The Ministry of Home Affairs', Govt. of India vide Order No.40-3/2020-DM-I(A) dated 21.04.2020 by Sub-Clause (iii) under Clause 17 had included the movement of persons to allow sign-on and sign-off of Indian seafarers at Indian ports and their movement for the aforesaid purpose as per the Standard Operating Procedures / Protocols (SOP). The SOP has also noted that DG (Shipping) will prescribe the detailed protocol with regard to sign-on and sign-off to be followed.
Accordingly, the Directorate had issued DGS Order No. 12 of 2020 dated 22.04.2020 prescribing the Standard Operating Procedures / Protocols (SOP) for controlled crew change of Indian seafarers at Indian ports and also Addendum No. 1 to DGS Order No. 12 of 2020 dated 06.05.2020 for controlled crew change at anchorages within port limits to facilitate and regulate crew change for seafarers so that the safe environment on the ship is not compromised or no contamination is brought from ship to shore.
Whereas, in the said DGS Order para 5(2)(7) has prescribed that seafarer arriving on a vessel from any foreign port within 14 days of departure from foreign port shall be kept in quarantine for a total of 14 days from the date of departure from the last foreign port at a facility approved by the Port or State authority. On completion of 14 days, he shall undergo a COVID-I9 test to confirm 'negative' test.
Whereas, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), Govt. of India has issued guidelines dated 25.05.2020 for International arrivals, wherein para (i) states that travellers arriving would undergo mandatory quarantine for 14 days - 07 days paid institutional quarantine at their own cost, followed by 07 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health. Also, para (ii) mentions that only for exceptional and compelling reasons such as cases of human distress, pregnancy, death in family, serious illness and parent(s) accompanied by children below 10 years, as assessed by the receiving states, home quarantine may be permitted for 14 days and use of Aarogya Setu app shall be mandatory in such cases.
In view of the foregoing paragraph, the Directorate prescribes amendment to the DGS Order 12 of 2020 and to its addendums clarifying the following:
a) Seafarers arriving on a vessel from any foreign port shall be kept in institutional quarantine for a total of 07 days. The period of 07 days of institutional quarantine shall include the period spent onboard ship from the date of departure from the last port of call. The quarantine facilities shall be approved by the Port or State authority.
b) The period of stay on board a ship from last port of call shall be treated as period spent on quarantine, only if the health records of all the seafarers are properly maintained and no crew member of the ship has been tested COBID-19 ‘positive’.
c) On completion of 07 days, the seafarer shall undergo a CPVID-19 test to confirm ‘negative’ and be allowed to be followed by 07 days isolation at home with self-monitoring of health.
d) For the crew tested as CPVID-19 ‘positive’, the standard protocols as prescribed by MoHFW, Government of India of COVID-19 patients shall apply.
(For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in India, contact GAC India at [email protected])
Source: Director General of Shipping, Amendment to DGS Order No.12 of 2020
30 Sep 2023
29 Sep 2023