In a letter to the leadership of the Ministry of Shipping, the president of the Panhellenic Union of Merchant Marine Masters, Emmanouil Tsikalakis, refers to the problem of trapped sailors and calls for initiatives to facilitate the repatriation of Greek seafarers.
"As you know, the problem continues internationally with the impossibility of timely repatriation of many sailors from the ships on which they serve. Colleagues, who are scheduled to travel to replace them, face similar obstacles.
This situation has exceeded the limits of the Sailors' endurance, either because of their continued recruitment for many months after the expiration of their contracts or because the colleagues who would be recruited in their place continue to be unemployed.
In both cases, there are serious social problems, as well as issues related to the Health of the Marines and the Safety of Ships.
We do not overlook the fact that this is a Global Issue.
As well as the efforts that YNANAP has made so far, either on its own or after our intervention.
Given that our country is a naval country, initiatives must be constantly taken, which will help remove deadlocks for our sailors.
In this context, we request your immediate intervention to every competent body of the State in order to facilitate the repatriation of the Greek Sailors. One of these measures should be the abolition of the mandatory molecular test (PCR) 72 hours before their entry into Greece.
That is, to be able to travel with the airlines that accept to transport passengers only by completing the Incoming Tracking Form (P.L.F.) and to be tested when they arrive at a Greek airport.
In any case, we again ask for the vaccination of the Greek Navy against the coronavirus to be planned and carried out as a matter of priority.
This is self-evident and necessary due to the nature of the maritime profession.
It will contribute to the protection of Health and to the facilitation of their movements around the world since they will be provided with the relevant Vaccination Certificate.
We call on the State to actively support the Greek Sailors.
The services they offer in our country are valuable in every critical situation.
They continue to do the same today and under the adverse conditions that have arisen due to the pandemic".