Ghana to fine vessels with unvaccinated crew
Ghana is set to fine vessels that have crew members or passengers that are not vaccinated against COVID-19 onboard, P&I Club Gard has warned shipping lines.
In an alert issued last week, Gard said its local correspondents in Ghana, Sheringham P&I Services, advised that Ghana Port Health Service would impose a $3,500 fine on any vessel with unvaccinated seafarers or passengers arriving in the country.
An original implementation date of 15 January was set, however, the authorities have now decided to allow for a grace period, which is yet to be determined.
Gard noted it was also unclear if the $3,500 fine applied to the vessel as a whole or for each individual unvaccinated crew member or passenger. Upon payment of the fine, all unvaccinated personnel will receive the Johnson & Johnson jab from the local health authority.
The club recommended having crew vaccinated with any World Health Organisation (WHO) approved COVID-19 vaccine if a vessel was to be calling Ghana.
“We recommend owners whose vessels are planning to call ports in Ghana to check to see if the crew on board are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are carrying vaccination certificates as proof to avoid any delays or other issues upon arrival in Ghanaian ports,” Gard stated.
Many international seafarers remain unvaccinated due to slow rollouts in their home countries and difficulties in getting vaccinations for the shipboard crew in many parts of the world. Reports indicate that less than 60% of seafarers have so far been vaccinated globally.