Singapore announces crew change halt amidst new virus strain
Maritime Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) imposes crew change prohibition for seafarers with recent travel history to the United Kingdom (UK) and South Africa
In a latest circular, MPA directed all sea crew with recent travel history to the UK and South Africa within the last 14 days would not be allowed into Singapore or transit through the republic. This regulation is also applicable to sign-off crew from vessels that have called at the two countries. The measure is effective for sea crew who traveled to the UK from 23 December 2020, and 3 January 2021 for South Africa respectively.
The new directive came after UK’s new lockdown in a bid to curb the spreading of the mutated strain of COVID-19. The country’s infection has surpassed 2.7 million with a death toll of over 76,000. South Africa is now battling over 1.1 million cases with a recorded death toll of 30,000.
UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock said on BBC Radio, “I’m incredibly worried about the South African variant. One of the reasons they know they’ve got a problem is because, like us, they have an excellent genomic scientific capability to be able to study the details of the virus.” He added that it is even more of a problem than UK’s new variant.