The issue of unvaccinated sailors is deepening a global supply chain crisis in the international shipping industry, which has warned that half of the world’s seafarers are from countries where COVID-19 vaccines are not yet available or the rollout is slow.
Shipping bodies are concerned that the number of seafarers being impacted is on the rise due to travel restrictions imposed by governments in response to new variants, and calls are now growing to ensure sailors receive priority vaccines.
The International Chamber of Shipping, a trade association known as the ICS, said it is receiving reports that some of the world’s 1.7 million seafarers are unable to disembark from their vessels as countries introduce vaccine requirements at their borders.
The ICS told the Financial Times it had learned that some sailors were being blocked entry at ports because they had not received a specific COVID-19 vaccine, and that this is causing a so-called “crew change crisis” that brings problems for the supply chain.
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