Hong Kong is likely to receive fewer bunker-only calls again in the coming months. File Image / Pixabay
The authorities in Hong Kong have tightened their COVID-19 lockdown measures, cutting the range of vessels that are allowed to call there for bunkers only.
Some 15 new countries have been added to Hong Kong's high-risk list for COVID-19, meaning vessels or seafarers having visited them within the previous 21 days would need to quarantine before receiving fuel, bunker supplier Arte Bunkering said in an emailed note to customers on Thursday.
The new countries added to the list are Bangladesh, Cambodia, France, Greece, Iran, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Spain, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE and the US. These are in addition to the ten countries already on the high-risk list: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa and the UK.
The inconvenience of having to quarantine before receiving fuel means bunker-only calls are effectively banned for ships having visited these countries recently. Bunker demand in Hong Kong is likely to drop as a result, as it did in response to previous restrictions introduced last summer and only recently lifted.