Repatriation of over 600 i-Kiribati seafarers completed

Chamber of Shipping > Blog > News > International > Repatriation of over 600 i-Kiribati seafarers completed

The full repatriation of over 600 i-Kiribati seafarers to Tarawa, capital of the Republic of Kiribati, has been completed.  This week, six seafarers arrived in Tarawa, marking the end of a two-year period of repatriation blighted by pandemic-related restrictions and delays.  The repatriation was led by a coalition of employers, unions and NGOs, in tandem with the government of Kiribati, who successfully navigated global travel restrictions and shifting covid protocols, to return the seafarers home.  The seafarers returned in groups due to pandemic-related travel restrictions across the globe. From November 2020 – April 2021, 362 Kiribati seafarers returned via Fiji to Tarawa on various flights organised by the Kiribati government. In November 2021, 141 Kiribati seafarers returned on a vessel hired by their employer.  At the start of 2022, 73 seafarers were repatriated in groups of around 10 on flights chartered by the Kiribati government, employers, and a religious organisation that supports seafarers. The remaining six seafarers repatriated from Fiji this week and will complete their quarantine in a government facility, as have all the repatriated seafarers both before departing and upon arrival.

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