Fuzhou restricts vessels arriving from nine countries

The port of Fuzhou in eastern China has announced 14-day quarantine restrictions on vessels arriving from nine countries, including the US and Japan, in efforts to limit the spread of Covid-19, Bloomberg reports.

Vessels arriving from Japan, South Korea, Iran, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, the US and Singapore will not be allowed entry into the port until they have completed a mandatory 14-day quarantine, said Bloomberg, citing unnamed people with knowledge of the terminal’s decision. The countdown begins when ships depart from those nations.

Fuzhou handled some 3.3m teus in 2018, according to the World Shipping Council.

The mandatory quarantine will mainly hit cargoes from Asian countries, because these typically take under a week to reach China.

The fear was that similar steps might be taken by much bigger ports in China, such as Guangzhou, Shanghai and Tianjin.

Fuzhou’s measures follow similar steps taken by other countries as the virus spread. In February, Australia’s maritime safety body intensified checks on incoming foreign vessels while Kuwait prohibited all its ports from receiving foreign ships arriving from or departing to some coronavirus-hit nations, with the exception of vessels shipping hydrocarbons.

A spokesperson from Japanese shipowner Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd said the company was aware of Chinese restrictions on vessels sailing from high-risk countries with large numbers of coronavirus infections, without confirming if Japan was one of those countries.