August 2022

Pandemic restrictions update – 27.07.2022

The number of infections is rising again in many countries. One can say, that instead of expected spring and fall waves, we have additionally a midsummer one. Vaccinated people can be infected and sick, however usually their disease symptoms are less severe than of unvaccinated ones. Anyway, the deaths are still observed worldwide, and such risk cannot be excluded in any case. Therefore, the safety precautions must be still considered, and all individuals must keep in mind, that the pandemic is not over despite of lifted restrictions. During the meeting of Company Covid Committee, we decided to maintain the same rules as were announced in May 2022. We however want to draw your attention on point 6 - concerning the stock of covid tests, because observed shortage of tests on certain ships. We remind Captains that they are responsible for maintaining enough tests, to be able to test entire crew in case of covid-like symptoms on board. Once again, we appeal for vigilance, serious treatment of covid of flu-like symptoms and maintain highest hygiene standards with isolation of persons suspected to be covid infected.

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changes and travel during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic – traveller’s guidebook, version 2 dated 2020/06/09 is withdrawn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 any doubts (covid like symptoms) a quick antigen test should be performed by him. In case of positive result, 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.

4 – Company requirements concerning COVID tests
A –
Every Seafarer travelling to the vessel must make quick antigen test at the time of embarkation (see point 1c)
B – Vaccinated Office Personnel with valid COVID passport is allowed to attend the vessel, however, must pass antigen tests on board prior first contacts with the crew.
C – Visitors from the Office who are NOT vaccinated must make antigen test in authorized laboratory on their own account not earlier than 24 hours prior departure from home country (or 24 hrs prior joining the vessel if the vessel is in home country of the visitor).
D – 3rd Parties personnel in possession of valid COVID vaccination certificate is allowed to attend the vessel, but antigen test must be done one day prior joining the vessel and on arrival on board prior first contacts with the crew.
E – There is strongly recommended, that 3rd Parties personnel visiting the vessel is vaccinated, however in case is NOT vaccinated, must make either PCR test in the window 48-72 hrs prior embarkation or antigen test less than 24 hrs prior joining the vessel. The certificate issued by authorized laboratory is to be shown during embarkation.
F – Rules described above in points “d” and “e” 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., meeting in one isolated place like ship office or bridge, not exceeding duration of meetings over necessary minimum).
G – 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 unlikely 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. 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.