Advisory Board Member Kuba Szymanski, Secretary General of InterManager, hosted a virtual press briefing on May 20, aimed at highlighting the work that has been carried out to support seafarers since the outbreak of COVID-19.
Journalists were told that whilst the industry has pulled together to protect crew during the last 10 weeks, there are still pressing issues that need to be resolved.
The three main issues that remain are the renewal of visas and passports for seafarers; finding a common protocol for testing seafarers to expediate returning to work; and seafarer access to medical care in ports, especially for non-COVID-19 related injuries or illnesses.
“We have highlighted to all the international organisations what needs to be done, now governments need to act to get things moving forward,” said Natalie Shaw, Director of Employment Affairs at the International Chamber of Shipping.
Crew changes were also cited as a major concern and it was agreed that once governments took industry recommendations on board, then airlines, charterers, and owners would do the same.
Participants in the webinar included representatives from the International Chamber of Shipping, the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF), the International Maritime Health Organization (IMHA), the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network (ISWAN) and the International Christian Maritime Organization (ICMA).