27th March, 2020
Update by Martina Farrugia, Associate
On the 26 March 2020, the Ports and Yachting Directorate have issued Port Notice No. 06 of 2020 that introduces additional precautionary measures and instructions to marine terminals and port services providers in light of COVID-19. This Port Notice is addressed to ship owners and operators, masters and crew, ship agents, bunker barges and service (conveyance) launch operators and terminal operators. The measures announced shall apply to all vessels that have been cleared to obtain services in Maltese waters and ports.
In order to reduce the risk of contagion of COVID-19,
- No crew members will be allowed to disembark from the vessel throughout the duration of its call in Malta.
- No shore personnel are allowed to board vessels unless they have received written authorisation from the Port Health Medic. This provision does not apply to maritime pilots, port foremen, port workers and terminal personnel involved in cargo handling operations.
- Where authorisation is granted, interaction with crew must be kept to the minimum that is reasonably practical in the circumstances.
- Bunker barges and service (conveyance) launches are instructed to avoid contact with crew members of the vessels they are servicing. The crew of a bunker barge or service launch and technical personnel such as surveyors and technicians are required to seek written authorisation of the Port Health Medic prior to boarding a vessel and will be subject to mandatory quarantine once they disembark.
All persons boarding a vessel are advised to take the necessary precautions as advised by the Superintendent of Public Health.
The Port Notice instructs persons who have had unplanned or accidental interaction with third party personnel or crew members to immediately report the same to the Port Health and to comply with the instructions given thereafter.
Responsible persons are required to ensure that vessels berthed within their terminal comply with the quarantine instructions.
Lastly the port notices has introduced reporting obligations on persons to immediately report any matter or operation that does not comply with the provisions of the port notices and legal notices to the Authority and Port Health.
The full Port Notice can be accessed here.
© Fenech & Fenech Advocates 2020
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