Dutch shipowners insist on vaccination of seamen
The Royal Association of Dutch Shipowners (KVNR) urges in an article in the trade journal Schuttevaer to urgently vaccinate all seafarers so that they can travel more easily. That would also help to prevent an outbreak of the disease at sea, "said Shipowner's director Annet Koster in a conversation with Schuttevaer.
The trade association will negotiate with the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management. "We are not going to say that we want to be at the top of the vaccination list, because public health is rightly central, but we do want to prevent the seafarer from falling between two stools"
The article recalls that in the early months of the virus outbreak, sailors at sea were sometimes trapped for months because flights were canceled and countries were locked.
The association fears possible measures by, for example, airlines and countries, such as making a vaccination certificate mandatory. As a result, shipping personnel would no longer be able to travel, if the home country does not yet have a vaccine, for example. At the beginning of February, Koster did not know of people who were blocked on Dutch vessels. She does look with fear and trembling at the consequences for seafarers who have not yet been vaccinated "
The KVNR also talks with airline KLM about “what services KLM can offer at Schiphol when it comes to vaccinations”. The two parties previously worked together on airlifts, so that personnel at sea could still come home.
The Netherlands has about 5000 seafarers. A total of about 30.000 seamen work on Dutch ships, including international personnel. Less than half of them are now at sea, the rest are at home, ready for repayment. About 2000 ships sail under Dutch management, half of which are under the Dutch flag. Worldwide, 1.2 million people work on more than 50,000 sea-going vessels. (Source KVNR)