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33 countries barred from crew changes

The Philippine Ports Authority yesterday announced that five more countries have been added to the list of countries barred from conducting crew change activities in any Philippine port, bringing the total barred countries to 33.

In a Facebook post, the PPA said these new countries are Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman, and the People’s Republic of China.

“All vessels coming from these countries within 14 days, from January 1 to 15, are not allowed to conduct any kind of crew change activity in the six crew change facilities in the country,” the PPA said.

These crew change hubs are the Manila South Harbor, Port Capinpin in Bataan, Batangas Port, Sasa Wharf in Davao, all under the jurisdiction of the PPA, Port of Cebu administered by the Cebu Port Authority, and the Port of Subic, administered by the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority.

Foreign seafarers, who arrive in the Philippines within 14 days of a recorded port of call in flagged countries, will be barred, while Filipino seafarers in the same situation will be allowed entry but will be subject to absolute 14-day quarantine.

Both Filipino and foreign seafarers, who arrive in the Philippines after 14 days of a recorded port of call in flagged countries, will be allowed entry.

Crew change hubs are port facilities that include one-stop shops allowing for the expedited onboarding, disembarking, and processing of ship crew, and enforcing the government’s health and safety protocols against the spread of coronavirus disease 2019.

The barring of the 33 countries is a result of the country’s measures against the spread of the new variant of Covid-19 from countries with confirmed infections.

According to an advisory by the Department of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday, the travel ban is set to end on Jan. 15, notwithstanding possible extension by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases. Aside from the five new countries included in the list, the ban was first enforced against travelers from the United Kingdom, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Australia, Israel, The Netherlands, Hong Kong SAR, Switzerland, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Lebanon, Singapore, Sweden, South Korea, South Africa, Canada, Spain, United States, Portugal, India, Finland, Norway, Jordan, Brazil, and Austria.*PNA

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