Seafarers declared 'Key Workers'; entitled to easements in traveling and quarantining

MSS Galena makes maiden call at Male’ Commercial Harbor on November 23, 2021. (Sun Photo/Mohamed Hayyan)

Seafarers have been categorized as 'Key Workers' – subsequent to which they will be entitled to easements in traveling and quarantining.

A circular publicized by the Transport Ministry today read that the easements will be given to seafarers in line with the protocols established for the sector, in addition to the protocols set out by Maldivian authorities.

With this change, additional matters in the addition to giving easements for seafarers will be prioritized. This includes prioritizing their vaccination. Prior to this, only health sector workers, security forces, airport workers and tourism industry workers were prioritized for vaccination in the Maldives.

United Nations body dealing with maritime issues, International Maritime Organization (IMO), instructed member countries to act as aforementioned in last year's April.

Not being categorized as 'Key Workers' was one of the main concerns of seafarers in Maldives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Being deprived of many easements and benefits entitled to seafarers subsequently – they have lodged complaints with the government and the parliament urging solutions on multiple occassions.