The recent worldwide outbreak of Covid-19 (coronavirus) has affected the availability of crew and opportunity for crew changes within the global fleet. Travel restrictions and additional screening have compounded the issue. 

Crew working longer contracts has understandably led some shipowners and operators to become concerned for crew on-board who may have expired medical certificates. This week, the UK Club Crew Health team received their first enquiries regarding crew with medical certificates due to expire before the opportunity to renew medical fitness.

To address this concern, the UK Club Crew Health team have recently updated their guidelines in line with the updated information released by the UK Government Maritime and Coastguard Agency guidelines entitled Coronavirus (Covid-19) Contingency Plan and Guidelines. 

The revised guidelines allow for a three-month temporary extension for all medical certificates through the PEME Programme and issued by Club approved clinics. Any employer of crew examined under the UK Club scheme may seek further details and/or confirmation from the Club Crew Health team. 

Additionally, in the wake of the pandemic Covid-19, Crew Health are researching and collating details of new initiatives from within the industry on the subject of the virus and the impact on seafarers, the latest of which are featured below:-

Seagull Maritime and Videotel have recently launched a new programme called: "Coronavirus- How to Beat it." The video, which is available for free to the maritime industry, outlines common symptoms of the virus for seafarers' awareness. It also contains key precautions that individuals on-board can take to minimise the spread of this highly contagious virus.

Additional resources on the Covid-19 outbreak can be found on the UK Club's designated Covid-19 landing page.

Sophia Grant

Crew Health Programme Director