Heroes at Sea - Call on “Keyworkers” Designation for Seafarers


As a key international network for maritime education and training, IMLA joins the industry around the world in voicing support on “keyworkers” designation for seafarers and other crucial maritime workers, and to allow movement of seafarers without impediment amid the continuous spread of COVID-19 pandemic.

When aviation virtually stops, shipping doesn’t. While governments have announced lockdown, seafarers continue servicing at sea to provide food, fuel, medical equipment and materials needed to combat the infection. Seafarers worldwide are working day and night on the frontline to ensure global supply chain while they themselves suffer from lock-down onboard. Restrictions around the world prevent them from entering ports, taking supplies, receiving medical care and performing crew changes.

Thus, we call on governments to grant seafarers exemptions from travel restrictions and to provide medical assistance when needed, and give attention to the well-being and welfare of these critical workers. They are unsung heroes at this moment, and must not be forgotten. 


Reference readings: 

IMO urges keyworker exemptions for crew changes and repatriations

IMO Secretary-General seeks UN support over "keyworker" designation for seafarers



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