Revised guidelines for relaxation of restrictions

07 May 2020 / Cyprus

The Cypriot Minister of Transport, Communications and Works has issued revised guidelines for the gradual relaxation of the Restrictive Measures to Response to the Pandemic of the COVID 19 virus in ports and port facilities in Cyprus.

The following revised restrictive measures are to be applied to all ports and port facilities:

  1. Any disembarkation of passengers and persons who are members of crews of any type of vessel is prohibited, including cruise ships and recreational craft, for the purpose of conducting visits, stays or overnights on the territory of the Republic, except for the replacement/change of crews as referred to in 2 below.

  2. The transfer and/or departure from the Republic of persons who are members of crews of commercial vessels, cruise ships in decommissioning status, yachts and crew members on platforms conducting exploratory drillings within Exclusive Economic Zones of States with which the Republic of Cyprus has established diplomatic relations, either on board vessels calling in ports of the Republic, or arriving, with flights exceptionally authorised by the Minister of Transport. A relevant protocol has been prepared for the procedure to be followed for the change of crews.

  3. With respect to the crews of commercial vessels (tugboats, etc.) which have a permanent basis in Cyprus and should they operate on international voyages outside territorial waters or voyages within territorial waters and come into contact with other ship crews or foreign ports, they must strictly comply with the instructions of the Medical and Public Health Services, i.e. self-limitation of the occupants for 14 days, on their return to Cypriot ports. Such vessels sailing in or outside territorial waters, where the same crew members work as employers in the company and provided that, when serving other ships, they do not come into contact with the crews of other ships and do not visit foreign ports, then there will be no obligation to self-restraint.

  4. The long-term stay of ships in anchorages of the Republic for decommissioning purposes, in readiness conditions (warm lay-up) on the basis of the availability of slot for anchoraging for decommissioning purposes and on the basis of the characteristics of the ships is permitted. It is understood that passengers may not be disembarked or disembarked for reasons other than for crew replacement/change purposes as referred to in 2 above.

  5. Military Vessels: They may be docked after Notam Verbatim, but their crews may not be disembarked except for replacement/change as mentioned in 2 above.

  6. Private vessels may move between authorised berths within the territory of the Republic for maintenance and repair purposes.

  7. It is permitted to move members of the UNIFIL Command force based in the ground installations of the port of Limassol. As regards the crews of UNIFIL vessels, it is only allowed to disembark for direct transport to an appropriate hotel inland for self-restraint and for their replacement/change as referred to in 2 above.

  8. In the event of emergencies (emergency medical situations) for a sick passenger or a sick crew member, either at anchorage or in port, agents exceptionally and due to the emergency medical situation will be entitled to make the necessary arrangements for the transport and care of the patient, provided that they are consulted in advance with the Medical Services and Public Health Services and inform the Cyprus Port Authority.

  9. No one is allowed to embark on any vessel for any reason apart from conducting activities which relate to cargo operations. It is permissible for stevedores, lashers-unlashers and surveyors to embark on vessels for conducting cargo operations with the prerequisite that the Master shall undertake to isolate/restrain the crew and send a written confirmation to the relative Port Establishment, that the crew is in self-restraint order within the cabins and no contact shall incur with the abovementioned personnel during their stay on board the vessel. If their activities can be conducted electronically (signing of certificates) they are prohibited from boarding. The same applies for surveyors involved in the administrative part of operations. Only those who conduct operations relating to sampling checks and measurements (i.e. bunkering) may embark. Stevedores, lashers-unlashers and surveyors must strictly adhere to the rules of self-protection/hygiene (masks, gloves, keeping necessary distance of 1-2 metres from each other, washing hands etc) during embarkation and disembarkation from the vessel.

  10. If there is a need for an inspection of a berthed vessel on the quay by crew members, only one member of the crew may disembark for a short period of time, provided that the ship’s agent informs the Cyprus Port Authority or the Contractors/Licensees/Port Operators, in order to remove the persons working at that time in the specific part of the yard. The Port Police should be present to supervising the aforementioned procedure.

  11. Provisions/Supplies: Crew must self-restrain in their cabins during the ship’s provision process. The Captain is responsible for confirming, both to the Ship Agent and the Cyprus Port Authority or the Contractors/Licensees/Port Operators, that there will be no physical contact/interface of crew with ground personnel. Providers/suppliers will place the supplies on the quay, at a point near the ship to be indicated, and after they have evacuated the area, the crew will be allowed to approach and load the supplies to the ship. At anchorage, provision is permitted provided there will be no physical contact/crew interaction with the providers/suppliers.

  12. Instructions for boarding and disembarking vessels:

    Before navigators board the pilot boat:
    A. Hand washing before use of equipment (masks, gloves).
    B. Installation/application of equipment (masks/gloves) before boarding the pilot boat.
    C. Using masks with respirator-filter (type FFP2).
    D. Use of disposable gloves.
    E. Always have an antiseptic solution with at least 60 % alcohol content so that the gloves can be disinfected in the manoeuvre.

    Boarding on board:
    F. A distance of at least 1 meter from any person shall be kept.
    G. The ship’s bridge shall accommodate the minimum necessary number of people.

    Disembarkation of Navigators:
    H. Gloves, masks are properly removed and dispensed at the end of the manoeuvre as quickly as possible, in a bin on the quay that shall be placed for this purpose and definitely before entering the offices or interacting with any other persons.
    I. Hand washing and antiseptic use.

  13. Those who have no other option to boarding a ship for operations - such as Port State Vessel Inspectors or Ship inspectors or Technicians necessary for conducting inspections or other qualified persons for supervision of unloading machines (e.g. bulk cargo, oil products) and inspection of equipment and safety incidents - must comply with the applicable instructions relating to boarding procedures.

  14. Individuals who remain on board (such as the ‘Mooring Master’ for transhipment operations of petroleum products from ship to ship – ‘STS Operations’, and specialised persons for unloading petroleum products at power stations) , regardless of duration, the following should be adhered to:
    A. Certification by the ship carrying the cargo that has been preceded by disinfection of the person/person(s). Where possible such persons should be accommodated in single or double cabins.
    B. Clarification whether a personal toilet is available for such staff. In the case of a positive response, the personnel will remain isolated in their cabins without contact with the ship’s crew and will use the personal toilets exclusively and strictly adhere to the personal protective/health measures. In the event of a negative response, the ship must designate a separate toilet for the persons for which it will also have to certify its prior disinfection.
    C. The person(s) should carefully remove the personal protective/health equipment after completion of supervision and before entering the cabin. When leaving the cabin and if they are to come into contact with the ship’s crew, personal protective/hygiene equipment should be available for change in the cabin. The final removal of personal protective/health equipment will take place as recorded in the guidance for navigators (i.e. once they reach land).
    D. Special importance should be given to avoiding the unnecessary stay of any personnel of the ship near the Mooring Master/Specialised Persons.
    E. As far as the issue of nutrition is concerned, it is recommended that they carry the necessary supplies for his/her stay on board with him/her. In case anything additional is needed, he/she will leave it out of the cabin and strictly keep the hands clean.

  15. Crew shall be prohibited to disembark and perform work on the quay for the purpose of maintaining the ship, e.g. painting, washing a vessel, etc.

  16. Those entering ports and port facilities should adhere strictly to the instructions of the Medical Services and Public Health Services in relation to the use of personal protective/health facilities.

Requests for exemption from the application of any of the above submitted to the Cyprus Port Authority will be forwarded by the Cyprus Port Authority to the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works and the Director General of the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works for examination and decision after consultation with the Minister of Health.

For further details and updates, as well as information about operations in Cyprus, contact GAC Cyprus at [email protected]

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