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25 September 2021 The on-line newspaper devoted to the world of transports 23:44 GMT+2

September 2, 2021

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Original news
The problem of changing ship crews continues to be serious, even if there is some positive sign

The Neptune Declaration explains that there is a stabilisation of the situation and that seafarers' access to vaccination campaigns has improved

The problem of seafarers stranded in on board their ships, which due to the restrictions imposed by the Governments to contain the Covid-19 pandemic are unable to return home despite the fact that their enlistment contract is expired. This is highlighted by the Neptune Declaration, the initiative promoted by leading world ship management companies with the aim to safeguard the well-being of seafarers compromised by the effects of the health crisis on their work.

Explaining that travel restrictions, cancellation of air flights and domestic lockdowns continue to prevent Seafarers to return home, Neptune Declaration representatives specify that however the situation would seem to show a improvement given that, after months of aggravation of the problem, the last reading of September of the Neptune Declaration Crew Change Indicator, the indicator designed to detect the impact of the crisis pandemic on the change of ship crews, shows that in the last month the number of seafarers forced on board ships beyond the expiration of their contract has slightly decreased falling from 9.0% to 8.9% and that the number of seafarers who are at on board ships for over 11 months has been reduced from 1.3% to 1.2%. This development would therefore seem to confirm a trend the stabilization of the problem.

Representatives of the Neptune Declaration also highlight whereas another positive element is that are beginning to establish themselves, particularly in the US and in some European nations, several programs set up to offer seafarers the possibility of getting vaccinated and the indicator of September shows that the aggregate percentage of seafarers who are were vaccinated increased from 15.3% in August to 21.9% in September.

"It's very encouraging," kasper Søgaard said. Director-General and Head of Institutional Strategy and of the development of the Global Maritime Forum - record that in the last month the number of seafarers who have been vaccinated is increased by 6.6 percentage points, although there are margins of improvement. The percentages of vaccinated continue to be limited in the main shipping nations in Europe, North America and Asia, where more than 50% of the population is fully vaccinated'.

In fact, the representatives of ship management companies highlight that, despite the progress made in vaccination of seafarers, for the latter access to vaccines for the Covid-19 continues to be limited due to supply of doses and, in addition, ensure that seafarers have access at the second dose of the vaccine continues to pose a challenge and, in many cases, there is a significant amount of time between the administration of the two doses to the seafaring personnel. In addition to that, there is also the reluctance of some seafarers to make themselves vaccinate.

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