On the first day of London International Shipping Week, the International Chamber of Shipping published new and updated guidance to protect seafarers and shipowners against the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.

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The free resources include guidance on vaccinations, manning agents, mental health issues, and shore leave.

Despite noted improvements in rates of vaccination for seafarers, only 25% are fully vaccinated, and most are not in line to receive a vaccine through their national programmes until at least 2022. Meanwhile, severe travel restrictions across the world have led to seafarers being stranded on board, some for more than 18 months. This deterrent to existing workers and potential new recruits has stretched global supply chains to breaking point, with shortages of key goods reported, and shipping costs approaching all-time highs.

Now, ICS has worked with a coalition of industry partners to produce new and updated guidance, which aims to empower seafarers and shipowners with the knowledge to protect and support themselves through the next stage of the pandemic. The guides were produced in association with International Maritime Health Association, INTERTANKO, International Transport Worker Federation (ITF), European Community Shipowners’ Associations (ESCA), Intercargo, InterManager, International Association of Ports and Harbors, International Christian Maritime Association, International Marine Contractors Association, International Maritime Employers’ Council Ltd., Asian Shipowners’ Association (ASA), and the International Maritime Employers’ Council (IMEC).