Spanish ferry operator Baleària announced it is working towards being the first shipping line in the world to obtain the Global Safe Site COVID-19 badge at the highest level (Excellence) from French class Bureau Veritas.
This badge certifies that the company’s ships and ferry terminals implement specific procedures, cleaning plans, organisational and personal protective measures to prevent COVID-19.
The carrier will also periodically be testing for the possible presence of the virus on surfaces in order to obtain the certificate at Excellence level.
This certificate guarantee efforts going beyond the guidelines of the Spanish Ministry of Health and the WHO, in terms of safety and cleaning.
Namely, certification will cover 16 of the company’s ships. Of these, 12 currently in operation and an additional four are expected to enter service when the current restrictions on passenger travel are lifted. It will also cover the two ferry terminals that Baleària manages directly (Dénia and Valencia).
Certification is expected to be issued in early June, and will be renewed every 6 months with periodic inspections.
To obtain the certificate at the Excellence level, for Bureau Veritas will examine the effectiveness of its programme by measuring appropriate disinfection of surfaces to deal with any possible presence of COVID-19, through periodic inspections conducted by a laboratory.
For the initial analysis samples will be taken from 12 ships and 2 ferry terminals, with 19 analyses being performed, to be repeated each month onboard two of the ships and at one ferry terminal. If a positive result is detected for any of the ships or facilities, an exceptional analysis will be conducted.
Travel by sea is better able than any other to guarantee safety, since the large spaces available on board allow distance to be maintained between passengers,
…says Baleària’s president, Adolfo Utor.
In addition, the audit will systematically check the personal hygiene and social distancing provisions, the handling of PPE and identification of sensitive workers, among others.
In terms of organisational measures, the aspects to be analysed include cleaning and periodic disinfection, capacity reduction, staggered arrivals and departures, and measures to deal with infection or suspected cases.
The inspection will lastly cover the cleaning and disinfection of the facilities, the adaptation of spaces and air renewal plans.