Philippines expands temporary crew change ban to 33 countries

According to the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), Pakistan, Jamaica, Luxembourg, Oman and the People’s Republic of China are the most recent countries to be added to the list to prohibit foreign seafarers from going ashore in the Philippines. The list was expanded from 21 to 33. A temporary ban was introduced to combat the spread of the new Covid-19 strain found in the UK and South Africa.

“All vessels coming from the mentioned countries within 14 days from January 1 to 15 shall be disallowed to conduct any kind of crew change activity in any of the 6 crew change facilities in the country, namely: PPA’s Manila South Harbor, Port Capinpin in Bataan, Batangas Port, and Sasa Wharf in Davao as well as CPA’s Port of Cebu and SBMA’s Port of Subic,” PPA said in a Facebook post.

While the temporary ban only applies until the 15 January 2021, its expansion just days from the deadline would put an expectation the deadline could be extended.

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