Samherji looking into quarantine options for workers on board ships to avoid spread of virus

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During two weeks the entire society has changed due to the pandemic, the same has the fishing industry, and now measures to avoid spread of the virus is taken on multiple levels at companies. 

One of the largest Icelandic Seafood companies, Samherji, is considering implementing quarantine periods for workers on vessels to avoid the spread of the corona virus, reports Fiskerforum.

“A ship is a workplace where the crew members are very close to each other, so you have to think of the best solutions. In itself, there is no risk of infection at sea as long as no-one is infected. Because of this proximity, the idea was brought up that the crew could be in some kind of quarantine on board for as long as possible, thus reducing the likelihood of transmission,’ CEO of Samherji, Kristján Vilhelmsson, said to Fiskerforum.

Stating that there is an idea of staying on the workers staying on board for longer periods to avoid spread by changing the crew often. How long the crew is to stay on board is entirely up to the crew.

“Samherji’s goal is to do what is possible to keep employees safe from infection while protecting their jobs at the same time. It is only possible with a synchronised effort. This way, we believe we can return to normal operations when the pandemic is over, and no customers overseas will have forgotten us,” said Kristján Vilhelmsson said.

Kristján Vilhelmsson tells that he is aware that there is a tradition for workers to take many trips in a row without time onshore, which will make this idea difficult, but also states that this arrangement could increase the chance of keeping ships in operation.

At the moment staff working has been reduced by 50% at Samherji, and as the situation is changing all the time it is still unknown what the long time effects will be, as the demand on fresh fish is down worldwide because of the closed hospitality sector.

Read also: “The hospitality sector in the US is a lot bigger than in other countries, therefore the effect of this will be much greater”