The UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency publishes COVID-19 guidance for shipping and ports

MCA publish guidance for crew and UK ports, aerial view of port of Bristol. Credit: The Bristol Port Company

The UK’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) has published guidance on what seafarers, port officials and shipowners must do in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak onboard cargo vessels, ferries and cruise ships.

The guidance summarises what symptoms crew should look for and stipulates before boarding a vessel that crew and passengers should be asked if they have a new, continuous cough or IT outlines what to do should a crew member or onboard passenger become unwell during a voyage, stipulating that the master notify the Port Health Authority about any suspected COVID-19 cases, who will then inform the local Health Protection Team.

Specific actions for ships and shipping companies are outlined and that, before sailing, the following information should be given out to all onboard:

·       The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19)

·       Health risks and considerations on health services in other countries for vulnerable groups, such as elderly people or those with underlying medical conditions

·       Importance of preventive measures

·       Pre-boarding assessment

Ships should ensure adequate medical supplies, equipment and PPE are available onboard. Further details of supplies specific to COVID-19 are available in the disease commodity package.

Full the full guidance please click here.