The shipping industry is facing its own version of ‘long COVID’ says INTERCARGO, following warnings received from members.
“Seafarers worldwide continue to face major issues with crew change, port entry and changing vaccination requirements,” says Dimitrios Fafalios, Chairman of INTERCARGO.
“New waves of infection continue to affect ports, and once again we are seeing local authorities creating their own interpretation of the rules.
“This is happening today at ports around the world, and governments and administrations seem not to have learned the lessons of the past two years, as they move to a post-COVID agenda.”
INTERCARGO is concerned that the crisis in Ukraine has distracted from the very real shockwaves that are still affecting the maritime sector as a result of the pandemic. In a number of ports globally seafarers are finding access to shore leave restricted, and in some cases are finding it difficult to access non-emergency medical assistance.
The Association urges consideration by national governments at the highest level for the issue to remain at the top of their agenda.
Dimitrios Fafalios says: “The situation is ongoing and requires pan industry commitment. Our efforts to highlight the plight of the seafarer must not stop, and the industry must never consider what is happening to seafarers today in any way normal.”