More relaxations on crew change in Singapore

Aerial view of a port terminal in Singapore. Credit: Maritime Port Authority of Singapore

Singapore has further eased up on crew change, with crew from designated “low-risk” countries exempted from self-isolation in varying degrees, in their home country before departing for Singapore.

According to a list released by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the “low-risk” countries are Australia (except the state of Victoria), Brunei, mainland China, Macao, Malaysia, New Zealand, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

For crew originating from Brunei and New Zealand, no self-isolation is required; however, they must remain in originating country for the last consecutive 14 days prior to entry to Singapore.

Crew coming from Australia (except the state of Victoria), mainland China, Macao, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Vietnam must observe a seven-day self-isolation period before departing for Singapore. Seafarers arriving from all other countries must be self-isolated for 14 days before departing for Singapore.

In addition, if a crew member was previously diagnosed with COVID-19, the date of the first positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test must be more than 21 days ago from date of departure from the home country to Singapore.

Crew change will be permitted for several other seafarers, including those whose employment contract has expired; 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 are not part of the ship’s crew, such as superintendents and service engineers; on compassionate grounds, e.g. death of family member; or the crew is no longer medically fit to work on board the ship.

Signing-on crew must have a negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test, taken at a government-approved or ISO 15189-accredited testing facility, not more than 48 hours prior to the departure flight.

The crew must be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor at his/her originating country not more than 24 hours prior to the departure flight.

During the entire crew change process, especially during the journey to join the ship in Singapore, crew may be in groups of not more than five persons, but must remain in the same group, and there must be no interactions between the groups.

The crew can only arrive in Singapore to join the ship not more than two days before the ship’s departure from Singapore.

For off-signing crew, they must not have left the ship in the last 14 days before disembarkation and has remained well throughout that period. The crew shall be certified fit-to-travel by a doctor in Singapore not more than 24 hours before disembarking the ship.

Three floating accommodations at Tanjong Pagar Terminal will be designated as holding or quarantine facilities.

These will house signing-on crew who are waiting for their ships’ arrival for up to 48 hours, and a quarantine facility to house close contacts of crew who tested positive for COVID-19.