The UK government has issued guidance to assist ships (including cargo vessels, ferries and cruise ships) and sea ports in providing advice to staff on addressing COVID-19 on ships and in sea ports.
The main messages of the guidance are:
- Before boarding the ship, crew and passengers should be asked if they have a new, continuous cough or a high temperature.
- If someone becomes unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature, they should be sent home or to their cabin.
- Everyone should be reminded to wash their hands for 20 seconds more frequently than normal.
- Crew and passengers should be given clear instructions on what to do if they develop symptoms and how and to whom they should report this.
- The Master of the Ship should notify the Port Health Authority about any suspected cases of COVID-19 as soon as possible, who will then inform the local Health Protection Team.
- Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning of surfaces that a person with symptoms has come into contact with are key measures to stop the spread of the virus.