Singapore offers vaccination, safeguards to shore-based personnel boarding vessels

The Singapore authority is going all out to protect shore-based personnel and seafarers in the fight against COVID-19.

As part of the Government’s measures to protect frontline workers, shore-based personnel who are required to board a vessel in port in the course of their work, including marine pilots as well as seafarers who are Singaporeans or long-term residents, will be prioritized for vaccination against COVID-19. Vaccination for shore-based personnel has started on 13 January 2021.

Given the evolving COVID-19 situation internationally, to further safeguard the health and safety of shore-based personnel and their families, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is introducing enhanced requirements for shore-based personnel boarding vessels (including harbor craft and pleasure craft) at anchorages, piers, marinas, terminals, wharves and shipyards in Singapore. These requirements take effect from 15 January 2021.

All shore-based personnel who will be boarding vessels for work or visits must produce proof of a valid negative result from a COVID-19 PCR test from a rostered routine testing program, an ad hoc COVID-19 PCR test or Antigen Rapid Test taken within 72 hours before boarding the vessel. The frequency of rostered routine testing for shore-based personnel who go onboard vessels regularly has increased from every 14 days to every seven days.

To facilitate contract tracing should the need arises, all shore-based personnel are required to perform a [email protected] check-in/out when embarking and disembarking at all waterfront facilities. They must provide details of their company and vessel(s) to be boarded, and comply with the safe management measures on board the vessel.

The waterfront facility’s owner, occupier or manager must conduct stringent checks and disallow any personnel from going on board if proof of a negative test result is not produced or if the personnel fail to use [email protected]

MPA requires the owner, master, agent of the vessel, which the shore-based personnel are boarding, to verify that the personnel have the requisite test results. The owner, master, agent of the vessel must also implement safe management measures on board the vessel when the shore-based personnel is on board.

If a shore-based personnel boards a vessel to work without proof of test results, fails to check in via [email protected], and/or fails to comply with measures on board the vessel, the personnel will be held liable for non-compliance.  Firm actions will be taken against the errant companies and individuals for non-compliances.

Image credit: Richie Chan / Shutterstock.com

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