Italy's port administrations have accepted a request from the country's ship operators to revise regular crewing arrangements in view of the halt to passenger volumes on services to and from Italy's many small islands following the Covid-19 national health emergency.
Confitarma and Assarmatori, the two main operators' associations, are seeking to reduce temporarily the number of onboard crew based on passenger and freight loads transported on each crossing and therefore reduce costs in ensuring reduced lifeline services.
Services with fewer crew members would limit the possibilities of exposure to the disease to seafarers, the associations said.
A planned meeting in Rome to discuss terms of the agreements between employers and unions will involve major operators such as Grimaldi, Moby, Tirrenea, Grandi Navi Veloci, Adria Ferries and Corsica Ferries.
The meeting is expected to recommend that port authorities, operators and union agree urgent provisional arrangements for a maximum 90 days, limited to the period of the national health emergency.