Crewmembers on commercial vessels of all types and sizes calling at the port of Hong Kong will be exempted from the quarantine measures. The City State Government has decreed this, with the intention of facilitating crew changes at this difficult time.
The measure was introduced in April but initially concerned only vessels calling at the port specifically for loading and unloading their cargoes. Now, the exemption also covers cargo vessels that are in the port for other reasons: refueling, provisioning, repairs, purchase or delivery of goods, surveys, etc.
The seafarers will therefore not have to observe the 14-day quarantine period even though they will have to comply with a very precise protocol: those who have completed their contractual period will have to remain on board during their “stay” in Hong Kong. They will be diverted directly to the airport for repatriation from their vessel.
The seafarers replacing the departing ones will not be able to enter the city freely, but will be put in appropriate accommodation waiting for the ship to arrive in port.
Translation by Giles Foster