We all hope that you are safe and well as we navigate through the Covid-19 pandemic.
As travel remains an area of higher risk and restrictions remain in place around the world, we have updated our Covid-19 circular letter that extends the postponement of crew changes until the end of April. That being said then we are continuously looking for opportunities where an exemption can be made and a safe crew change conducted and we are reviewing the situation constantly.
In the meantime, I want to update you on the initiatives we are working on to get crew changes started again as quickly as possible. At V.Group, we continue to work and collaborate with the key industry associations in order to influence global authorities to prioritise seafarers’ travel in order to keep the world’s merchant fleet operational. These efforts are gaining momentum as seafarers are recognised as ‘key transport workers’ in many countries.
We continue to make preparations for testing seafarers for Covid-19 as part of our joining process. We are seeing signs that some countries have started to relax their stringent lockdown requirements and we want to be ready to implement measures to safeguard the health of all onboard crew as we start to make controlled crew changes.
In addition, our Crewing teams are updating the crew change plans for all vessels so we can react quickly and efficiently when these options become available.
You will have also seen that we have launched the V.Care seafarer assistance programme that is a confidential and free service provided for your benefit. We recognise that your mental health and wellbeing is vitally important, especially at this difficult time.
Lastly, we would all like to pass our thanks to you for the hard and dedicated work that you undertake. We all know how critical the work that you do is. It is also good to see that people outside of our industry are also starting to appreciate this.
Many thanks to you all and stay safe.
Chief Executive Officer
Crew Management, V.Group