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Danish Unions call for seafarer quarantine exemptions to be maintained

Danish Engineers' Association head Lars Have Hansen

Two maritime unions and the Danish Shipowners’ Association have jointly called on the government of Denmark to exempt seafarers from tougher Covid-19 quarantine measures as they enter or pass through Denmark.

Seafarers entering or transition Denmark for work should be exempt from quarantine, Metal Maritime, the Danish Engineers’ Association and Danish Shipping said in a join letter to justice minister Nick Hækkerup after he indicated he was considering tightening self-isolation requirements.

‘It’s important for the Danish economy that national and international trade can continue as smoothly as possible, despite the limits Covid-19 sets for us all,’ the letter said.

‘We think it’s totally unreasonable and unnecessary to subject Danish engineers and other Danish seafarers to a requirement to isolate for 10 days at home after they return from tours of duty. The seafarers have been in an isolated bubble on their ships. Everything has been done on board to minimise the rise of infection and the seafarers have been tested on an ongoing basis as everything is done to avoid an outbreak of Covid-19 on board,’ Danish Engineers’ Association head Lars Have Hansen said.

‘They are better protected against Covid-19 than others,’ he added.

Keeping international trade running smoothly requires seafarers being able to sign on and off their vessels in Danish ports, and transit through the Copenhagen Crew Hub at Copenhagen International Airport. That would be practically impossible if they are subject to quarantine requirements on entry.

The organisations agreed an arrangement with the government in the summer for seafarers to transit Copenhagen Airport without the usual restrictions. Seafarers carry an identifying letter from their employers.