  • Pilots will not greet with the customary handshake any shipboard personnel.
  • Non-essential crew members should have kept out of the bridge while the vessel is being piloted.
  • Where possible, systems should be put in place to allow the vessel to be piloted from the wings.
  • Vessel Captains will be allowed to enter or depart the harbor without a pilot whenever possible
  • All shipboard personnel must maintain a distance of at least two meter from the pilot. This space should also be maintained during Master/Pilot information exchange.

7 May - No crew changes are allowed. Medical assistance remains available for non-COVID19 injuries or illness and will be approved by the health authorities on a case by case basis.

10 June - The borders are still closed until further notice. Above restrictions are still in force. 

*Source: North P&I Club


The Government decided on 17 March to temporarily stop non-essential travel to Sweden from all countries except those in the EEA and Switzerland so as to mitigate the effects of the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus and reduce the spread of the disease. This is applicable from March 19 and initially up to 30 days.  This was followed up by the Swedish Transport Agency ( STA) issue of COVID-19 related action and measures on 19 March 2020. 

The Swedish Coast Guard is the national point of contact for shipping. For ships calling at Swedish ports, regular procedures prevail; meaning before a ship's arrival, the ship must submit information regarding the health situation on board - a Marine Declaration of Health (MDH which is mandatory. Please refer to their website for more details. 

The Swedish Maritime Administration is following recommendations from their Public Health Authority. Services like pilot operations, ice breaking services except Seaman clubs are operating as normal. To view updates, please refer to their website.

31 March -STA announced COVID-19 outbreak as force majeure and is implementing measures effective 1 April relating to extensions for ship's statutory certificates, surveys, audits and seafarers' documents including endorsement of foreign certificates, manning requirement as well as PSC inspections . 

17 April - STA issued new measures to replace the ones sent on 19 March. In essence, the implementation of non-essential travel to Sweden that entered into force on 19 March and will apply for 30 days will not apply to more groups now and they are as follows:

  • are an EEA or Swiss citizen, or are a family member of such a citizen;
  • have long-term resident status in Sweden or another EU Member State;
  • have a temporary or permanent residence permit in Sweden or another EEA State or Switzerland; or 
  • have a national visa for Sweden. 
  • personnel transporting goods and other staff in the transport sector
  • passengers in transit
  • healthcare professionals
  • people with imperative family reasons. 

29 April - Non-essential travel to Sweden from countries outside the EU as announced on 19 March is valid until May 15.

6 May - Crew changes are allowed – however international flights in and out of Sweden are very few. Medical assistance available at all Swedish ports.

7 July - The Swedish government reiterating its support to IMO where seafarers are designated as "key workers" since 19 March and informing IMO of  its most recent  measures issued in a revised version on 1st July and replacing information notice dated 1st June (ref: IMO circular letter no. 4252/Add.2 dated 2 July 2020

7 Sept - With effect from 1 September 2020, the Swedish Transport Agency has updated their COVID-19 measures replacing the version of 1st July. Measures include amongst others, on ships' statutory certificates and seafarers' certificates,  

For more information on the travel restrictions to Sweden, please be guided by the Governments FAQ site.

Useful links: 



18 June - The Swiss Maritime Administration via IMO circular letter no. 4305 has taken certain COVID-19 measures in a Flag State Directive -No.1 2020 (rev.2), in particular applying temporary relaxations relating to the issuance and renewal of shipping and seafarer-related certification, employment agreements etc. Switzerland supports and requests that seafarers engaged aboard Swiss flagged ships be allowed to travel and crew change be facilitated without undue restrictions. 

Ease of restrictions and re-opening of land borders -the government is again allowing travel between Switzerland and the European Union, EFTA and the United Kingdom. One exception is Spain, which is not expected to re-open borders before June 21.  Since June 15, 2020, the Federal Office of Public Health has recommended continuing to do without unnecessary trips abroad. Countries in the Schengen area (including Denmark, Iceland and Norway) and the United Kingdom are excluded from this recommendation. This does not mean that all of these countries lift their travel restrictions at the same time. The regulations can change at any time.


23 April - Restrictions on movement of individuals and cars from 1800 until 0600 and on Friday and Saturday from 1200 until 0600 of next day. For Ramadan month starting from tomorrow 24 April, restrictions from 1930 until 0600 of next day. Friday and Saturday as before.

Courts are still idle until 2/5/2020 . Most of official departments are minimum manned.

Transport of raw materials is permitted but may be delays in discharging the vessels particularly bulk cargoes.

Ships calling Syrian ports are permitted to enter after completing disinfection procedures.

6 MayCrew entering country to join a vessel or are disembarking a vessel are subject to 14 day quarantine.  Medical assistance is possible but it is dependent on evaluation by the Directorate of Health and medical treatment could be accompanied with quarantine requirement.

*Source: North P& I Club 


5 May - *Crew changes are not possible due to airport closures. Ports are allowing medical treatment for crew with non-COVID19 injuries and illnesses.*

13 May -  However based on communication from Tanzanian govt to the IMO, crew changes are only possible for own nationality's seafarers ( item 15 of Tanzanian measures taken), as well as allowing for extension  of seafarers' documents and certificates issued by Tanzania 

*Source: North P&I Club


According to Spica International, Thai office, the Port Authority of Thailand requires the Master to complete and submit information 24 hours prior to the ship’s arrival;

  • Information of conveyance
  • Maritime information of health via radio telegram
  • Maritime declaration of health
  • Last port of call / port clearance
    In case, the last port of call is China and departure was within 14 days, Quarantine Office shall also require the Master to complete their questionnaire prior to berthing of the vessel.

If crew has experienced any illness, fever or respiratory problems, quarantine officer may attend on board for investigation.

18 March - * Any ships from China, H K, Macao, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, France, Italy and Iran will be monitored by health control. Master of all ships must report temperature of crew on board every day, 7 days before arrival in Thai waters. Authorities will attend on board to perform quarantine screening. All crew must have thermal scans and fever condition checked If any crew have fever or a suspected symptom, s/he will be placed under 14 days of quarantine and further check by hospital If individual is found to be infected with Covid 19 on board, that vessel is prohibited to enter the port until health authorities ensure that vessel is free from infection

1 April - The requirement to show evidence of health certificate and health insurance for all crew which the Thai authorities announced on 19 March has now been cancelled and no longer required as per another announcement on 26 March.

21 April Crew changes are prohibited with certain exceptions ( Thai nationals) depending on the region *

1 May: Thailand has been in a state of emergency since 26 March. With recent extensions, the State of Emergency will expire 31 May. The state of emergency includes a general entry ban for foreign citizens

25 May - As advised earlier, a state of emergency was declared. According to Spica Services, Thailand providing BIMCO with unofficial translation of regulation B.E.2548 (2005) on this emergency declaration, provision 3 provides that borders are closed with exceptions granted to cargo ships and crew where scheduled times of departure must be clearly prescribed. Ship's crew is not allowed to disembark so there is no sign-on and sign-off for crew including Thai nationals. For cases of emergency, medical assistance can still be rendered for sudden severe illness or injury subject to an application to be submitted to the quarantine officer for consideration on a case-by-case basis.  Subsequently, a marine department announcement 92/B.E 2563,2000 was released where the above was relaxed allowing Thai nationals crew to enter and also sign on/off.

Please see Spica for updates.

Source: ' North P&I Club


Government decree no. 03/2020

Date: 26 March

Measures for the Implementation of the Declaration of State of Emergency

The State of Emergency was scheduled to expire 26 April, however according to public sources, the provisions have been extended. The SoE provides restrictions to foreigners entry to Timor-Leste. These provisions do not apply to

  • Foreign nationals who carry out their professional activity on oil platforms
  • Foreign nationals responsible for transporting goods, however they may only remain in the international zone of seaports, airports or land border crossing posts

Timor Leste Port Adminstration notice no. 100/APORTIL,I.P./P/III/2020

Date: 30 March

Dili Port remains in operation during the state of emergency

The services of the Port of Dili are essential and will support the country and the basic needs of all citizens, ensuring the supply of essential goods during the state of emergency.

The Order of the President of APORTIL lists the set of rules that will manage activity of the Port of Dili, during the state of emergency, which includes security measures and prevention of COVID-19.

It should be noted that the Government Decree, which approves the measures implementing the declaration of the state of emergency, ensures that the services "whose provision are essential to ensure the functioning of the Public Administration and the citizens and businesses of goods and services which are of an urgent nature and which cannot be delayed".

This Government Decree also states that "foreigners responsible for the transport or release of imported goods may only remain in the international zone of seaports, airports or land border posts and at least time strictly necessary for the completion of the procedures for the delivery or release of goods”

President Decree No.55/2020 of 5th August 2020

Press Release by the Government 

Date: 6 August 2020

 State of Emergency 

 The state of emergency covers the entire national territory and will be in force between 00:00 August 6 , 2020 and 23:59 September 4 , 2020

Commercial flights to/from Timor-Leste remain suspended.

Useful links:
Timor Government - press releases




  • All trade vessels calling local ports will be requested to submit list of previous 10 port calls as well as crew list specifying each sign on date and maritime health declaration to their agents at least 72 hours before arrival.
  • All trade vessels will go through temperature check and screening by port health before inward pilot embark the vessel.
  • Persons will only be quarantined in cabins or nominated hospital if master reports any illness on board which give reason for checking of suspected cases. Period 15 days.
  • All persons coming from affected countries will not be allowed to Togo.
  • Airlines connections to Europe has been suspended and government recommends to postpone all travel to Togo until further notice.
  • All persons entering the airport will be screened

1 April - *A lockdown has been implemented in the country. However, the port is open with no lack of stevedore to report at the moment. Crew changes are restricted by the borders’ closure.

22 April - The lockdown has been extended until further notice and a curfew from 19:00 to 06:00 has been implemented. Cargo operations are being suspended at 1700 each day

12 May - Crew changes for Togolese nationals are monitored by a health service cell. Before any disembarking of crew members the control is strictly carried out on board the ship by specialized services. Crew changes for foreign nationals is allowed, but note that the Airport is closed for all commercial flights.  Medical assistance provided for Ill and injured crew -  can be locally hospitalized for medical treatment *

Source: OBT Shipping, * North P&I Club

Trinidad and Tobago

According to circulars issued by the Trinidad and Tobago Ministry of Health travel restrictions are applied to travellers from the following countries:

  • Chine
  • Iran
  • Italy
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea)
  • Singapore

All persons who are not citizens in Trinidad and Tobago and "have visited [the above mentioned countries] within a fourteen (14) day time period of their arrival in Trinidad and Tobago will not be allowed entry at any of Trinidad and Tobage's ports of entry". While the above list covers the countries with the most significant number of cases as per 6 March, additional countries may be applied unnoticed by the Secretariat if there are further negative developments in the COVID-19 outbreak.

Please find below information from the Trinidad and Tobago Cabinet:

8 April - As of 29th March - all non-essential activities will be prohibited until 15 April. The Minister of National Security will provide a comprehensive list of essential services and activities. According to S5 Agency, all crew change and shore leave have stopped effective 17 March.

14 April update - : *The Trinidad & Tobago Government has extended its Stay At Home Order until 30 April and is taking additional action to intensify the compliance in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. With immediate effect members of the public must wear masks when outside. Crew changes are currently affected as sea and air borders are closed until 30 April. Special permission may be given to vessels already in port for disembarking crew only.*

28 April: While introducing some relaxation to the restriction regimes, the Trinidad and Tobago government have extended the Stay-at-home order has until 15 May. On a similar note will all borders remain closed until 15 May.

1 May - *It is possible to get Ministerial approval for foreign crew changes but it has to be vital. Impacted also by lack of commercial flights.  Emergency treatment for crew members permitted but under control circumstances but not routine treatment*

12 May - Stay-at-home order continues till 23 May 2020 with few exceptions. Depending on the COVID-19 numbers, phase 2 will commence on 24 May - 6 June 2020 where the manufacturing and public sectors will re-open. 

10 June - The country is relaxing its restrictions in phases, including air transport to Tobago to resume on 1st June but the country’s boards remain closed until further notice.

6 July - The Government has announced a phased approach to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions. On 22 June the country moved into phase five, lifting the majority of the remaining restrictions in place. Restrictions on air travel between Trinidad and Tobago have also been lifted. Borders still remain closed. Airports will remain closed until 19 July.

For the most recent news from Trinidad and Tobago, kindly refer to news from the Cabinet.

Source: Twin Island Shipping, * North P&I Club 


19 March: All maritime borders in Tunisia have been closed. However, commercial activities related to import and export of commodities continue to operate.

Local Port Authority has informed that in application of the restriction of entrance to the country in order to minimize the spread of COVID – 19, crew changes are prohibited and that any disembarkment of crew members will be strictly related to sanitary reasons, and will be carried out with the authorization of the Health Border Authority.

Free practice would be done at roadstead prior to vessel’s entrance and all persons involved in the commercial operations, such as stevedores, agents, suppliers; should take all the necessary precautions (the use of antiseptic gel, gloves, mask) while providing commercial vessels.

Since Tuesday March 17th, the preventive measure of curfew has been applied in the country. The curfew is from 18h00 LT until 06h00LT, and therefore, the port shifts will be modified. Working hours at ports will be in two shifts distributed as follows: 1st shift from 07h00 LT until 13h00 LT and 2nd shift from 14h00 LT until 17h00 LT.

Rades Merchant Navy has issued a Circular on preventive measures to reduce the risk of COVID-19:

  •  All vessels bound for Rades port will be submitted to health service checks on the roads before berthing in the port;
  •  Crew members are forbidden to leave the vessel and circulate in the port unless there is an emergency;
  •  Shipowners must specify a disinfected area on the vessel where the crew, the authorities, the local agents, and the stevedores may exchange documents.
  •  No-one should go on board if there is no necessity.
  •  All people working in Rades port shoud be provided with the preventive equipment necessary to guarantee their safety and protect their health.

27 March: Lock down is mandatory with a curfew as from 6 p.m.

The port is open but with some preventive measures that extend the length of the calls. Stevedores’ working time has been shortened, medical controlling is performed upon vessels’ arrival.
Flights and maritime connections for passengers have been postponed.

All offices are closed except for services deemed essential for the functioning of the country.

Tunisian stevedoring companies have introduced a new requirement for vessels berthing in Tunisian ports. Before commercial operations, professional disinfection is required for all vessel surfaces which stevedores are likely to touch, e.g. hatch covers, gangways, ramps, external container walls, doors etc. The stevedores have threatened to refuse to intervene on vessels which do not meet this requirement.

23 April - The Tunisian Government has extended the general confinement until 3 May. Due to RAMADAN festivity, the curfew has been established to begin from 20:00 hrs until 06:00 hrs the following day.

6 May -* Foreign crew changes are not allowed. Changes are allowed for Tunisian nationals. Presently, urgent medical assistance for a vessel already at berth may be permitted. Concerns are on whether authorities would allow any medical assistance at anchorage or out of port.*

*Source: North P&I Club 


According to local members, outbound flights from Turkey to the following countries have been suspended:

  • Austria 
  • Belgium
  • China
  • Denmark
  • France
  • Germany
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Saudi Arabia
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden

For Iran and Iraq border crossings have been closed as well.

In addition to the above, our members have informed that the below restrictions have been imposed by the Turkish General Directorate of Coastal Health Office:

  • All international crew member disembarkation has been prohibited, if the ship called one of the listed ‘’contaminated countries’’ ports in last 14 days. Starting from 15th day of call, all crew change operations is permitted  by providing below document.
  • Turkish nationality crew or international crew that has a Turkish working permit  called  during last 14 days to 1 of the above mentioned ‘’contaminated countries’’ ports, all crew changes  can be granted by providing the following documents:
  1. Last 10 ports of call
  2. Maritime Health Declaration
  3. Crew List
  4. The latest body temperature report of crew members (should be sent latest 24hrs before ships arrival and must contain temperature recordings for last 3 days)
  • If the Health Office is certain that there are no sick crew members on board and all health requirements have been met, the crew may be allowed to disembark and final body temperature readings are checked at shore.
  • Any technician visit to ship is permitted once ship provides above set of documentation for Coastal Health Office control and if no risk is recognised, permission to technicians is granted subject to the use of facial masks

**22 March -All husbandry services have been suspended at the Tupras Terminals at Tutunciftlik and Aliaga until further notice, due to the outbreak of Covid-19. 

Due to congestion at sanitary inspection in the Izmit region, customs control will not performed between the hours of 00:01 to 08:00 local time. Depending on terminal programmes, vessels can drop anchor at the Izmit anchorage area or berth at terminals upon arrival. However, if they arrive between 00:01 LT and 08:00, they will have to wait until 08:00 for customs control.

28 March - all crew changes and attendance of technicians/visitors in the Turkish Straits have been suspended until further notice. Only stores spares can be delivered without any contact between vessel and agency boats.**

Please find the digital Maritime Declaration of Health at the Ministry of Health

**31 March -  All vessels calling at Derince Safi Terminal must be disinfected. The tariff for this compulsory disinfection will be as follows, charged to each vessel until further instructions:

0-5,000 GT: USD 500
5,001-10,000 GT: USD 700
10,001-15,000 GT: USD 1,000
15,001 GT and above: USD 1,500**

31 March - According to the New York Times, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on 27 March that Turkey had suspended all foreign flights. The Turkish government has also closed its land borders with Iran and Iraq, as well as the Dilucu border crossing with Azerbaijan and the Sarp border crossing with Georgia.

12 May -  **No crew changes are allowed. As for medical assistance, crew is not being allowed ashore for non-related COVID-19 medical treatment. Exemptions may be possible in case of reasonable causes – the Agent and the Correspondent play an important role in explaining to the authorities to give permission. If, after treatment, the crew member does not rejoin the same vessel before its departure, the crew may not join any other vessel and cannot be repatriated as currently there are no international flights available in Turkey.**

26 June -Further extension till Sept 2020 granted to certificates of seafarers ( see IMO circular letter no. 4245/add.1). 

6 July - **Crew changes are permitted. The restrictions for arrival and departure of Turkish and foreign citizens by means of air, land, sea ways has been lifted except for land transportation from Iran border. Health control to be made to all Turkish and foreign passengers who arrive in Turkey from another country. Covid-19 tests to be made to whom symptoms are sighted and considered as necessary by authorities. Vessels which have been granted free pratique are permitted to disembark crew for medical treatment. Medical assistance is also available for vessels transiting the Turkish Straits and will be approved on a case-by-case basis. 

The number of internal and international flights operating from Turkish airports are becoming more frequent.**

21 Sept - Further extension till 31 December 2020 granted to certificates of seafarers (see IMO circular letter no. 4245/add.4). 

Turkey’s international land, sea and air borders are open. Direct, scheduled passenger flights between Turkey and the UK resumed.  All passengers, of all nationalities, who meet Turkish immigration rules are permitted entry to Turkey. All arrivals into Turkey will be subject to a medical evaluation for symptoms of coronavirus, including temperature checks. Any passengers showing symptoms including high fever, coughing or respiratory difficulties will be will be required to undergo a PCR test for coronavirus. In the event that a test returns a positive result, you will be provided with medical treatment at a facility determined by the Ministry of Health or, if preferred, at a private medical facility in Turkey. You should check whether your health insurance policy includes coverage for Covid-19. A passenger locator form is required prior to arriving in Turkey. Details will be provided by your airline (ref: travel uk advice)

* Sources: Eksay Shipping and Trading Inc.BAC ShippingMMS LtdGAC (Turkey) and Sark Ekspres Shipping Agency Co. Inc., ** North P&I Club


*13 March - Sanitary authorities inspect all ships calling at Ukrainian ports, including Pivdenniy (ex-Yuzhny) port due to risks of COVID-19, i.e. not only ships from China, Hong-Kong, Far East region or Italy.

Temperature screening/measurements from crew members to be taken. Master should submit crew list and all crew members should complete the special health list in order to confirm his state of health. Sanitary inspection onboard takes about 1,5-2 hours  and if no sick persons onboard and no risk of COVID-19 the free practice is granted. Otherwise ship proceeds on anchorage and wait further sanitary decision.

All visitors (stevedores, agents, surveyors) should be informed in due course about precautionary measures during work onboard and it is prohibited to board the ship before the completion of sanitary inspection of crew, passengers onboard.

All visitors should use a protective disposable mask, latex protective gloves,  while onboard which should be remained onboard and ship’s administration should store them at special waste box for hazardous waste.

All visitors should use a disinfection liquids for washing the hands. In case of any suspect sick person will be found visitors, agents, crew, Masters should immediately notify Sanitary inspection about this fact for appropriate measures.

Removal of ship wastes should be discussed with the ship’s agent and will be possible after preliminary disinfection treatment only.

18 March - National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine closed the state border of Ukraine for foreign citizens, effective March 16, 2020 at 00:00 and continues for two weeks with an option of prolongation. Air connection to Ukraine to be closed from 17th of March.

In the meantime, the cargo customs stations, including ones located in Ukrainian ports, will operate in the ordinary regime, which territory is considered as the customs control zone with a limited access. Whilst the port clearance control all seafarers shall undergo an obligatory medical examination. Crew members will not be allowed to visit the cities.

Signing off of seafarers from and further repatriation of crew with foreign passports from the vessels at Ukraine ports will be prohibited by local Immigration Authorities.*

Extensions of seafarers certificates and SEAs
23 March
- Ukraine announced via letter to the IMO that seafarers' documents issued by them expiring in March, April and May 2020, shall be deemed to be extended for no more than 3 months from the date of expiry of their term of validity. For extension of SEAs, the shipowner is obliged to inform the Maritime Administration and the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine at the following email:, with the following information: name of shipowner, name and IMO number of the ship, seafarer's full name, position on board the ship, details of the qualification documents or scanned copies of it, a copy of the extended employment contract. 

*24 March: All the Ports in Ukraine are operating in usual manner. Crew are not allowed to go ashore. No crew changes allowed in Ukrainian ports

25 MarchGovernment of Ukraine extended the period of quarantine in Ukraine until 24 April 2020. Thus all quarantine restrictions remain in force until 24 April 2020 and any seafarers’ repatriation to and from Ukraine before this date would be not possible due to quarantine restrictions (closed airports in Ukraine, absence of flights) , all precautionary quarantine measures for the vessels calling at Ukrainian ports remains in force as well.

2 April -  Cargo customs stations, including ones located in Ukrainian ports, operate in ordinary regime. All merchandise which move to/from Ukraine are not affected by the restrictions. Surveyors and other parties are allowed to enter the ships on business purposes.

28 April- The Government of Ukraine has extended the period of quarantine to 11 May 2020 and the restrictions enforced earlier will remain - see 25 March above for restrictions. *

15 May - The lockdown in Ukraine has been extended until 22 May 2020 but gradual relaxation is introduced from 11 May 11. * Crew change for foreign nationals is prohibited at Ukrainian ports but allowed for seafarers of own nationality ( Ukrainian).

In relation to getting medical assistance, it is possible in Ukraine (and its ports) to arrange a permission for disembarkation of foreign crew for medical assistance/treatment ashore and hospitalization for non-COVID-19 injuries and illnesses if ship’s agent will notify in writing to the Quarantine and Sanitary Authorities, Immigration and Port Administration in due course. Upon receiving relevant ship’s agent’s notice about necessity of crew’s prompt disembarkation due to medical reasons, the representative of Quarantine and Sanitary Authorities and Port’s doctor visit the vessel and carry out visual medical assessment of seafarer who is getting ill or injured, check fever, ask Master about any other sick crew onboard, and allow to disembark sick seafarer for medical assistance/treatment ashore. *. 

26 May - Ukraine announced via letter to IMO ( 4232 /Add.2) that in addition to earlier IMO letter, that they will consider requests for extension/postponement of ship's surveys, audits or inspections that are not able to be carried out as required. Extension of general validity of 3 months from date of expiry of Ukrainian certificates of seafarers is also given.

5 June - Ukraine announced via letter to IMO ( 4232/Add.3) that no restrictions are to be applied for Port State Control, validity of seafarers' certificates and extensions of maritime pilots' and pilot operators' documents are extended.

11 June- According to 112.International news on 29 May, there are plans by the Ukrainian government to allow foreigners to enter into the country with a 14-day quarantine to be complied with. Ukraine's State Border Guard has resumed work on border checkpoints.  

12 June: According to information provided by the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Bullet 12), ships crew are excepted from the entry restrictions subject to testing. Bullet 3 mentions that it's free for all to leave Ukraine.

28 Sept -  Seafarers' certificates granted a general extension up to 31 December 2020 from the date of expiry. Seafarer's employment contract must be extended for the same period. For more details, please see IMO circular letter no. 4232/Add.6 dated 23 September 2020. 

The Ukrainian border is still closed to foreign nationals at the time of reporting. Exceptions apply to crew members of sea and ships. Refer to State Border Guard Service homepage for updates.

For more information please refer to:

*Source: North P&I Club

United Arab Emirates

For certain regions in the United Arab Emirates:


With the issue of circular 2/2020 the Federal Transport Agency (FTA) are imposing the following restrictions>

  • Suspend Ferry services with Islamic Republic of IRAN until further notice from FTA.
  • Ship masters should send health declaration
  • 72 hours before arrival to UAE to the port authorities irrespective of their last port of call, with undertaking from the master that no crew member is suffering from any symptoms suggestive of Corona Virus illness.
  • Symptoms may appear after vessel arrival during the vessel stay at anchorage or at the berth, therefore port authorities should remind Master of the vessel to report any suspected cases after her arrival.
  • Suspected cases should be reported immediately by the port to the FTA and the Heath authorities.

Update to the above: 11 March

  • All UAE ports must ensure that any ship that has visited a Chinese port in previous 30 days must provide a Master’s statement that crew are free from symptoms. This must be provided at least 3 days prior to arrival.
  • Ferry services to and from Iran suspended until further notice
  • Masters to submit health declaration 72 hours before arrival.
  • Report  to the FTA and health authorities any suspected cases that may occur during vessel’s stay.

29 June: According to local media,  entry into the United Arab Emirates will enter a phase of new normaility starting 7 July. Entry without quarantine will be subject to a negative COVID-19 result

2 August -FTA Circular No. (12) 2020 adopting on 2 August 2020, the Protocol of resuming UAE maritime activities with safety measures as well as introducing crew change procedures for all UAE Ports and waters. 

Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi Ports announced on 10 March that the following will take effect for three months:

  • Crew changes are prohibited for vessels arriving from outside Abu Dhabi
  • No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty unless in case of emergency and subject to approval from harbour master

According to circular 2/2020 Ports and terminals under the administration of Abu Dhabi Port Authority will be subject to the following restrictions:

  • Crew changes (Signing On/Off) are strictly prohibited for all calling vessels arriving from outside the Emirate of Abu Dhabi waters limits
  • No any crew member is allowed to disembark the vessel during its call at Abu Dhabi Ports. This include access to the berth/jetty. No shore leave is permitted including access to the seaman club.
  • No shore leave is permitted, including berth and jetty unless in case of emergency and subject to the Port Harbour Master's approval


For vessels calling Dubai all suspected cases - which includes sickness with relevant travel history or close contact with confirmed cases - must be reported to Dubai health authorities. Please find the original release here

6 July: According to information provided by GAC Hot Port News is crew change in Dubai possible.

16 July: According to information provided by Dubai Maritime City Authority, crew change is allowed subject to adhering with local regulations including COVID-19 test

30 July - According to GAC, 96-hour crew visas are now available for both signing-on and signing-off crew. 

2 August - Crew Change -Sign-on and Sign-off requirements and guidelines kindly provided by Wilhelmsen.


With NTM 274 Fujairah follows the federal circulars and restriction regimes. Crew disembarkation is regulated by NTA 35/2020 according to which all disembarkation is suspended.

**30 March: Crew change is strictly prohibited for vessels arriving from outside the United Arab Emirates.

No crew will be permitted to disembark for medical assistance. Any medical assistance should seek boarding of medical team from the Fujairah Port Medical Centre.**

6 April - *FTA decided to lift the crew change restrictions and in accordance with Circular No. (7) 2020 issued by FTA on 5 April, crew changes are allowed in the UAE under the following circumstances,provided the requirements set out below are met :

  • Seafarers with resident visa who are stuck on board their ships.
  • Crews of passenger ships currently laid up in UAE.
  • Crew who are no longer medically fit to work onboard the ship
  • Seaferers with urgent medical or humanitarian cases.


  • The seafarer should be on board a ship which has left her last International port at least 14 days ago, and there was no contact with any person outside the ship from outside UAE in the last 14 days.
  • Providing air ticket for the seafarer.
  • Submitting a medical statement for the seafarer suffering from the health condition that he is not fit to serve on board the ship and he is able to travel on the flight to his home country.

30 July - No crew will be permitted to disembark for medical assistance. Any medical assistance should seek boarding of medical team from the Fujairah Port Medical Centre.

Ras Al Khaimah

All vessels calling RAK Ports from foreign ports are required to submit the updated Maritime Declaration of Health. The form is available at RAK Ports website:

The form must be submitted to the port authority (Port Control) 72 hours before arrival at RAK Ports.

Carry out daily temperature checks for all crew/passengers at least twice daily;

Isolate unwell crew/passengers when his/her temperature is above 37.5 degree Celsius. The unwell crew/passengers should also wear a mask;

Disinfect common areas and rooms in the vessel before arrival in the United Arab Emirates.

In addition, all vessels should adhere to the guidance and measures specified in the following Notices:

    Notice to Mariners No. 09 of 2020 – Pilot Embarkation Procedure
    Notice to Mariners No. 06 of 2020 – updated Novel CoronaVirus_29.02.2020
    Notice to Mariners No. 02 of 2020 – Coronavirus Alert


Operational vessel movements are regular at all ports managed by Sharjah Ports Authority, but the following measures have been introduced for vessels at Sharjah ports to prevent/control the spread of COVID-19:

  • Masters of all vessels to provide IMO health declaration duly signed and stamped 72 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival, along with port required pre-arrival information including last 10 port of vessel call details and crew list.
  • Upon arrival of vessel into port, all crew must undergo health screening at designated facility located in ports.
  • If any crew indicate any symptoms of Covid 19, authorities will take necessary actions to quarantine and further medical interrogation.
  • Until completion of health screening and clearance from Port (verbal approval) no crew is permitted to go onshore (except health screening) nor any personnel are permitted to go onboard vessels.

Since 17 March, the issue of all types of visas (tourist, visit visa, mission visa & seaman visa) for embarking/disembarking crew members has been suspended/deleted from the online immigration system.  As an additional precautionary measure, effective from today (19 March), the UAE has suspended entry of residency visa holders who are currently out of the country, for a renewable period of two weeks. The issuance of all types of labour permits, including for drivers and domestic workers, has also been temporarily suspended until further notice. This decision excludes intra-corporate transfer permits and employment permits for Expo 2020.

Crew embarkation/disembarkation and shore leave passes are strictly restricted.

Offshore attendance at Khor Fakkan port has been temporarily suspended until further notice due to COVID-19

Boarding on any vessel by vessel agents/owners/representatives and surveyors will be permitted only in exceptional circumstances and will be subject to prior approval from the Port Authority.  Therefore note at present no surveyors are being allowed to board vessels in Jebel Ali and Abu Dhabi ports.  Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah have not yet restricted the surveyors attendance.

30 july - According to GAC, Sharjah seaport Immigration Authority has temporarily permitted crew sign-offs (disembarkation) from vessels for selected nationals. They will be decided on a case-by-case basis, subject to approval from the Immigration Authority.  Visa issuance for crew sign-on (embarkation) is still suspended. There is no official notification pertaining to crew change.

Medical assistance in general is allowed for a crew member disembarking only in cases of emergency and subject to Port Harbour Master’s approval. *

Useful links

* Source: Gulf Agency Company (Dubai) LLC. , ** North P&I Club

United Kingdom

The UK authorities have raised the risk to the public from low to moderate but have not imposed any restrictions on sea transport. Please click on the following links to assess the situation in UK :

20 and 18 March  - Port of London-River Thames and Peel Ports issued "Pilot Embarkation Additional Procedures" applying to all ships; namely UK Government's virus alert of mentioned countries, countries where crew member was from a country subject to the virus alert within 14 days prior to arrival or subject to information received by the local Port Health Authority after receipt of the mandatory Maritime Declaration of Health of suspected cases. Please see the respective notice issued by the ports. See also "Pilotage operations during COVID-19" issued by the UK Maritime Pilots' Association and Maritime Pilot Transfer Arrangements - Suggested Procedure at UK Ports, issued on 30 March by UK maritime trade associations.

*26 March: IMO Circular Letter No. 4236 includes a commitment to keeping UK ports open and do not propose to restrict the transit or transfer of seafarers through the UK or to restrict access to shore leave.

The local Port Health Authority must receive crew list, crew change information and a Maritime Declaration of Health in advance of arrival. In general crew changes and shore leave is permitted. However, individual port restrictions may apply – e.g. shore leave is not permitted in Southampton or Dragon LNG in Milford Haven. Crew changes are not permitted at Dragon LNG.

16 April: Aberdeen Harbour Board has introduced a temporary Welfare Call policy to allow vessels to visit the port for a pre-agreed short period of time to collect much needed supplies etc. whilst safeguarding crew safety and reducing any risks associated with transfer of supplies and materials at sea.

The protocol will continue to operate until the COVID-19 lockdown measures are lifted, unless otherwise agreed.*

12 May- Note that the UK government has classified international and domestic freight transport ( (including by air, ship, road and rail, including roll-on/roll-off transports) as an essential activity in the context of its travel advice. The advice against non-essential travel is not intended to apply to international and domestic freight transport. See UK advice for the freight transport industry

15 May - *As for crew change, it is permitted in general, subject to visa requirements. However, some terminals may impose restrictions. Clarification required on whether seafarers exempt from 14 day quarantine requirement for persons arriving imposed by UK government on 10 May. For medical assistance like emergency injuries and illness, call 999.*

11 June -**As of 8th June, anyone arriving in UK will need to self-isolate for 14 days. But there are exemptions and seafarers is one of them. Seafarers will need to instead complete the Public Health Passenger Locator form and submit it latest 48 hours prior to arrival. These are rules introduced for COVID-19 and not to be confused with other UK Immigration laws. **

30 June -  MCA advising IMO (via circular letter no. 4236/Add.1 dated 24 June) of the measures taken to enable holders of UK seafarer certification to continue to work and support international trade. 

7 August -  Note that the following UK links are updated continuously depending on the COVID-19 situation in particular the list of countries on the quarantine list -  recommended that this be checked from time to time.:

Source: *North P&I Club , ** GAC


12 Feb - Ships should report if they have on board crew members or passengers who are Chinese nationals or that have embarked in China, clearly specifying the date of embarkation.

It is reminded that the Health Declaration is an affidavit for which the Master of the ship is responsible. In case of misdeclaration, even if unintentional, the Master could face criminal charges for endangering the public health.

When the vessel has on board crew members or passengers who are Chinese nationals or that have embarked in China, then:

  • Before berthing, the Master will be requested to report whether there have been any crew members or passengers with fever during the last 48 hours. If affirmative, he will also be required to mention any other additional symptoms that may be present.
  • If the Surveillance Service concludes that there may be an infectious transmissible disease, the steps to be taken will be informed, and no access to the vessel will be granted until all requirements have been met.

17 March: Flights from Europe will be cancelled until further notice, effective from next Friday, 20th March. People coming from countries defined as high-risk (i.e. China, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, Japan, Italy, Spain, France, Germany and United States), are obliged to remain in quarantine for a minimum of 14 days.

24 March: A new Presidential Decree was issued, with the following main aspects affecting the maritime industry:

  • Passengers and crew members of cruise ships and commercial vessels coming from “high risk areas”, as well as symptomatic ones from any origin port (presenting fever and one or more respiratory symptoms: cough, sore throat or respiratory difficulty), will not be allowed to disembark in the country.
  • “High risk areas” are those areas determined by the World Health Organization Health in its daily updates, being included to date Spain, Italy, France, Germany, People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
  •  As a consequence of the above, no crew shifts in our ports are allowed from said countries.
  •  For reasons of public order and health nature, all borders with Argentina and Brazil have been closed and the entrance of non-nationals coming from those countries will not be allowed, whatever the modality of transport.

The international transport of goods, merchandises, correspondence, supplies and humanitarian and health assistance, is exempted from the prohibition on entry into the country.

See circular 02/20

12 May - Crew change of country´s own nationals is possible, subject to sanitary rules in force in the country. Change of foreign nationals locally is not permitted in general, but some exceptions on special requests have been allowed by relevant authorities, on a case-by-case basis, and also proviso to sanitary rules, such as COVID-19 testing negative, 15-days-quarantine, availability of in- and-out flights.

Landing of crew members and passengers for medical treatment of non COVID-19 injuries and illnesses, are allowed in Uruguayan ports but is  decided by the Marine Department of Sanitary Authorities on a case-by-case basis based on seriousness and urgency. 

11 June - Borders remain closed until further notice. The Ministries of Health and Interior are encouraging the public to self-quarantine. Those age 65 and older must observe mandatory self-quarantine. Ports operation as normal. 

*Source: North P&I Club


With the issue of  Presidential proclamations for 9993 (Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Non-immigrants of Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus and Other Appropriate Measures To Address This Risk), 9992 ( Iran), 9993 ( Schengen Area),  9994 ( UK and Ireland) - all immigrants and non-immigrants with a recent travel history coming from the below mentioned countries - prohibited from entering the USA:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom, excluding overseas territories outside of Europe, and the Republic of Ireland

Persons with a recent travel history to China are not allowed to enter the USA. Please see the original release.

USCG requires ship representatives to report on sick or deceased crew/ passengers within the last 15 days. Please see the original release.

USCG has provided an update 16 March ( MSIB 02-20 (Change 3)) 9 March 2020, establishing amongst others, the following important measures:  

  • Non-passenger commercial ships that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, with no sick crew members,
    will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, provided that crewmembers remain aboard the vessel except to conduct specific activities directly related to vessel cargo or provisioning operations.U.S. citizens or any other persons listed in Section 2 of Presidential Proclamation “Suspension of Entry as Immigrants and Nonimmigrants of Certain Additional Persons Who Pose a Risk of Transmitting 2019 Novel Coronavirus”, for example crewmembers with a transit and/or crewmember visa, may be permitted to disembark the vessel to conduct vessel operations pier side or for the immediate and continuous transit through the U.S. to another country.
  • Non-passenger commercial vessels that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, and do have sick crew members should expect delays and need to work with local health and port officials prior to entry. 
  • On March 13, 2020, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) announced that member companies were voluntarily suspending cruise ship operations from U.S. ports of call for 30 days. The CDC issued a No Sail Order on March 14, 2020 to all cruise ships that had not voluntarily suspended operations. The Coast Guard will closely coordinate with CDC to facilitate a safe and expeditious return of passengers onboard cruise ships that are underway and bound for U.S. ports. 
  • All persons that have been in or through a country listed above may be subject to CDC screening prior to disembarkation.

30 March - USCG issued MSIB 08-20, Change 1 on extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements and Medical Certificates. 

30 March - USCG issued MSIB 09-20 advising on the current protective measures regarding commercial ship compliance activities like ship inspections, exams and documentation. 

31 March - USCG issues MSIB 11-20 clarifying which categories of the workforce in the maritime sector would constitute essential marine transportation system (MTS) workers. This is to enable such workers to continue to work during periods of COVID-19 restrictions, access management, social distancing, or closure orders/directives. This list is not exhaustive.

14 April - USCG issued MSIB 14-20 allowing for Ballast Water Management (BWM) extensions of up to 12 months due to the COVID-19 outbreak causing disruptions  to drydock availablity or the necessary work required for the ship in order to comply the relevant US regulations for BWM.

5 June- USCG issued MSIB 08-20, Change 2 providing updated information regarding extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements and Medical Certificates.

25 June: The most recent revision to Marine Safety Information Bulletin 2/20 (Change 5) contains the following restrictions:

  • Entry restrictions to persons from the following countries:
    • Austria
    • Belgium
    • Brazil
    • China (excluding Hong Kong and Macau)
    • Czech Republic
    • Denmark
    • Estonia
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • Greece
    • Hungary
    • Iceland
    • Iran
    • Ireland
    • Italy
    • Latvia
    • Liechtenstein
    • Lithuania
    • Luxembourg
    • Malta
    • Netherlands
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Portugal
    • Slovakia
    • Slovenia
    • Spain
    • Sweden
    • Switzerland
    • United Kingdom
  • Disembarkation is allowed - among other purposes - for the immediate and continuous transit through the U.S. to another country
  • The Coast Guard considers it a hazardous condition if a ship has been to or has embarked a crewmember who has been in one of the countries noted above within the past 14 days
  • Cargo ships that have been to the countries noted above or embarked crewmembers from the countries noted above within the last 14 days, with no sick crewmembers, will be permitted to enter the U.S. and conduct normal operations, provided that crewmembers remain aboard the ship except to conduct specific activities directly related to ship, cargo or provisioning operations.

26 August - USCG issued MSIB 08-20, Change 3 on extension of Merchant Mariner Credential Endorsements and Medical Certificates. Major change is extending the credentials, both national and STCW that expire between 1 March 2020 and 30 September 2020 to 31 March 2021.

For current travel restrictions imposed by USA, please see the FAQ section on Presidential Proclamations on Travel from Brazil (effective 26 May) and Europe ( 11 March Proclamation effective 13 March and 14 March Proclamation effective 16 March). 

Useful links:



26 May - Extensions and/or endorsements  granted for seafarers' certificates/SEAs  and ship's statutory certificates for compliance with various international conventions -reference: IMO circular letter no. 4283. 

2 July - Grant of further extensions to facilitate crew changes as expressed in Vanautu's Fleet Safety Letter (FSL) 063020.GEN modifying earlier FSL 031420.GEN. 

7 Oct - Extension of SEAs to 31 December 2020 and seafarers' certificates via IMO circular letter no. 4283/Add.2 dated 5 October 2020. 

Borders are still closed to non-residents ( i.e Vanuatu citizen or returning permanent resident exempted). Above on crew change is still valid. 

Useful links



*17 March - The National Institute of Aquatic Spaces (INEA) INEA issued Circular No. 04 (Special Notice-02 COVID-19), dated 13 March 2020 – " Guidelines for mobilization of seafarers and personnel"  a number of preventive measures, among them (see P and I circular):

  • Once the arrival notice is made, the Captain of the ship will be asked for the list of the last three (03) destination ports.
  • A sanitary inspection upon arrival of a ship to port. This visit will be applied to all national and foreign flag ships, either in transit or engaged in cabotage.
  • In the event that any member of the crew showing symptoms of the COVID-19, the ship will be directed to a quarantine area. Sanitary authorities will carry out the respective medical evaluation of the entire crew.
  • Measures will be taken to restrict or control the crews of ships that arrive at Venezuelan ports from overseas so that they do not go ashore.
  • Instructions will be given to the Captain of the ship, so that during stay in Venezuelan waters the crews use protective masks.
  • The Captain of the ship should be suggested to follow all the preventive measures that have been made public to avoid contagion, such as the use of protective masks, antiseptic gel and frequent effective washing of hands.

The Circular No. 04 does not imply militarization nor delay in port activities.

Additionally, the INEA has suspended until further notice the “physical visit” to the ship by its personnel in order to verify the validity of the ship´s documentation, what it will be now done via e-mail in coordination with ship agents.*

14 April -  *The Maritime Authority carries out daily control of the movement of users by water and the traffic of ships (entry of international flags into jurisdictional waters, docking and undocking, arrivals and departures), as well as the supervision of the state of health of the crews that are on board ships.

The Decree 4.186 published on April 12, 2020 extended the State of Alarm for thirty (30) days in the national territory.

20 April - Even though ports are open and working,  logistic problems arise mainly relating to the lack of gasoline and safe passages (salvoconductos) needed to move around. The Decree on State of Alarm states in article 9 (8) that port activities are exempted from the suspension of activities. Therefore, public ports under control of Bolipuertos, S.A. (Puerto Cabello, La Guaira Maracaibo and Guanta, among others) are normally working as far as loading, unloading and reception of cargoes within port areas but difficulties may be found when taking cargoes out of ports due to logistic constraints.

1 May - As of 27 April, it is now possible to make crew changes of national and foreigner crew at Venezuelan ports, subject to flight availability.

“Salvoconducto” to be obtained in which ship agents, on behalf of shipowners and charterers will be responsible to ensure the movement of the seafarer until final destination, covering all the expenses related to transportation, food, lodging and travel ticket, for which agents must issue a Letter of Commitment to guarantee the payment of all the necessary logistics for the embarking, disembarking and in general mobilization of the seafarers.

As for medical assistance -  according to the INEA circular No.04 ( see above) - disembarking is allowed for crew, among other reasons, for medical treatment in case of non COVID-19 injuries and illnesses. To this end the INEA shall issue an official provisional document entitled “safe passage” (salvoconducto), to be petitioned by the ship agents, shipping companies and others companies and institutions, via online through the INEA’s website, in a procedure which is said to be expeditious and it should take not more than 24 hours. 

15 May  -  State of emergency further extended till 12 June 2020. As a result of this there will be no international or domestic commercial passenger flights operating in Venezuela until 12 June.*

11 June - Exercising social quarantine via " 7 + 7 model" (seven working days and seven quarantine days) in the country whilst country is still under lockdown, 

Useful links: 
Ministry of Health
Visit the interim government of Venezuela’s COVID-19 website for additional information.

*Source: North P&I Club 


18 March from North P&I Club:

Immigration office has announced below information which is applied from 15 March until further notice:

  1. China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korean, Italian, Iran are not allowed to entry Vietnam.
  2. Visa exemption of Japan, Korea, United Kingdom, French, Germany, Italy, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland are not accepted.
  3. Stop issuing visa for United Kingdom & Schengen countries.
  4. Visa on arrival at airport of all nationalities are not accepted. Exit visa at port are not accepted either.
  5. All nationalities will apply visa at Vietnam embassy of their countries. Condition for visa application will depends on requirement of Vietnam embassy at each country.
  6. The rest of nationalities who can enter Vietnam by exemption visa or valid visa, if immigration officer finds out they have visited areas like UK, Schengen countries, China, Korea, they have two options:
    1. Continue Vietnam entry, then they are isolated for 14 days, after 14 days if they are negative of covid 19 they are allowed into entry Vietnam.
    2. Fly out of Vietnam.
  7. Upon arrival airport, if quarantine officer finds out someone has a symptom of covid 19 they will isolate everyone on this flight, all guests on flight will have two options:
    1. Continue Vietnam entry, then they are isolated for 14 days, after 14 days if they are negative of covid 19 they are allowed into entry Vietnam
    2. Fly out of Vietnam
  8. For shipping line related to crew change attending vessel, send below info for checking with immigration quarantine office:
    • List of 10 last port call
    • Nationality of crew technician superintendent, etc
  9. If the vessel called China, Hong Kong, Macau, Korea, EU Ports, crew change cannot be arranged crews on board are not allowed to go on shore for all purposes.
  10. For vessels that have not called the listed ports, crew change can be arranged with some conditions Quarantine officer at port will:
    • On signer: check temperature or health condition before allowing enter port.
    • Off signer: they may check temperature daily and or the date of repatriation." 

Vinamarine, which is the authority assigned under the Ministry of Transport of Vietnam, has  on 30 January, given some general advice ( unfortunately in Vietnamese) on this outbreak. From our internal sources, this appears to say that a mandate is given to individual Vietnamese ports to implement measures as appropriate to combat the outbreak at their ports. 

As a follow-up to the above, Hai Phong Port, with effect from 4th February, has taken some steps whereby all ships  travelling from Chinese ports to Hai Phong within the last 14 days have to be subject to quarantine. Source.

Also, according to Spica International, Vietnam office, the Vietnamese maritime authorities have imposed a quarantine period of 14 days that apply to ships that have called a “Coronavirus epidemic area”. This means that a ship which has called China before calling Vietnam is subject to the quarantine rules. The quarantine period as based on Spica's understanding, starts from the time the ship arrives at the port of destination in Vietnam.

Ships intending to call at Vietnamese ports are highly recommended to liaise very closely with their agents as the agents will have the most recent information about measures implemented and the enforcement of same at their respective ports.

15 May - *Crew change is not allowed. As for medical assistance, only in urgent cases and after consultation with port authority and local authorities. *

17 June- Extensions and postponements granted to Vietnamese-flagged ships regarding ships' surveys, audits or inspections ( ref: IMO circular letter 4246/Add.1).

19 August - Extensions granted to seafarers' certificates up to 31 December 2020 ( ref: IMO circular letter 4246/Add.3).

According to SPICA, Vietnam, the maritime authorities of Vietnam have formally imposed a quarantine period of 14 days that apply to ships that have called a “Coronavirus epidemic area”. In practice all vessels are subject to the same health and quarantine tests regardless of where they have been before calling Vietnam. There is Increased sanitary checks and submission of health declaration plus a list of the last ten ports called. Permission is not granted for crew change, disembarkation and embarkation and this is enforced vigorously. Recommend that ships due to call Vietnam should liaise very closely with their agents as the agents will have the most recent information about measures implemented and the enforcement of same.

*Source: North P&I Club


25 March  - *For one month from 24 March, Yemen’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Yemen has ordered private sector institutions and companies to minimize business hours and suspend all meetings and workshops.

The port of Aden remains open and operational with the below regulations in effect:

  • Ships shall be inspected at anchorage to ensure that they are free of Covid-19.
  • Ship’s crew shall not be permitted to disembark until they are certified free of Covid-19 by port health representatives.
  • No person will be permitted to board ships at anchorage until they are inspected by port health representatives.
  • Arrival of passengers from other ports is prohibited.

Please see Port of Aden Circular 9/2020 for reference

8 April - Port Aden restrictions: 

  • Lashing and unlashing of cargo is to be conducted by ship’s crews, this includes container vessels and terminal staff will only be working from the quayside.
  • The lowering of gangways is not permitted,  the crew is not permitted to physically come into contact with terminal staff or disembark the vessel. Contact with terminal staff is to be done remotely.
  • Visitors, included local agents are not permitted to board the vessel. All communications must be done remotely.
  • Vessels are permitted to take on stores however this is to be conducted at anchor and after arrangements have been made with the port's health officials.

10 April - The Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation announced the following precautionary measures to be taken upon the arrival of ships to tackle the pandemic:

  1. All ships are obligated to spray with sterilizers before entering port, to include spraying the deck, accommodation and the stairwell.
  2. After that, the medical personnel will board the ship with camera and modern examination equipment for crew medical examination.
  3. Ship’s certificates will be checked, followed by a report sent to the Executive Chairman of the Yemen Gulf of Aden Ports Corporation on the condition of the ship.
  4. If the ship is found to be infected, it will be directed to leave port immediately.
  5. Ship’s ladder shall not be descended while ship at berth.
  6. Ship’s crew shall not be allowed to land from ship to jetty.
  7. Ships shall remain at anchorage for a week before they are allowed to enter port.
  8. Dhows and sailing boats are banned from port entry.
  9. Masks and gloves will be provided to all port workers and employees on a daily basis.
  10. All port departments and buildings will be sprayed and sterilized.

15 May - No crew changes are permitted in Yemen, including Yemeni nationals on foreign flagged vessels. For medical assistance, it is as follows:

  1. Aden/Mukalla:   sick crew requiring medical attention, alongside, will first have to be checked by the port health representatives and then if the sick person needs further treatment/medication, an authorization will be required from the port health representatives to visit an outside doctor/hospital.
  2. Hodeidah/Saleef – Since there is a medical facility within the Hodeidah port area, there will be no problems handling sick crew.
  3. The Oil Terminal will be very difficult since these are offshore facilities.*

17 Sept -  Crew change is allowed after the Yemeni Government has taken upon themselves to adhere to the decisions and recommendations by IMO and ILO to designate seafarers, marine personnel amongst others as key workers.  The arrival and departure of crews through Yemeni ports and airports shall be facilitated, and the International Transport Federation (ITF) liaison officer in Yemen shall take crew members to Al-Jumhuriya Hospital for a PCR test and ensure that the proper testing procedures are applied to arriving crew members (reference: IMO circular letter no. 4325 dated 15 September attaching Arabic and English translation of a letter from the Ministry of Transport in Yemen).

Having said that, the The majority of land, sea and air ports in Yemen are closed until further notice, with only very limited international flights taking place. Exemptions are in place for humanitarian relief and essential goods. All travellers arriving into Yemen are required to enter quarantine facilities for 14 days ( ref: UK travel advice as at 17 Sept 2020).  

*Source: North P&I Club

International Maritime Organization

Based on WHO's recommendations, the IMO has issued advice (circular letter No. 4204) on precautions to be taken to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships from COVID-19. An addendum has also been issued by IMO advising flag State authorities, port State authorities and relevant stakeholders to co-operate and ensure that the principles of avoiding unnecessary restrictions or delays to port entry of ships, persons or property are held as well as respecting the implementation and enforcement of relevant IMO instruments caused by this outbreak.  The circular also includes a communication received from the International Labour Organisation reminding flag States' obligation during this outbreak, to protect seafarers' health and medical rights under the Maritime Labour Convention.   

A further addendum has been issued. This time it is jointly by the Director-General of World Health Organisation ( WHO) and the Secretary-General of IMO to assist government states in ensuring that health measures are implemented in ways that minimise unnecessary interference with international traffic and trade; in particular respecting the requirements of "free pratique" for ships under the International Health Regulations (ref: IHR 2005, article 28). 

Addendum no. 3 was issued on 2 March 2020 attaching WHO's guidance on operational considerations for managing this outbreak on board ships. 

Addendum no. 4 was issued on 5 March 2020 providing guidance for ship operators for the protection of the health of seafarers. 

Addendum no.4 /Rev.1 issued on 28 May providing updated guidance.

Addendum no.4/Rev.2 issued on 9 October 2020 providing another updated guidance for ship operations relating to the protection of the health of seafarers.

Addendum no. 5 was issued on 17 March 2020 giving guidance on the certification of seafarers, advising Administrations and Port State Authorities to take a pragmatic and practical approach in relation to extension of the necessary certificates and endorsements required.

Addendum no. 5 /rev.1 issued on 2 April giving guidance relating to the certification of seafarers and fishing vessel personnel.

Communication by the IMO Secretary General on tackling corona virus as well as sustainability of sea transport for the vital delivery of essential goods and services. (Circular letter No. 4224 dated 19 March 2020)

Addendum no. 6 was issued on 27 March 2020 advising of a preliminary list of recommendations to assist governments and relevant national authorities to take a pragmatic and practical approach to the facilitation of maritime trade during the COVID-19 pandemic. The recommendations were proposed by a large group of NGOs including BIMCO. 

Addendum no. 7 issued on 3 April 2020 relating to guidance concerning unforeseen delays in delivery of ships.

Addendum no. 8 issued on 14 April 2020 relating to video meeting with Port State Control ( PSC) regimes.

Addendum no. 9 issued on 16th April jointly by IMO and World Customs Organisation on integrity of the global supply chain during the COVID-19

You are not alone” - IMO Secretary-General issues impassioned personal message to seafarers, 21 April 2020

Addendum no. 10 issued on 22 April releasing a joint-statement by IMO, WHO and ILO on medical certificates of seafarers, ship sanitation certificates and medical certificates during COVID-19

Addendum no. 11 issued on 24 April providing EC Guidelines on protection of health, repatriation and travel arrangements for seafarers, passengers and other persons on board ships

Addendum no.12 issued on 27 April providing a Declaration by Port Authorities Roundtable (PAR) members in view of the global COVID-19 situation

Addendum no.12/Rev.1 issued on 29 May providing declaration signed by a further 37 port authorities.

Addendum no. 13 issued on 5 May providing recommendations and relevant national authorities for facilitating movement of offshore energy sector personnel during COVID-19

Addendum no. 14 issued on 5 May providing a recommended framework of protocols for ensuring safe ship crew changes and travel during COVID-19

Addendum no. 14/Rev.1 issued on 5 October providing updated information. 

Addendum no. 15 issued on 6 May on personal protective equipment.

Addendum no. 16 issued on 6 May providing related Guidelines for ensuring a safe shipboard interface between ship and shore-based personnel.

Addendum no.17 issued on 21 May providing guidance on "Preparing for post COVID-19 operations: considerations and practicalities for port community systems, single window and other electronic exchange platforms.

Addendum no. 18 issued on 26 May regarding designation of seafarers as key workers and facilitation of crew changes in ports and airports.

Addendum no. 19 issued on 2 June providing guidance for flag States regarding surveys and renewals of certificates during COVID-19 pandemic. 

Addendum no.19/rev.1 has been superseded by Addendum no. 19/rev.2 below. 

Addendum no.19/rev.2 issued on 22 July attaching the guiding principles for consideration to permit statutory certificate extension beyond 3 months.

Addendum no.20 issued on 5 June supporting a call to action to accelerate digitalisation of maritime trade and logistics.

Addendum no.21 issued on 8 June calling for collaborative action to support of keeping ships moving, ports open and cross-border trade flowing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addendum no.22 issued on 11 June attaching the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook for guidance.

Addendum no.22/rev.1 issued on 25 June 2020 attaching the revised version of the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook.

Addendum no.22/rev.2 issued on 17 September attaching the revised version dated 4 September 2020 of the Singapore Crew Change Guidebook.

Addendum no. 23 issued on 1 July 2020 providing recommendations for port and coastal States on prompt disembarkation of seafarers for medical care ashore during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addendum no.24 issued on 13 July 2020 providing the outcome of the International Maritime Virtual Summit on Crew Changes organized by the United Kingdom.

Addendum no.25 issued on 25 July 2020 providing the outcome of surveys by ICS and ITF on health protection measures on board ships in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Addendum no. 26 issued on 3 August 2020 providing guidance on the gradual and safe resumption of operations of cruise ships in the European Union in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Addendum no.27 issued on 26 August 2020 providing protocols to mitigate the risks of cases on board ships.

Addendum no.28 issued on 26 August 2020 providing WHO guidance to promote public health measures on cargo ships and fishing vessels. 

Addendum no. 29 issued on 4 September 2020 regarding communication from the Secretary General on the crew change crisis. 

Addendum no. 30 issued on 11 September 2020 on Joint Statement calling on all Governments to immediately recognize seafarers as key workers, and to take swift and effective action to eliminate obstacles to crew changes, so as to address the humanitarian crisis faced by the shipping sector, ensure maritime safety and facilitate economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addendum no. 31 issued on 17 September 2020 on Joint Statement regarding the contribution of international trade and supply chains to a sustainable socio-economic recovery in COVID-19 times. 

Addendum no. 32 issued on 25 September 2020 on ICAO Harmonised guidance on facilitating passenger flights, including repatriation flights using public health corridors during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

IMO Coronavirus (COVID-19) information section

COVID-19 - Member States and Associate Members Communications

Crew changes and repatriation of seafarers – a key issue explained

Following a submission from France and Vanuatu is the IMO inviting members to designate national focal points on crew change and repatriation of seafarers. Please find the initial circular MSC.7/Circ.1/Rev.1 with details for France and Vanuatu


World Health Organization - interim guidance/operational considerations on board ships

WHO has issued interim guidance to assist with the operational considerations for managing COVID-19 cases/outbreak on board ships, which includes amongst others; an outbreak management plan and information on pre-boarding, pre-disembarkment and pre-board screening.  

WHO maintains also a travel and tourism page giving guidance amongst others, on public health preparedness and response for the maritime sector and management of ill travellers at points of entry.

International Labour Organisation - Information note on maritime labour issues and COVID-19

The International Labour Organization  (ILO) issued information note (revised version 2.0 dated  10 July 2020) on maritime labour issues and COVID-19. This information note addresses the current COVID-19 situation and how the provisions of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 as amended (MLC, 2006) pertaining to seafarers' rights ought to be implemented, taking into account that authorities are encouraged to take a pragmatic approach and not to use COVID-19 as an excuse to breach the MLC, 2006. 

Infectious or Contagious Diseases

Members should note that BIMCO has two clauses (see below) that address contractual issues in relation to severe cases of virulent diseases, such as Ebola. The implications for shipowners and operators due to such outbreaks can be significant. Delays may occur and costs arise not only when the ship is in an area where the risk of infection is high, but also at a later date when the ship calls at ports far outside the region where restrictions may be imposed to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.

The Infectious or Contagious Diseases Clauses for Voyage and Time Charter Parties have been developed for use in response to any severe outbreak of a virulent disease. The decision to take a generic clause approach to the Ebola outbreak reflects BIMCO's view that there have been a number of virulent diseases, such as SARS, that have also had a significant impact on the industry in the past and that it is likely that other severe virulent diseases may well occur in the future. The generic solution offered by BIMCO avoids having to write specific clauses to address individual outbreaks each time they occur.

General information on this virus and the latest WHO situation report or reach out to Maritime Information for assistance.

Liberty and Deviation Clause

25 June  - BIMCO released a designated Crew Change Clause for Time Charter Parties providing owners the liberty to deviate from the planned voyage for the purpose of conducting crew change. The new clause is designed to give owners the liberty to deviate for crew changes under tightly defined circumstances. It also provides an option for charterers to contribute to the crew change in recognition of the potentially high cost of making a COVID-19-related crew change. It is important that members check with their P&I Clubs to ensure that any deviation so intended is within their P&I coverage.

WHO Handbook on Management of Public Health Events on Board

A wide variety of events ranging in severity may occur on ships, requiring different responses or even no response. The World Health Organization (WHO), in this document, addresses events which have the likelihood of adversely affecting health of the human population through its course of spreading internationally or simply posing a serious and direct danger to health. Following an all-hazard approach, this document aims to provide technical advice to competent authorities at the port level for management of public health events on board ships and is also useful for shipping companies, ship masters, officers and crew.

Port State Control Regimes - MOU

Please find below the various press releases issued by the following MOU regimes regarding guidance on the impact of COVID-19: 

European Union Implementation Measures

The European Union (EU) in support of the shipping industry, trade and seafarers during this coronavirus outbreak, has the European Commission (EC) adopting on 16 March 2020, the "Guidelines for border management measures to protect health and ensure the availability of goods and essential services". These guidelines request that Member States implement them in order for all EU internal borders to stay open to freight and supply chain of essential products like food and medical supplies is guaranteed for quick delivery without any delays. The  introduction and implementation of green lanes to assist Member States with this would help to avoid delays which also includes any checks and health screening of transport workers. Member States should act immediately to temporarily suspend all types of road access restrictions in place in their territory (week-end bans, night bans, sectoral bans, etc.) for road freight transport and for the necessary free movement of transport workers. Hence exemptions apply to transport workers under the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to the EU. 

The travel restrictions for non-essential travellers have been extended until 15 June.

30 June the European Commission commenced a gradual lifting of travel restrictions. Non essential travel between the European Union and the following countries is allowed starting 1 July:

  • Algeria
  • Australia
  • Canada
  • Georgia
  • Japan
  • Montenegro
  • Morocco
  • New Zealand
  • Rwanda
  • Serbia
  • South Korea
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • China, subject to confirmation of reciprocity

The related documents are as follows


Flag State Instructions on COVID 19


Africa UN Knowledge COVID 19 hub

This hub was initiated and co-ordinated by the United Nations Interdepartmental TAsk Force on African Affairs ( DTFAA) and launched by the UN Regional Directors. One can find information relating to the country's COVID-19 response in particular relating to travel and transport. At the time of reporting, it appears to be still a work-in-progress hub site. IMO has participated in the development and adoption of a dashboard for information sharing, data and knowledge on UN activities on COVID-19 in Africa, including an advocacy and communication strategy

International Maritime Pilots Association

The International Maritime Pilots' Association has created an information page consolidating pilotage protocols and guidelines; both general and specific ones implemented by the various countries for easy access and guidance.