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CF Sharp working to repatriate 7,000 crew, mostly for NCLH

PHOTO: CF SHARP Crew arrive at quarantine hotel.jpg
On arrival in Manila, crew are transferred to hotels for their mandatory quarantine
CF Sharp Crew Management continues efforts to repatriate an estimated 7,000 crew for its principal clients, particularly Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings.

This includes crew for Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises and their catering partner Apollo.

Manila hotels for quarantine

So far, the Manila-based agency has been able to handle everything, including issuance of more than 1,200 tickets and bookings of hotel rooms for compulsory quarantine.

This week, via private charter flights, CF Sharp has repatriated 440 crew on Wednesday and 566 on Thursday, with accommodations secured in Manila. On Friday another 165 crew are due to arrive, with a group of 65 expected on Saturday afternoon.

A case for reduced quarantine on arrival

The agency said that with no COVID-19 cases on NCLH ships and with the seafarers already having undertaken 14 days' self-quarantine on board prior to arrival in the Philippines, there is a good argument for these seafarers to be allowed a short self-quarantine in the hotels before proceeding home. It is understood the Philippine government’s Inter Agency Task Group is working on new guidelines to allow for home quarantine.

Three more charter flights next week

Three more charter flights are expected next week — two from Los Angeles and one from Dubai — with at least 1,100. crew expected. Yet some 4,000 more crew will remain to get home.

Crew may still deploy in restricted circumstances

CF Sharpe said it's been advised it may continue to deploy crew within restricted circumstances. The agency has the facility to issue employment contracts in-house and does not need prior approval, so will continue to deploy seafarers, albeit that's limited to flight availability and so long as there are no requirements for visas and that the seafarer’s documents are all valid.