There is currently a significant outbreak of a novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) affecting China and an increasing number of other countries (see list of current risk area) which has resulted in cases of infection across the world, and on cruise ships. This situation has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the World Health Organization (WHO) under the International Health Regulations (IHR).
WHO, as at 03 March 2020, has not currently recommended any international travel or trade restrictions, and according to the IHR (and other international regulations) ships shall not be refused ‘free pratique’ by the IHR state parties for public health reasons, i.e. permission to enter a port, embark or disembark discharge or load cargo or stores. The IHR states parties may subject granting free pratique to inspection, and, if a source of infection or contamination is found on board, conduct necessary, disinfection, decontamination, disinsection or deratting, or other measures necessary to prevent spread of the infection or contamination.
Notwithstanding, mariners are advised, in response to this rapidly developing situation, Health Protection Scotland and the Scottish Ports Liaison Network require that information is to be submitted to the relevant Scottish Port Health Authority (PHA – Table 1) in the following cases, irrespective of whether the vessel is arriving from a foreign port or another UK port:
- Cruise Vessels – ALL Cruise Vessels
- Container and Cargo Vessels – Where anyone on board the vessel has travelled from or via any current risk area or if they have been in close contact with confirmed case of COVID-19 infection within the 14-days prior to the vessel arriving in a Scottish Port.
Vessel owners, masters and agents are reminded that PHA’s must be notified of any cases of, or symptoms of, infectious disease aboard a vessel prior to it arriving in port of call.
A Public Health Emergency Contingency Plan, maintained by Port Health and its partners, is in place to respond to any significant issue.
In addition to MDH submission to the PHA as above, prior to arrival in the port of call the Vessel owner, Master or Agent must confirm to the relevant harbour office that such submission has been made and declare any health concerns at the first opportunity. Failure to do so may result in a delay of permission to berth.
Please note, CMAL harbours are predominantly lifeline ferry ports for island communities and are operated by CalMac Ferries Ltd (CFL) on behalf of the competent authority. Each port can be contacted via VHF 12 or by the email address used for submission of CERS information.
Table 1 – Scottish Port Health Authority (PHA) Contacts for CFL Operated Harbours where relevant vessels are accepted:
|Port Location||Local / Port Health Authority||PHA Telephone No. (24hr)||PHA Email|
|Armadale,||Highland Council||01349 868 email@example.com|
|Brodick||North Ayrshire Council||01294 310 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Castlebay||Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||01851 701 email@example.com|
|Coll||Argyll & Bute Council||01436 658 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Colonsay||Argyll & Bute Council||01436 658 email@example.com|
|Largs||North Ayrshire Council||01294 310 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Lochboisdale||Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||01851 701 email@example.com|
|Port Ellen||Argyll & Bute Council||01436 658 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tarbert (Harris)||Comhairle nan Eilean Siar||01851 701 email@example.com|
|Tiree||Argyll & Bute Council||01436 658 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Tobermory||Argyll & Bute Council||01436 658 email@example.com|
Issued on behalf of the Harbour Master
Caledonian Maritime Assets Limited
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