Singapore has halted crew changes for seafarers with recent travel history to India in the wake of the surge in Covid-19 infections in one of the world’s top suppliers of crew to the shipping industry.

The ban will come into effect from the midnight of Saturday, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, said in a circular on Thursday.

The move is in line with the announcement from Singapore’s Ministry of Health that all long-term pass holders and short-term visitors with recent travel history (including transit) to India within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into Singapore, or transit through Singapore.

As a result, crew change will not be allowed in the Port of Singapore of crew with recent travel history to India within the last 14 days preceding arrival to Singapore. This includes sign-on crew travelling to Singapore by flight as well as sign-off crew from vessels that have called at India and also sign-on crew transiting India on their connecting flights to Singapore.

Hong Kong, Dubai, UK and Canada are also understood to have banned travellers from India with the resultant impact on crew changes involving Indian seafarers.

The crew change crisis that has gripped the global shipping industry after the pandemic struck last year continue to pose challenges as new variants of the virus force governments to close borders.