Protocol for crew changes during Covid-19 pandemic

Status on Crew Changes Malta as of November 2020

The impact Covid-19 has had on seafarers has been widely reported since the start of this pandemic. As the situation with the virus continues, hundreds of thousands of seafarers are impacted. Since early summer, the issues around crew changes have improved, following the first International Summit on crew changes. But the crisis is far from over. Lots of work still needs to be done to improve the situation for crew members and crew changes.

With the pandemic still at large, seafarers are continuing to carry out their vital role in moving vessels and goods around the planet. Flagport is continuously monitoring the Covid-19 restrictions and the impact it’s having on the yacht and shipping industry, specifically, its impact on crew changes in Malta.

Below you can find the latest information about Crew Changes Malta.


Covid-19 Protocol for Crew Changes Malta

As of 11/12/2020.


List of Safe Corridor Countries


The list below is subject to change, it will be reviewed and updated if needed, every Friday at midday. 

  • Andorra
  • Australia
  • Austria*
  • Belgium*
  • Bulgaria*
  • Canada
  • China
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic*
  • Croatia
  • Denmark, Estonia
  • Finland
  • France*
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary*
  • Iceland
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland*
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Jordan
  • Latvia
  • Lebanon
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Monaco
  • Morocco
  • Netherlands*
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Poland*
  • Portugal*
  • Romania
  • Rwanda
  • San Marino
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • South Korea
  • Spain*
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland*
  • Thailand
  • Tunisia*
  • Turkey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom*
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City


*Crew members coming from these countries need to provide negative PCR test 48-72 hours before arrival in Malta.


Crew members coming from other countries on this list have no restrictions as they arrive in Malta.


For all other countries, crew members coming from countries, not on this list need to provide a negative PCR test 48-72 hours before arrival. Also, the crew needs to remain in quarantine during their stay in Malta, until their vessel arrives. Once the vessel has arrived they can board the vessel but remain in quarantine on board the vessel. The same goes for off-signers, they need to stay in quarantine during their stay in Malta while waiting for their flight.


In addition, per Legal Notice 244 as of September 2020, the following applies:


  1. The travel of persons employed as crew onboard seagoing ships for repatriation and change of crew is considered as necessary and essential and an exemption, in terms of Legal Notice 244 of 2020, as amended, may be granted for crew members to join ships at Maltese Ports and Anchorages.
  2. Crew changes for persons originating from countries listed in LN 244 of 2020, as amended are subject to the requirements as applicable to other travellers’ inline:
    • Standard Operating Procedure for Public Health Travel Declaration Forms
    • Standard Operating Procedure for Passenger Locator Forms
  3. Crew changes from other countries are permitted subject to compliance with the following:
    • Submission of forms as applicable in para 2.
    • Seafarers (crew) intending to join a ship in Malta be tested for the presence of the COVID-19 virus in an accredited laboratory, 48-72 hours before their travelling to Malta.
    • Negative results and clean bill of health to be forwarded to the Port Health Medic on and copied to for approval and following which travel to Malta will be permitted. Results not in the English language are to be accompanied by a translation and certified by the Embassy.
    • Clearance by the Port Health Medic is to be attached to the Public Health Travel Declaration Form and presented to the check-in desk on departure.
    • Masks/Visors are to be worn by the passenger during the flight, at the Malta International Airport and during transport.
    • Upon arrival, crew members are to be picked up by a company representative and proceed directly to the vessel, where they are to remain isolated for 14 full days.
    • In the case, that crew must wait for a number of hours for the arrival of the vessel they are to proceed directly to temporary accommodation and stay in isolation until they are transferred onto the vessel. Location is to be communicated to the Port Health Medic and copied to
    • Crew joining a vessel which is to remain in any Maltese Port is to be admitted directly into quarantine for 14 full days isolated and tested for the presence of the Covid-19 virus on their 13th day of quarantine. The test result is to be communicated to the Port Health Medic.
    • On arrival of the new crew members on-board, the relieved seafarers would proceed directly to the airport to take their outbound flight or to self-isolation until they are due to take their outbound flight.
    • PPEs and other precautionary measures as required by Health Authorities to be complied with throughout the whole passage.


Flagport stands ready to support you with all matters concerning Malta. We would be pleased to assist you by acting as a conduit with local authorities if required.  For further updates about Yacht registration matters please follow this link.