Covid-19 Restrictions & Crew Changes
In view of the ongoing developing situation and different communications and instructions being issued by Sanitary Authorities of the Argentine Government we have chosen to send a consolidated daily report at the closing of working hours with an update of the day’s news.
National Holidays: December 7th and 08th. Tuesday, December 08th is Immaculate Conception Day and Monday, December 07th is a “bridge holiday”.
Wednesday, November 25th: Tomorrow is National Merchant Mariner Day. All tug boat services will be rendered with minimal watches. Nevertheless tug boat service will be performed and no delays are expected.
Covid-19: Slowly the restrictions are being relaxed. Contagion cases are diminishing steadily as we move into summer. Local flights are being resumed and long distance passenger train services started yesterday to limited destinations. Many local restrictions are in place but nationwide we hope to enjoy a respite until either the second wave arrives or we get vaccinated.
Cargill Quebracho, San Lorenzo: Quebracho has advised they will be closing between November 30th and December 12th, 2020 and between January 25th and February 07th, 2021 for routine maintenance and renewal work.
Crew changes Argentina: The borders remain closed and crew changes are not permitted. Despite earlier optimism plans to restart internal flights as from October 01st have been postponed until further notice. On this basis it is difficult to be optimistic regarding the opening of the border restrictions and regular international flights within the coming weeks. The Immigration Department have advised that there will be a review of the situation on November 29th to consider changes that MAY be implemented.
Crew changes Uruguay: On and Off signing crew are allowed entry into the country under very strict restrictions. On signers must have a prior negative Covid 19 test 72 hours prior being allowed entry. Crew members boarding are not allowed to stop at any stage between landing at the airport (Montevideo) and boarding the vessel. Once onboard the vessel they must comply with a 14 day quarantine onboard before being allowed to work. Departing crew must proceed directly from the vessel to the airport. Considering that there are at the moment few international flights these requirements make it very difficult for crew members to enter or leave the country. Additionally to this before a boarding crew member is allowed permit of entry the agreement of Sanitary Authority, Immigration and CoastGuard must be obtained.
The best way of achieving a successful crew change at Uruguay is to have the vessel do this OUTBOUND at Recalada/Montevideo anchorage when the vessel’s schedule is not bound so much by weather and port congestions.
Crew changes Chile: Chilean colleagues have supplied us with the following detail to proceed for crew changes in Chile:
Kindly note a protocol has been issued to allow crew changes while our borders are still closed for non Chilean citizens, here you will find requiring points to be complied with:
Authorities are allowing for crew members to disembark and take their flights from Chile to their final destinations with following conditions:
• Providing all information about the intended disembarking to the Health, Maritime, Migration Authorities via Agency at least 72 hours in advance including names, citizenship, passport number, name of vessel, and full repatriation flight schedule (attached file with data requested).
• Completing a 14 days quarantine period on board in good health condition since the vessel sailed from the last foreign port prior to disembarking in Chile.
• Submitting the on-line affidavit for travelers to prevent Coronavirus diseases (attached).
• Not presenting any symptoms of COVID19 (Health Service may order a health check at any time)
• Moving directly from the disembarking port to the airport or designated sanitary residence (in case 14 days of quarantine not completed). Max. period permitted in the hotel is 5 days.
• Wearing personal health protection items such as face mask, face shield, gloves and hand sanitizer while in our country.
We need to send to Ministry of Transport a few points (attached file with data requested).
Once received and double checked, they will send the approval to Consulate where joiner will come from.
The crew member must going personally to the respective Consulate, for taking a picture, fingerprint.
If all going well, the consulate will notify to Immigration, Health Service and sanitary borders, that crew member can travel and get in to Chilean territory.
Along with this a safe-conduct document will be provided. This document will be mandatory and must be presented on arrival to Chile.
IMPORTANT: Only crew members who does not require Chilean visa to come to Chile can apply to safe-conduct.
Once arrived to Chile.
At any time, must wear facial mask and carry own protective items for COVID-19
Immigration would check that all documents are in order, if so, will be provided the SHORE PASS (crew member immigration card).
The Health Inspector will make an evaluation of crew health, if do not have any symptom of COVID 19, her entry will be granted.
In case to have any symptom or to result positive in the preliminary Covid test, would be isolated and the entry would be denied.
Transportation from International airport to the port must be exclusive. So, domestic flights are not permitted and either intercity buses service (commercial).
Also important for both, on signers and off signers, is to have tentative flight schedule (complete route), this is necessary to start formalities with authorities.
We estimate about 5-7 business days to complete formalities.
Necochea: Port open since October 05th at 0900 hours. The last closure was on October 02nd at 1045 hours due to 3.00 meter waves and high winds.
Bahia Blanca: The 14 day quarantine for incoming vessels will be waived for vessels whose last port of call is Brazil. Nevertheless the previous regulation for other last ports of call will remain in place. This quarantine can be excepted if the terminal where the vessel will load produces proof that an earlier berthing is required.
Will keep you posted.
Antares Servicios Maritimos S.A.
For more information