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A long time coming

Seafarers can now look forward to shore leave and crew change when stopping over the Lion city

Over the past two years, seafarers have found their work increasingly stressful due to the pandemic. Crew change and shore leave had been a pipe dream during this period, and many seafarers found themselves stuck onboard for more than the internationally recognised maximum period of continuous service of 11 months.

On 24 March 2022, the Singapore Prime Minister announced the country’s move towards a new phase of the COVID-19 situation in the historically strategic port city. Following the Prime Minister’s announcement, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) released two Port Marine Circulars – one addressing crew change and application for vaccination for seafarers, and the other addressing shore leave for seafarers.

What can seafarers expect?
With effect from 1 April 2022, the relaxed measures will mean that vaccinated and non-vaccinated seafarers will be able to use the Port of Singapore as an entry and departure point for crew change. Vaccinated seafarers will also be able to get ashore for their allocated shore leave.

Under the MPA’s SEAVAX programme, seafarers can apply to get vaccinated with their employers or managers assistance in applying for the programme at least three days prior to arrival at the port of Singapore.

Crew Change
For seafarers who are not vaccinated, dedicated transports will be provided for them. Seafarers signing on to ships anchored in Singapore will be required to isolate themselves in their original countries prior to arrival in Singapore for boarding of the vessel. They must produce a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or a professionally administer Antigen Rapid Test (ART) result of not more than 48 hours prior to arrival in Singapore for the onboarding.

For seafarers signing off vessels through Singapore, and are not vaccinated, they will be transferred from the vessel to the airport directly after a pre-departure test at the holding facility.

For vaccinated seafarers signing on and off, they can apply for a short-term visitor pass through the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) CREW system’s digitalPORT@SG.

Shore Leave
For vaccinated crews only, seafarers are now allowed into the shores of Singapore with the following documents – certificate of a negative ART test, taken within 48 hours before disembarking the vessel, a valid vaccination certificate, a valid passport, SGAC/e-HDC and a valid visa, if applicable.


Crewing Online Media Team
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