Coronavirus definition:

The virus was firstly detected in the central city of Wuhan, China. It causes a type of pneumonia and includes signs of infection including respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.

In the first place, the World Health Organization alerts that the principles to reduce the general risk of transmission of acute respiratory infections:

  1. Avoiding close contact with people suffering from acute respiratory infections.
  2. Frequent handwashing, especially after direct contact with ill people or their environment.
  3. Avoiding unprotected contact with farm or wild animals.
  4. People with symptoms of acute respiratory infection should cover coughs and sneezes with disposable tissues or clothing, and wash hands.

# Recommendations on how to stay protected from the virus

Therefore, in efforts to tackle the outbreak and protect shipping and seafarers from the virus, key players issued guidance on protection and combat of the virus’ spread.

DatePublisherName of PublicationInformation
31 January 2020IMOCircular Letter No.4203The circular provides information and guidance, based on recommendations developed WHO and the Division of Healthcare Management and Occupational Safety and Health, United Nations, on the precautions to be taken to minimize risks to delegates attending meetings at IMO following the recent outbreak of novel coronavirus.
31 January 2020IMOCircular Letter No.4204The circular provides information and guidance, based on recommendations developed by the World Health Organization (WHO), on the precautions to be taken to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships from the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
28 January 2020Budd Group, FranceCircular (2019-nCoV)  The circular provides advice for those suffering from the symptoms of a respiratory illness.
27 January 2020USCG New OrleansMarine Safety Information Bulletin, MSIB XX-20The Bulletin advises that vessels calling within COPT will receive an email if the “Notice of Arrival’ declares that the vessel had called to China within last five ports of call.

Failure to report the above can lead to a civil penalty of up to $94,219.

 

29 January 2020Inchcape Shipping Services, Kuwaiti port authorities They issued a statement according to which all ship master’s coming directly or transiting China ports, are kindly requested to ensure to provide us a statement that no symptoms was observed such as high temperature, sore throat, coughing or breathing difficulties.
30 January 2020United Arab EmiratesCircular No (1) 2020The circular notes that all the vessels that had visited any Chinese port in the previous 30 days, should provide a statement that crew have no symptoms.
31 January 2020USCG Delaware BayMarine Safety Information BulletinThe bulletin highlights the measures that the ships calling the Delaware Bay should follow in case of any crew experiencing symptoms, also reporting of any symptoms concerning passengers or crew that may have departed the vessel.
January 2020USCGMarine Safety Information Bulletin MSIB 01-2020This bulletin provides guidance on reporting any sick or deceased crew/passenger, informs of quarantine station points.
31 January 2020Aus Ship P&IBulletinThe bulletin includes advises issued by the Australian Government on how to combat the spread of the virus.
31 January 2020Brazmar Marine ServicesNo 4/2020/SEI/GIMTV/GGPAF/DIRE5/ANVISAThe bulletin highlights that any suspected cases should be treated in isolation and with use of surgical masks.
31 January 2020Pandi Liquidadores S.R.LCircular 019/2020Although Argentina remains a low-risk country, the country demands that any symptoms of infection or any similar symptoms with the virus should be reported.
28 January 2020Transport MaltaMerchant Shipping Notice 157The marine notice provides additional recommendatory measures on Coronavirus protection concerning those onboard.
31 January 2020Gibraltar Port AuthorityCoronavirus Declaration for-000156The Declaration should be completed by every vessel that will call Gibraltar at either the  Western Anchorage, East anchorage, North Anchorage, any alongside berth, Quick turnarounds, medical disembarkations, OPLA and OPLB.
29 January 2020Panama Canal AuthorityAdvisory to shipping No. A-04-2020The marine notice advises safety measures for vessels arriving at Panama Canal waters, for port calls or transit.
30 January 2020Kuantan Port AuthorityCircular 01/2020Kuantan Port Authority has issued port circular 01/2020 which provides measures in Kuantan Port. This includes:

  • At least 48h prior to arrival, agent to advise the authorities if vessel’s last three ports included a Chinese port
  • Screening at anchorage prior to berthing
  • Crew not allowed to disembark without permission from Medical Officer, even after screening
  • Crew with history of travel from, or passport issued at, Hubei Province will not be allowed to disembark
31 January 2020Pandiman Philippines IncMemoPhilippine Ports Authorities (PPA) advise:

  • Ports remain open to all ships even from those originating from China and its Special Administrative Regions (SARs).
  • The only conditions are the non-disembarkation of vessel crew and no visitors allowed while docked in any PPA-controlled port or at anchorage.
  • Ships calling in the Philippines more than 14 days after calling out at a port in China or its SARs shall be allowed to dock without restrictions
January 2020Liberia Maritime AuthorityMARINE ADVISORY: 03/2020 The Authority informs Shipowners/Operators/Recognized Organizations, Crewing Agents of the risks and challenges of the virus.
February 2020Hong Kong Marine DepartmentMerchant marine shipping information noteThe purpose of this Note is to promulgate IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 on the precautions to be taken to minimize risks to seafarers, passengers and others on board ships from novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
2 February 2020USCGMarine Safety Information Bulletin 02-20The bulletin provides additional information and guidance to the maritime community regarding the current novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) outbreak.
2 February 2020Cyprus Shipping Deputy MinistryCircular No. 03/2020 The circular highlights that all owners and managers of ships flying the Cyprus Flag are strongly urged to promulgate information on the basis of IMO Circular Letter No. 4204 to ensure that seafarers, passengers and others on board ships are provided with accurate and relevant information on the coronavirus outbreak and on the measures to reduce the risk of exposure if they are likely to be engaged on ships trading to and from ports in coronavirus-affected States.
3 February 2020MPA SingaporePort Marine Circular No.02Provides health advisory for;

  • operators, owners, masters, persons-in-charge and crew members of harbour and pleasure craft
  • shore personnel visiting ships alongside the wharves and at the anchorages
  • shipowners, ship managers, agents and masters of Singapore Registered Ships
3 February 2020MPA SingaporePort Marine Circular No.03Provides the National Environment Agency’s (Port Health Office) requirements to submit the Maritime Declaration of Health to the Port Health Office.
3 February 2020Huatai Insurance Agency and Consultant Service LtdBulletinThe Bulletin summarizes the protection and control measures implemented by the port Authorities of each major Chinese port.
4 February 2020Aus Ship P&IBulletinThe bulletin is an addition to the existent one, with the Club informing that the Australian Government are implementing enhanced risk assessments on all international vessels calling into Australia.
4 February 2020JF, Bangladesh, LtdCircularThe circular provides information on the measures taken for the utmost protection from the coronavirus.
4 February 2020Spark International For vessels arriving at Korean ports from or via China, the National Quarantine Station and related authorities have set up an enhanced screening measures for the crew onboard.

National Quarantine Station officers are boarding those vessels to check the body temperatures of each crew along with handing out questionnaires to be filled out personally by all crew members.

4 February 2020Alejandro Vega Health authorities require that when vessels arriving in Argentina from China or that have operated in a port of that country, photocopies of the last 48 hours of the Medical Record on board, as well as the latest body temperature report of crew members and passengers must be attached in Free Practique request in TAD System. (Distance Procedure System – Health Authorities electronic system).
5 February 2020Bahamas Maritime AuthorityTechnical alert Version No. 1.2 It provides information on the widely reported outbreak of novel coronavirus.
5 February 2020MPA SingaporePORT MARINE CIRCULAR NO. 03 OF 2020According to the circular:

  • All arriving vessels that have called at ports in China in the past 14 days;
  • All arriving vessels with crew/passengers who have travelled
    to mainland China in the past 14 days

should submit the Maritime Declaration of Health to the Port Health Office. 

6 February 2020Korean RegisterNotice of new Coronavirus (CoV) infectionThe notice includes the announcement made by the anti-epidemic task force in the area of Jingjinag-city, China.
6 February 2020Korean Register KR informs of restrictions concerning ships entering or leaving Taiwan:

  • Taiwan by inspector’s thermal regulation, coughing or breathing shortages, regardless of whether taking the medications for cough, etc., upon arrival Airport / shall notify the inspectors of the port immediately.
  • If a vessel has visited a Chinese port within 14 days, the crew cannot issue a landing permit.
  • Chinese crew cannot issue coastal passes by port authorities and does not grant landing permits to all Taiwan ports.
  • All Chinese Are refused to enter Taiwan at the airport
  • Foreigners who visit China within 14 days prior to entering Taiwan are not allowed to (Example: the crew change, CDI, checks, etc)
  • Hong Kong and Macao locals arriving in Taiwan are 14 should be under home quarantine for one or hotels.
6 February 2020AIV Private Limited, PakistanTravel Advisory for the prevention and control of novel coronavirus Governmental department Port Health Establishment issued a travel advisory on 1 February that includes:

  • Vessels must submit a health declaration that there are no symptoms on board.
  • No crew disembarkation until clearance from Port Health is obtained.
  • Suspected infected vessels will be isolated at outer anchorages.

The Port Qasim Authority further requires that crew from foreign vessels are not allowed to disembark.

6 February 2020Pandiman Philippines IncCircular 2020-0034 The circular includes separate requirements to be followed by cruise ships and cargo vessels.
6 February 2020Brazmar, BrazilAction to be expected of the Port Health Authority  Law firm SMA have provided advice on what to expect from Brazilian authorities should infection be suspected on board.
6 February 2020Spica Services, Vietnam For the time being, Vietnamese authorities haven't issued an official statement; Yet, North's correspondents report that:

  • In Vung Ang port located in Vung Ang Economic Freezone and Qui Nhon Port checks and restrictions have reportedly been put in place which mirror those in China. Crew may not be allowed off the ship but that the ship may call.
  • For the rest of the country, including Hongai, correspondents are not aware of any quarantine restrictions at this stage.
  • Flights to mainland China remain suspended.
  • Strongly recommend that any ships due to call Vietnamese ports liaise closely with their appointed agents as agents will have the most recent updates on the steps being taken in the specific ports.
6 February 2020Spica Services, Thailand Port Authority of Thailand requires the Master to complete and submit information 24 hours prior to the vessel’s arrival:

  • Information of conveyance (Tor.1 Form).
  • Maritime information of health via radio telegram (Tor.2 form).
  • Maritime declaration of health (Tor.3 form).
  • Last port of call / port clearance.

In case, the last port of call is China and departure was within 14 days, Quarantine Office shall also require the Master to complete their questionnaire prior to berthing of the vessel.

If crew has experienced any illness, fever or respiratory problems, quarantine officer may attend on board for investigation.

6 February 2020Intermarc Services, Sri Lanka 
  • In addition to the routine declaration, all arriving vessels are required to declare details of all ports of call within the past 14 days.
  • Vessel masters are also required to provide a further health status on board declaration including health issues of crew and or flu like symptoms 12 hours prior to vessel arrival.
  • Vessels are also required to report on their onboard health status to Port Control at their first point of contact.
  • Health declaration forms have also been provided to all local agents to be passed on to calling vessels and is required to be completed and submitted to authorities for consideration.
  • It is mandatory for all crew and passengers landing ashore to fill out a Health Declaration Form for screening by health authorities. Any suspected patients or those with travel history to WHO categorized very high-risk countries within the last 14 days may not be provided with the relevant medical clearances by authorities.
  • Prior approval from authorities is required to be obtained for any crew changes.
  • Presently all port activities are ongoing as normal without any issues.
6 February 2020CameroonPublic Notice No. 0455/20A notice has been issued by the Port of Douala that advises of following measures to be taken:

  • Vessels from “countries at risk” must wait at base buoy for a minimum of 14 days before being allowed to proceed into the channel
  • After 14 days, port health service will board vessel at base buoy to consider clearance
  • Upon berthing, the port health service will be the first to board. Other administrations and services must wait for free pratique before boaridng
  • Deliveries to the vessel at base buoy is prohibited

Crew changes must be carried out under full supervision of port health service

10 February 2020Hong Kong Shipowners Association The Government has imposed a 14-day compulsory quarantine on all the people entering Hong Kong from the Chinese Mainland irrespective of their nationalities.

You may find the exemption arrangement under Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation here and the gazettal of the Compulsory Quarantine of Certain Persons Arriving at Hong Kong Regulation and Prevention and Control of Disease (Disclosure of Information) Regulation here.

10 February 2020Nisomar Ltd., KenyaPublic noticeKenyan Ports Authority has issued a note for Port of Mombasa for vessels that have called at China within last 14 days or crew that have travelled to China in last 14 days.

All vessels arriving from China must fill out Maritime Declaration of Health that states health status of crew.

Submit in advance:

  • crew list
  • a ‘voyage memo’ (voyage details to show vessel movements for last 14 days)
  • a valid ship control or exemption certificate
13 February 2020France North Club issued Coronavirus situation in French ports:

  • Dunkirk: no specific measure has been implemented by the Port Authorities to date nor has any specific information been issued to the attention of local Agents
  • Le Havre: A “sanitary watch” has been ordered by the Harbour Master’s office, consisting in the obligation for Masters of vessels calling in port to notify immediately their Agent and fill in a “Déclaration Maritime de Santé” (DMS – health maritime declaration form) in case of any signs of pathology amongst the crew.
  • Rouen: A “sanitary watch” has been ordered by the Harbour Master’s office, consisting in the obligation for Masters of vessels calling in port to notify immediately their Agent and fill in a “Déclaration Maritime de Santé” (DMS – health maritime declaration form) in case of any signs of pathology amongst the crew.
  • Brest: No specific measure implemented in Brest to date. The Harbor Master has only asked Agents to pay specific attention to vessel with Asian crewmembers onboard or regarding crew changes with transits via Hong Kong or Singapore
  • Lorient: Agents have been asked to have all vessels calling fill in a questionnaire drafted by the local Port Authorities detailing crew movements for the past 14 days and enquiring about possible symptoms related to the illness (copy enclosed) + to hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health.
  • Nantes/St Nazaire/Donges/Montoire: Agents have been asked to display and hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health.
  • La Rochelle/La Pallice: Agents have been asked to notify the Harbor Master’s office of any incoming vessel with Chinese crew onboard or having called in a Chinese port over the last 15 days, in which case these vessels are compelled to fill in a DMS before they can get clearance to berth.
  • Bordeaux/Ambes/Blaye/Bassens: Agents have been asked to display and hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health.
  • Bayonne: Agents have been asked to display and hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health.
  • Sète: Agents have been asked to display and hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health + to notify the Harbor Master’s office of any incoming vessel with Chinese crew onboard
  • Port-Vendres: no specific measure has been implemented by the Port Authorities to date nor has any specific information been issued to the attention of local Agents

Marseille/Fos/Lavera: Agents have been asked to display and hand out to all incoming vessels the “TRAVELLERS’ ADVICE” flyers issued by the French Ministry of Health.

# The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS)

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) recently issued its recommendations in order to limit coronavirus's spread.

The guidance is in line with WHO’s advice, informing that if the recommended measures are taken, there should be no ‘unnecessary restrictions of international traffic’.

The advice go as follows:

  • Exit screening at ports in the affected areas to detect symptomatic travelers and prevent the exportation of the disease. This includes checking for signs and symptoms and keeping confirmed cases under isolation and treatment.
  • Implementing health information campaigns to raise awareness on how to receive assistance if someone is showing symptoms.
  • Collaborating with public health authorities for case management on board ships, should a traveller with symptoms be detected.

# BIMCO

In late January, BIMCO published a statement noting that

As a consequence of the current spread of Coronavirus, BIMCO has decided that no BIMCO staff can travel to the Far East until further notice. This decision extends to excluding anyone from personally attending any BIMCO training course, subcommittee meeting, working group, etc. who has been to China in the 14 days prior to the planned event.

# Australian Port Authority

Australia highlighted that there was a failure on adequate checks for the coronavirus infections on vessels entering Australian ports.

In light of this, Maritime Union of Australia National Secretary, Paddy Crumlin commented that

Australian workers are going out onto to these vessels and having direct contact with foreign seafarers prior to them entering the port. Tugboat crews are receiving ships equipment that may have been in contact with infected seafarers. It shouldn’t be left to these workers to provide Australia’s response to an international, viral threat.

# The International Transport of Workers' Federation (ITF)

ITF highlighted the importance of seafarers being protected, advising that:

  • travelers should avoid unprotected contact with live animals;
  • thoroughly cook all animal products, including meat and eggs;
  • all travelers should practice good hygiene to avoid contact with anyone displaying symptoms.

# Cruise sector

The Cruise Industry was equally affected by the outbreak of the virus, with many cruise companies informing that their operations in Shanghai have been suspended. Thus, the companies offered refunds or rescheduled its voyages.

  • Royal Caribbean: Spectrum of the Seas, Costa Atlantica, Costa Venezia, and MSC Splendida have cancelled their departures from the International Cruise Terminal in Baoshan District;
  • Costa Cruises: Suspension of all operations from China until February 4. Operations at other major Chinese ports have also been halted;
  • Norwegian Cruise Line: Introduction of non-touch temperature screenings for all passengers embarking from Chinese ports. Guest with a body temperature screening of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or 38 degrees Celsius or higher will not be allowed to board and will be directed to seek local medical treatment. What is more, guests travelling from Wuhan, China or who have been in the city in the last 30 days will be denied boarding;
  • Royal Caribbean Cruises Asia Pacific: Will not permit passengers who visited Wuhan including those who are from the region to board their ships;
  • Princess Cruises in Asia: No plans to change their itineraries and if necessary, they will introduce pre-boarding disease reporting for passengers arriving from affected areas;
  • Crystal Cruises: Closely monitoring developments related to the coronavirus, including recommendations from the World Health Organization.

# The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA)

The PPA reported that they encompassed all PPA-controlled ports nationwide after the Department of Health (DOH) confirmed the first nCoV case on January 30.

# Coronavirus Live Map

In efforts of monitoring the situation and tracking down the incident throughout the world, Johns Hopkins University launched a live, interactive map, which depicts in real time, the spread of the virus.

For example, today, 4 February 2020, according to the map there have been totally 20,679 cases of people infected, with 427 total deaths and 715 recoveries.

-click on the image to see the live map-