Covid-19 update: Skuld

Marine insurer Skuld has released an update for members on the situation in China and elsewhere relating to the Covid-19 virus.

It noted that, following the declaration of Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization (WHO) on January 30th, due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in China, a number of countries had implemented various measures to reduce the exposure and transmission of the virus to their citizens. This had also impacted shipping.

The current situation in China

After the extended Chinese New Year holidays, all Chinese ports remained open and fully operational, except for the river port of Wuhan, which was closed.

Due to local travel restrictions there could be port congestions and other challenges, for example getting a local surveyor to more remote ports. Members were accordingly requested to advise claims handlers of any planned or needed survey in China as soon as possible. This would allow Skuld’s claims handlers to assist in the best possible way. Whilst Skuld maintained a constant dialogue with local club correspondents, members were encouraged also to liaise closely with local agents well before arrival. This was especially important to ensure that members’ vessels were in strict compliance with requirements implemented by local authorities to prevent the infection from spreading.

The current situation outside China

In respect of vessels arriving from Chinese ports, or with Chinese crew and/or passengers on board, some countries, such as Australia, New Zealand or Singapore, had implemented a strict 14 days quarantine period for crew or passengers arriving out of mainland China (not just the Hubei Province).

Other countries had implemented a mandatory screening of crew or passengers before they would be allowed to disembark and a strict declaration of anyone on board who was suspected to have contracted the novel coronavirus. Members were advised to stay in close contact with local agents about any requirements imposed by local authorities, as those could change quickly.