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Singapore relaxes rules to assist crew changes

Singapore has relaxed certain controls for crew changes including a shorter quarantine period for low-risk countries and obtaining a negative coronavirus test result not more than 72 hours, rather than 48 hours, prior to departure flight to Singapore

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has reduced the 14-day quarantine period to seven days if the crew member comes from Brunei or New Zealand

SINGAPORE has relaxed certain rules for crew changes, including a shorter quarantine period for seafarers coming from low-risk countries.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore has reduced the 14-day quarantine period to seven days if the crew member comes from Brunei Darussalam or New Zealand.

A crew member must now obtain a negative coronavirus test result not more than 72 hours, rather than 48 hours, prior to departure flight to Singapore as requested earlier, MPA said in a notice.

The test must be a polymerase chain reaction (PCR type) taken at either a government-approved, or ISO 151189-accredited, testing facility.

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

In case any crew member was previously tested positive for Covid-19, they have to submit documentary proof of past diagnosis based on the earliest positive PCR test result.

However, if the date of the PCR test is 21 days or fewer before the date of Singapore arrival, that crew member will not be approved for crew change, MPA confirmed.

“For crew changes to take place safely, MPA continues to expect all owners, agents, ships and individuals to ensure that the Covid-19 preventive measures are followed strictly. Any breach will be taken seriously,” it said.

For signing off crew, MPA will facilitate pre-departure Covid-19 PCR testing in accordance with the prevailing national policy in Singapore.

The regulator also urged shipowners and managers to submit applications at least 14 days before the planned crew change, especially if the application includes sign-on crew.

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