Sailors in quarantine at change of shift
The Yangshan Immigration Inspection Station helped China COSCO Shipping Group’s vessel Galaxy change five of its sailors on Tuesday after the vessel returned to Shanghai from South Korea, one of the countries on the city’s watchlist for epidemic prevention and control.
The five sailors, who had been in quarantine onboard for three days, were sent to a designated quarantine location in the city for the remaining 11 days.
As the five replacing them were from all over China, the shipping company had also put them in quarantine for 14 days before they boarded on Tuesday morning to ensure there were no health risks to the other sailors on the vessel.
Officials at the inspection station said that as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the world, more ports in different countries were restricting sailors from leaving their vessels after shifts. International maritime rules state that sailors should serve no longer than 11 months for one shift so now a large number of sailors were facing the problem of exceeding that.
China Shipowners' Association statistics show that more than 20,000 sailors from the nation’s 54 major shipping companies will have worked 11 months by the end of May.
Last Thursday, Shanghai issued a guideline on the health management of sailors returning from countries on the city's watchlist. They will be quarantined after departure and if onboard confinement period is less than 14 days, they will be quarantined in Shanghai for the time that remains.
To ensure a smooth change, COSCO’s Shanghai branch reported the health condition of the 10 sailors who would leave or board the vessel to the inspection station in advance, as well as their transport and quarantine plans. The station also reported related information to Yangshan customs.
After checks by inspection and customs officers, the five sailors were allowed to leave the vessel and board a shuttle bus to the quarantine site.