The outbreak of COVID-19 has compelled many parts of the world to enforce a public lockdown in a bid to flatten the transmission curve among the population. International borders have been closed and modes of transport internationally, nationally, and locally have been drastically reduced to impose physical and social isolation to contain the spread of the virus.
Although understandable and absolutely necessary to protect public health, these heightened entry/exit requirements and absence of international movement have derailed crew changes and therefore affected the many seafarers waiting to board and disembark from ships worldwide.
Seafarers face heightened anxiety and stress levels as they are unable to join ship and remain in lockdown at their homes. No work means no income and this directly threatens the family’s, and even the extended families’ financial income and stability if the seafarer is the sole breadwinner, which is often the case.