Spain Allows Crew Changes
Spain has legislated that seafarers are key workers in a move that aims to ensure their movement through Spanish ports.
A state of emergency was declared in Spain earlier this year, and it has subsequently been extended three times, remaining in force until May 10. The nation has been in lockdown, but following the IMO’s recommendation to ensure maritime transport and port operations during the COVID-19 pandemic and designate crew as key workers providing an essential service, the Spanish Transport Ministry approved the Order TMA/374/2020 on April 28.
The order establishes the documentation needed to allow seafarers to crew change in Spain and return to their home countries or to embark a vessel calling to a Spanish port. Seafarers will need to provide:
- Certificate of competency or proficiency or Seafarers' identity document or Discharge book
- Employment agreement or Letter of appointment. This documentation will include, at least, the name of the vessel and her flag, port where the vessel is located and the estimated date of the embark / disembark.
The Spanish Ministry of Health reported on Saturday that the nation's COVID-19 death toll has risen above 25,000. The total number of positive cases reported now exceeds 216,000; this the highest number of cases in a European country, but authorities are beginning to loosen lockdown restrictions as the number of cases has believed to have peaked.