Covid-19 Pre-boarding Screening of Crew

24 January 2022

Members and Assureds’ attention is drawn to the WHO interim Covid-19 Guidance for Management of Covid-19 on board Cargo Ships and Fishing Vessels – see here.

This document provides some useful guidance for managing the risk of Covid-19 being brought onto a vessel, particularly with respect to pre-boarding screening. We anticipate that most Members/Assureds already are conducting PCR and LFT testing of on-signing crew, not just in accordance with the minimum regulations laid down by the country of origin and embarkation for the seafarer but also so as to ensure, as recommended by the WHO, the on-signing seafarer is tested immediately prior to embarkation and if necessary quarantined, preferably ashore, until the results of that test are available.

Over the last twelve months the London Club has seen a substantial increase in the number of seafarers testing positive for Covid-19 as well as the associated cost. Club cover extends to additional expenses incurred by a Member/Assured in the event of the vessel being subject to quarantine. However, it does not cover the loss of income. Accordingly, it is in the joint interest of the Member/Assured and the Club for the crew on board to be protected from exposure to Covid-19 in so far as that is possible. The Managers therefore suggest Members/Assureds look for opportunities to build on the WHO Guidelines.