A recent Article from Ship Management International discusses how the heads of five UN organisations have called for maritime and air transport workers to be prioritised for COVID-19 vaccination, given their key role in supporting global trade and mobility, which is essential for a sustainable socio-economic recovery given that 90% of the world's goods and resources are transported by ships. The global army of ship’s crew and offshore workers who play a vital role in the world economy by spending lengthy periods of time at sea already face many challenges. Having to worry about being vaccinated, is another challenge these key workers shouldn't have to face.
Maritime and air transport rely on seafarers and aircrew. They are key workers, required to travel across borders, which may – though contrary to WHO recommendations – result in the need for them to present proof of a COVID-19 vaccination as a condition for entry in some countries.
“For shipping and air transport to continue to operate safely, the safe cross border movement of seafarers and aircrew must be facilitated. We reiterate our call upon countries that have not done so to designate seafarers and aircrew as key workers,” says the joint statement, signed by the heads of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the International Maritime Organization (IMO), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
For the millions of seafarers and offshore workers globally, the last year has been a torrid time. Although classed as key workers, country lock downs and a lack of actual airline services running has meant that even the most well-planned itinerary is at risk. We know that deadlines can be tight and essential in safely leave their vessel or get to their rig in the least amount of travel time possible. These travellers rely on their trusted Crew and Personnel Managers to meticulously plan each crew rotation who have the tricky job of moving many people at any one time in normal circumstances, but now it’s more challenging than ever. This is why more support should be given to the people who move goods around the world for us to benefit from all the modern-day commodities we rely upon.
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*Information taken from Ship Management International correct as of publication.