August 2022

Pandemic restrictions update – 19.08.2022

The number of infections is continuing rising again in many countries. Unfortunately, in the latest two weeks several SMT ships have been affected by covid. Despite relatively light sickness symptoms (we believe owing to vaccinations), the fact of infections had in few cases severe consequences in operation of the vessels and caused considerable financial losses.   During the meeting of Company Covid Committee, we decided to come back to obligatory PCR tests prior travel to the vessel. See the details below.

1 – Safe ship crew changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – traveller’s guidebook, version 2 dated 2020/06/09 is withdrawn
Instead of it following rules will apply:

A – On-signer should be sure prior joining the vessel, that he is not sick. In case of positive result of covid test, he should inform Crewing Dept. about it to cancel his travel.
B – During the travel on-signer should maintain hygiene requirements, maintain safe distance where it is possible, wear masks in crowded areas and follow local requirements of airlines and/or ports.
C – At the time of embarkation, a quick antigen test is to be done on board and no any contact with the crew is permitted until the result is known. In case of positive result, the on-signer must disembark immediately, or if it is impossible, he should be isolated until further steps to be taken.

2 – Released shore leave restrictions
Shore leave is permitted everywhere from the day 16/05/2022 under following conditions (both must be fulfilled)
A – Shore leave is permitted by local authorities (Master must confirm it with Agent).
B –
Unvaccinated crew members are not allowed to go ashore.

3 – Restrictions for unvaccinated people
Unvaccinated seafarers cannot be employed on SMT Shipping vessels. Unvaccinated ones, who are currently on board will be allowed to continue their contracts, however without possibility of extension.
SMT Shipping emphasizes, that supports every reasonable initiative of vaccination the seamen, who are interested to do it. We remind the Masters to check possibility of vaccination of seafarers in various ports and arrange it for that ones who need and agree to take next dose.

4 – Company requirements concerning COVID tests
A –
Every Seafarer and every SMT Office Personnel travelling to the vessel must make PCR test not earlier than 48 hrs prior departure from home country. Quick antigen test is to be done at the time of embarkation (see point 1c).
B – 3rd Parties personnel (no matter vaccinated or not) must make PCR test in the window 48 hrs prior departure from home country (or 72 hrs prior embarkation in case of visiting vessel in his home country).  Antigen test must be done on arrival on board prior first contacts with the crew.
B – Rules described above in point “b” don’t apply to the local port authorities, pilots, stevedores, agents, shipchandlers, but special safety precaution are to be undertaken in contact with them (safe distance, avoiding physical contacts like shake hands etc., using face masks, meeting in one isolated place like ship office or bridge, not exceeding duration of meetings over necessary minimum)
D – In case of any doubts, the interpretation given by Travel Dept. will be considered as the ultimate.

5 – Company forms of health condition (COVID related) evidence
All covid related forms required by SMT Shipping (like Crew Health Self-Declaration, Daily temperature record, Covid symptoms and temperature records logbooks on board etc.) are to be discontinued from 16/05/2022, however can be temporary re-established on certain ships in case of worsening general health situation on board or in the port.

6 – Travel documents and restrictions
Attention! All items described in points 1-4 concern SMT Shipping requirements. It can be different than the requirements issued by various countries, ports, airlines etc. Travel Department will inform the travelers about existing requirements on certain routes, and it must be strictly followed. These non-SMT requirements are not a subject of negotiations with Travel Dept. Failure to comply with the procedural obligations required by the 3rd Parties may result in disruption of your trip and high costs caused by it.

7 – COVID case on board
Any covid – like symptoms on board should be treated seriously. Patient is to be tested for proper diagnosis. In case of covid case, patient is to be isolated, all the crew members are to be tested and the medical records (temperature, pulse, saturation) are to be regularly checked and recorded. Consultation with the doctor should be conducted if necessary. DPA is to be informed immediately via emergency phone number. Covid Team will review the situation and advise further steps.
Captains are responsible for maintenance of sufficient number of quick antigens covid tests on board.