Singapore offers beacon of light for crew changes

The increasing concern at the lack of opportunity for ships to change crews was alleviated slightly at the weekend when Singapore’s Maritime And Port Authority (MPA) said that it would allow crew to leave, provided the signing on and/or the signing off crew had been well for the 14 days previous to joining or leaving the ship, and had not been in contact with a known or suspect case of Covid-19 during those 14 days.

In normal times about 100,000 seafarers leave or join a ship every month, but now thousands of seafarers had been unable to return home or board ship because countries had entered lockdown

Frank Coles, head of ship management firm Wallem Group, said on LinkedIn: “A huge shout out to the Singapore authorities and the MPA. Some common sense being shown… Good start but we need unhindered crew changes for the workers of the global supply chain.”