The government of Cyprus has adopted with a formal process to facilitate crew changes in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the new processes crew changes will be permitted in Cyprus if certain conditions are met.
The main conditions are that seafarers arriving by plane to Cyprus have been subject to 14 days self-isolation; they have been subject to a PCR-based coronavirus test in the country they came from, or if not possible, in Cyprus on arrival; and 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.
Natasa Pilides, Cyprus Shipping Deputy Minister, said: “Seafarers are suffering under the current circumstances, impacted by extended contracts and unable to return home due to closed borders and cancelled flights. As an industry, we have a duty to support our seafarers, while always maintaining the safety of the vessels they work on.
“In coordination with the Cyprus Shipping Deputy Ministry and the Ministry of Transport, the Ministry of Health has introduced a formal process to ensure continuity of trade and the well-being of our key workers. We remain committed to facilitating a smooth process when assisting individuals in getting back to their loved ones, which is so important at this difficult time. We will continue to adapt processes and procedures as necessary, ensuring we are doing all we can to support safe, efficient and compassionate shipping operations.”
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