Coronavirus: Singapore

SafeEntry@Sea starts today for workers boarding, leaving ships

Workers must provide details of their company and the vessel to be boarded.
Workers must provide details of their company and the vessel to be boarded.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Workers boarding and leaving ships in Singapore's port must check in and out using SafeEntry@Sea to comply with new safety requirements from today.

They will need to use the national digital check-in system for contact tracing at departure points or waterfront facilities before entering and leaving vessels. Waterfront facilities refer to any pier, wharf, dock, terminal or marina.

They must also provide details of their company and the vessel they are boarding, and keep to the safe management measures on board the ship, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said yesterday.

Workers who are getting routinely tested every week according to a roster must show a valid negative Covid-19 test result taken within the last seven days of boarding a vessel.

Workers who are not on rostered routine testing must show a valid negative Covid-19 test result taken within 72 hours of boarding the vessel.

After disembarking, they must take a polymerase chain reaction test in five or seven days, and another test on the 11th day. They or their employer will bear the costs of the tests.

Workers with symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and breathlessness will not be allowed on ships.

The requirements also apply to personnel boarding harbour craft and pleasure craft.

Owners or managers of waterfront facilities must conduct stringent checks and not allow any worker from going on board if he does not meet the requirements.

Companies and individuals who do not follow the rules will have action taken against them, said MPA.

Workers who have carried out jobs on ocean-going ships must also not do work on harbour or pleasure craft within the next seven days.

They must wear an appropriate level of personal protection equipment, should not remain on board for longer than necessary, or stay on the ship overnight. They are also not allowed to eat or drink anything from the ships' stores, or gather with others.

As far as possible, interactions between the workers and ship crew must be minimised.

Shore-based personnel carry out essential work on ships, including cargo and bunkering operations, repairs and maintenance, as well as surveys and inspections.

Singaporeans and long-term residents who need to board vessels for work, including marine pilots and seafarers, have been prioritised for Covid-19 vaccination. The vaccinations for these personnel started on Wednesday.

Between Jan 2 and Jan 8, some 27,000 workers were tested for the virus in a one-time sweep. All tested negative except for one person, who had been assessed to have recovered from a Covid-19 infection.

There were two Covid-19 cases in the maritime sector recently - a permanent resident working as a marine surveyor and a Singaporean harbour pilot.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 15, 2021, with the headline 'SafeEntry@Sea starts today for workers boarding, leaving ships'. Subscribe