New protocol for crew changes

20 Jan 2021 / Mauritius

The Mauritius Ministry of Health and Wellness has issued a new protocol for crew changes in 2021 in light of the new COVID-19 variant detected in the UK and South Africa.

Entry to passengers / crew members from UK and South Africa or those who have transited through these countries during the last 15 days is being prohibited until further notice. All arriving travellers from remaining countries are still required to spend at 14 days’ quarantine at a government-approved hotel.


  • Of-signers from vessels that have pertained crew changes from their last port of call for more than 14 days are allowed to disembark, except for vessels coming from South Africa, Madagascar, Reunion Island, India, Singapore and Malaysia.
  • Upon vessel’s arrival PCR test will be done prior to disembarkation on all crew members (both those who will leave the vessel and those who will remain on board), either by the Government Health Officers or Private Clinic Doctors with result within 24 hours.
  • Upon presentation of a negative PCR test certificate the disembarking crews will be cleared by the Health authorities to proceed ashore.
  • Disembarking crews may stay at any hotel in Mauritius pending their pending flight schedule for their respective countries subject to be confine in their rooms & hotel’s perimeters.
  • All departing flights must be scheduled as per the vessel’s ETA and respecting the 24/48 hours delay for the PCR Test results.
  • If one or more crew members test positive, they will disembark and sent to Vacoas otorhinolaryngology (ENT) hospital which is entirely dedicated to treating for this type of contamination. Other crew members will have to remain on board.
  • During embarking/disembarking, all outgoing crew members should not be in contact with incoming crew members if they have not completed a full quarantine.


  • All details of the joining crew members’ shall be submitted to the Ministry of Health &Welfare and the Port Authority for necessary approval and arrangement in advance by the Authorities concerned:
    I. Copy of Passport, valid minimum Six (6) months
    II. Seaman’s Book
    III. Flight Details
    IV. E-Tickets
  • All joining crew members must have a negative PCR test validity within 72 hours to 7 days prior to date of departing from origin including their transiting country to MRU.
  • The Health Sanitary Corridor Protocol for crew changes at Port Louis has been implemented since 12 January, with strict requirements and restrictions to be observed and enforced.


  • No PCR test will be done on all joining crew members upon arrival in MRU by the Health Quarantine Officers.
  • All joining crew members will be accompanied by a Health Inspector (staff in full PPE),in an authorised/dedicated sanitised vehicle directly from airport to port/vessel according to the existing sanitary corridor protocol for seafarers
  • All joiners will be dealt with only by appropriately trained officials at the port
  • After the joiners have embarked, the vessel must leave immediately unless proper handling over/take over are required where a window will be allowed in the presence of the Port Health Officers on board till completion
  • In under no circumstances should a joiner disembark or leave the vessel prior to departure if the vessel is berthed on a quay or at Inner Port Limit.


  • As per most of the vessel’s company COVID protocol, it is requested that crew members are quarantined prior boarding/disembarking the vessel to avoid any contamination/propagation of the virus on board of vessels or as per crew’s Government country Protocol when returning back home.
  • Crew members will be quarantined at least 14 days at a government-approved hotel (Holiday Inn Hotel) with three COVID-19 tests - one on arrival, a second on day seven of their stay in Mauritius, and the third test on day 14. Crew members who test positive will be transferred to a government-run medical facility.
  • All travel bookings are centraliSed at the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority (MTPA) website where Hotel booking are to pre-arranged by the relevant shipping agent including the hotel price and medical insurance/cost which is mandatory.
  • The crew will have to follow the same Health Protocol as other passengers on arrival at the airport including a mandatory PCR test.
  • Crew members will be grouped after collecting their luggage and will be taken to the dedicated Hotel by the Ministry of Health and Wellness in a dedicated transport, according to the usual Protocol.
  • If vessels are delayed or replacing crew members have been reached destination prior vessel’s ETA or negative PCR test result has not been obtained for the off-signing crew & crew remaining on board, joiners must stay in a dedicated Transit Quarantine Hotel pending Green Light given to proceed for their transfers to vessel.
  • At the hotel, the same protocol applies as for normal quarantine independent of the duration of the stay. If the crew members are still present in the Quarantine Centre on D 7 and D 14, they will be subjected to the PCR tests as per usual practice in Quarantine Centers.
  • When the crew change is to take place, a health corridor is established between the Hotel and the vessel according to the usual Protocol put in place by the Ministry of Health and Wellness, regardless of the duration of the quarantine period.
  • All crew members will be dealt with only by appropriately trained officials at the airport/port.

On-signing and disembarkation of crews must take place after all vessel’s operations are completed at the inner port. After joiners have boarded, the vessel must leave for her next port of call.

(For information about operations in Mauritius, contact the GAC Dubai Hub Agency Centre at [email protected])

Source: Celero Shipping – GAC network agent

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