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Bureau of Quarantine sets new guidelines on disembarking seafarers

BoQ sets new guidelines on disembarking seafarers
Genivi Verdejo June 8, 2022

THE Bureau of Quarantine (BoQ) has issued new guidelines on crew change to align with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) resolution to strengthen the Covid 19 response.

Ferdinand Salcedo, director, said Memorandum Circular (MC) 2022- 6 sets the guidelines for Filipino and foreign seafarers who will disembark within Philippine territorial waters. The MC was issued to all manning, recruitment agencies, and shipping agencies of cargo vessels, quarantine medical officers, quarantine nurses, and all other concerned agencies.

BoQ issued the supplemental guidelines for arriving seafarers via seaport in alignment with IATF Resolution 164-B. The IATF resolution applies to arriving foreign nationals who are part of the joint military exercises, and the quarantine guidelines for a crew change.

BoQ will require the concerned focal manning agency and shipping agency to have their seafarers carry an acceptable proof of vaccination, as set out in the IATF Resolution 164-B Section A (3) and Resolution 168.

The quarantine medical clearance must be issued within 24 hours by the quarantine boarding officer on duty for foreign seafarers and the profiling before disembarkation is valid for 24 hours only.

The Department of Health (DoH) approved mandatory or stringent quarantine facility needs proof of reservation for unvaccinated, partially vaccinated and vaccinated seafarers without a booster.

It will also require a negative RT-PCR test by a DoH-approved laboratory upon arrival at their quarantine facility or antigen for the Covid-19 test supervised by the QMO on duty at OSS designated area.

The seafarers who will test positive with the RT-PCR/Antigen test for Covid 19 must follow the quarantine rules. Fully vaccinated seafarers are required to undergo the seven-day mandatory quarantine in a DoH-approved stringent quarantine facility provided that the seafarers will not manifest any signs and symptoms, three days before discharge which is on the eighth day.

For non-vaccinated seafarers, they will be quarantined for 10 days provided that they will not manifest any signs and symptoms, three days before discharge which is on the 11th day.

All crew onboard with a Covid-19 documented case must submit to a five-day quarantine in an accredited stringent facility and be tested with RT- PCR on the fifth day.

The vessel with Covid-19 reported case is required to undergo disinfection under the supervision of the BOQ personnel.