Mester Commercial News Feed

Unions Launch Quarantine Network to Reduce New Crew Change Crisis

Seeking to preempt a possible new wave for the crew change crisis as governments around the world respond to the spread of the Omicron variant of COVID-19, the major maritime unions announced the launch of a new initiative to provide a network of quarantine facilities. The groups said the program is urgently needed to avoid the shipping industry returning to the worst extremes of the crew change crisis.

Named “CrewEQUIP”, the program will create a list of trusted hotels available for crew quarantines that are independently reviewed and inspected by Lloyd’s Register, the program’s external auditor. The effort is designed to overcome frequent changes in government border policies affecting international crew by having consistent standards and industry-best protocols in place, to safely get crew to vessels even if governments increase their quarantine requirements.

The Crew Enhanced Quarantine International Program (CrewEQUIP) is a partnership between the International Maritime Employers’ Council, the International Chamber of Shipping, and the International Transport Workers’ Federation. Collectively, the organizations represent more than 80 percent of the global merchant fleet and nearly one million international seafarers through almost 200 affiliated unions.